One fine view and forgotten History

Power of the Dam
Admiring the stunning views of Kaprun’s Mooserboden Hochgebirgesstauseen.

In between high peaks and lush greens, my eyes feasted on this view. I felt so small and weak compared to the powerful force of nature. It’s so primitive and yet so striking. This is the view of the mountains surrounding the Hochgebirgsstauseen in Kaprun, the high water reservoir dams which took my breath away but then also had a sad forgotten history. As I was reading more about how these amazing Dams were built, I got more hooked knowing that it has a sad history worth telling…and should not really forgotten…Ever.

Let me tell you more why and what’s so special about this place.

The Glacier above in between the mountains is one special thing about this place.No question why this place is called the birthplace of a Legend.

The Mooserboden reservoirs sit at an altitude of 2040 meters and have a sad and dark history. First building plans were drafted in the 1920’s but it was only during World War II that they were realised. The Nazi regime forced around 4000 prisoners of war and 6300 forced foreign labourers to construct the dams. The commemorative plaque on the Pagan Church tells you that over 120 prisoners died here between 1940 and 1945. German speakers can find detailed information about the Nazi past of the reservoirs here. After the war, the dams were finished and became a symbol of post-war reconstruction, and until today many people are not aware of the dams’ Nazi past .Some just appreciate the beauty that they see and doesn’t care about the past anymore. But come to think of it, it is so great that the process of building this giant reservoirs has a sad story and that makes it even more important to know and remember history!

Climbers trying to climb up in the Dam

The Tauern power plants were originally regarded as one of the most important projects of the East-German electricity industry and were declared “preferred hydraulic engineering“. Forced labourers and prisoners of war were used to build the power station and work on the dam above it in the valley. These workers came from twenty-four (24) different nations, including Polish, French and Soviet POWs, Italians, people from the territories of the Soviet Union (‘Ostarbeiter’) and Jews. An unknown number died due to the harsh conditions, particularly in the mountain camp where the dam was being built. At one point a British air raid triggered a flash flood in which 1,200 people, half of them Soviet forced labourers, were killed.

Living here in Germany have opened my eyes for so many things. Before, I never knew in details about the victims of war and Nazi regime. Our knowledge about Germany is so limited. When I studied German, I have read so many books about it and watched many films about the dark past of Germany and sad stories about war, let alone forced labor and concentration camps.

It is no joke working hard ( deadly working conditions) up in the altitudes of the mountains. Imagine these people forced to work in winter times.

Looking at the beautiful in front of me made me feel grateful, grateful for nature, for the powerful force of the mountains, and high respect for those people who have worked hard, in worst conditions, probably even through ice cold temperatures just to build this dam. I saw lots of people around the world visiting this place and wondering about the beauty of the dam, but I wondered who appreciate the history behind it.Most of all, the story is past behind us now.No more wars.

 About 120 forced labourers were killed between 1940 and 1945 on this construction site. The suffering and trauma of these people is often forgotten when telling the success story of Kaprun. These people, who were abducted by the Nazi regime to work on this building site, should be given special consideration now. The memory of the terror of the Nazi regime remains awake even at this place.”

It’s the blend of human engineering with natural creations that makes the dams above Kaprun such a special part of Austria.If I will show Austria to a friend, then I would definitely bring them to Kaprun! My daughter enjoyed playing in the playground in the Mooserboden. She doens’t know yet the story about this place.Maybe when she grows old and revisits this place then I hope she would appreciate this place as much as I did.

Can’t get enough of Kaprun? see the gallery online Here and another Post about Hochgebirgsstauseen Here.

Happy weekend everyone. Tchüss!

First sign of Autumn | Wandertag

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Wandertag : Chasing cobwebs on first signs of Fall
Hello September!

It’s Wandertag today and as usual, we  set off to explore new places and prepared ourselves for another worthwhile trek in the woods. It’s a chilly sunday morning and yet I don’t mind it much. We started our hike going through the woods, exploring footpaths and chasing the sun.Passing through the Dam of the Danube River I noticed that its waters are as calm as the azure blue  sky. Why does the birds crazily having an orchestral chirping now? Oh Yes, Autumn is just around the corner .The season of changes.

As we inhaled the crisp air, I noticed more and more the evident signs of Autumn. It’s just around the corner, arriving soon.Looking through the rows of trees, the fall colors are slowly starting to show, and I am so ready to be amazed by this.

Have you watched how the leaves are falling in a synchronized motion? The smell of the grass suddenly becomes so pungent.

 

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My morning backdrop today. A palette of bright earth colors and a stadiums of cobwebs.
Wandertags have taught me that looking up in amazement makes you feel like a child gasping for wonder, delighting in simple things that nature gives.But looking down as well, gazing through the ground level could bring up charming surprises, unexpected wonders especially during this time that  the seasons are changing.

The first signs of Autumn shows up once more, just look at these amazing artwork in the grass. Bunches of webs trapped in the morning mist.Look at the intricate wild patterns that are pure wonders of nature.For some its just a bore to reflect on this , but for me, I regard them as gorgeous form of artwork.Spider silk is truly amazing . I look forward to see and find a spider that actually making a web . I would love to watch carefully how it’s constructed.

If you want to see things like this, wake up early,go out there and chase them not later than 8 a.m in the morning or then they’re gone soon.

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Cobwebs  trapped in the morning mist -Wandertags
 

Are you prepared for the time of change?

How did you spend your weekend?

Are you on Instagram? Follow my Expat Life in photos and more on Wandertags in my Instagram page Here.