Yes you thought it should be Salzburg…but no this is Ischgl!
The Alps around this small town tucked away in a deep alpine valley has rung to the sounds of many world-class pop stars each year in November and May as the ski season starts and finishes with a massive outdoor concert.
With major performers like Sting, Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Elton John, Tina Turner, Bon Jovi the list is endless.
A legacy of some of these performers remains in the form of a delightfully named ‘Walk of Lyrics’ along the edge of a steep mountain valley running down to the town of Ischgl in the west of Austria.
Best accessed from the ‘mid-station’ cable car jumping off point half way along its 20minute journey time to the mountaintop.
Walking mainly down hill through the lush wooded and flower rich valley that is punctuated with art works as you descend to the town on the valley floor.
There are many stunning viewpoints as you wind your way down with two modern cable bridges that allow you to switch sides to obtain yet even more extensive and alternative alpine and mountain views.
Rihanna’s tribute is a life size cut out silhouette in thick sheet steel plate along with a set of umbrellas playing her music and a variety of sounds. Sting gets a similar style silhouette along with a giant wooden bottle “Message in a Bottle” on one side of the valley and his cut out on the other separated by one of the two suspension bridges.
With just one short steeper incline on the path it’s mainly a gentle downhill walk providing any number of pretty locations to take a break and the art works provide fun and amusing places to stop of course too.
MUSIC WINTER OR SUMMER IN ISCHGL
The area around Ischgl in the summer is a magnet for hikers, climbers and mountain bikers but many of the popular routes can range from 2 to 9 hours so finding a more moderate route that took just over an hour was a delight and would be very suitable for those looking for a less strenuous diversion.
Of course it’s possible to walk the route in reverse which will take a little longer and then take the mid station cable car back to the town centre and to the hotel I was staying in the charming Austrian styled four star AlpVita Piz Tasna.
It may be somewhat shorter in length than many of the walks around Ischgl, but not short on the alpine experience with stunning sights and smells around every corner.
With carpets of colourful wild flowers making the most of the clear sunshine so high in this narrow valley, they draw in your eyes. Wild orchids seem to abound as you carry on down the valley-side path arriving back at the edge of the town humming some of the tunes you have experienced during your sunshine saunter.
“When the sun shines we’ll shine together”, could have been written with Ischgl in mind!