The balloonists called yesterday evening to confirm that they would be flying today, so this morning at ten thirty we show up at the camping site they use for take off and landing. We’ve been seeing these hot air balloons in the sky the last few days and we’re really excited to go up ourselves, but no such luck. The pilot explains that, though the weather looks great from down here, the winds are too strong and the risk is too great, so all flights are cancelled. No option to go tomorrow either, since it’s expected to start snowing tonight, with the possibility of heavy snow during the day tomorrow.

Disappointed, we reshuffle our plans for the day and decide to do the Frillensee walk first. We drive to the hamlet Adlgaß and park our car near the crossing we passed on Tuesday when walking to Bäckeralm. Amazingly, the parking ticket machine only takes coins and we have to dig around in the car to gather the required amount. We just cannot get used to this German habit of using cash for everything and are always running out.

There’s a few cars out here and we do encounter some people on this hike. We climb steadily, following the Großwaldbach stream to its source, until we crest the ridge at 945 and enter the valley of the Frillensee, reportedly the coldest lake in Central Europe. I’m not sure why, it doesn’t feel that much colder here than in a few of the other valleys we’ve been to. We encounter a truck transporting logs, a hiker with four dogs talking very animatedly with a fellow hiker and no live animals whatsoever. A lot of tracks in the snow, but no sign of those who made them.. The Frillensee looks nice, a few intrepids have already proven the ice is thick enough to walk on. It has a long history with winter sports, before they built actually arena’s. We’re back at the car around one thirty and map out the rest of the day: eat Kaiserschmarrn in really old farm building, a quick stop at the ski store (they don’t have down bod warmers), then by car to the Gletschergarten (ridiculously unimpressive underneath all the snow) and the nearby waterfall (pretty). We have a night in, eat unhealthy snacks in bed and watch the last Picard. I know, I said that yesterday too, we’re losing track here..

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