[FW]: Water World

by cynthiarendon

Hiking could be hard work, you know? And I know just about everyone abhors physical and, indeed, challenges of any other kind. I know that if it wasn’t for my health, I would gladly spend my free afternoons and weekends on the sofa, watching old episodes of I Love Lucy. Ah, the Red-headed Screwball! They don’t make ‘em like they used to, you know.

Oh, oh! And then there’s the whole exposure to the elements aspect. Breezes, sunshine, the smell of raw earth: what’s so great about that? Personally, I like to experience the world from inside air-conditioned spaces (well, who doesn’t, really?). The world, after all, is a messy place and best kept at an arm’s distance.

So I hope you caught the sarcasm above . . .

In truth, I’ve been on a hiking kick lately. And though hiking is technically walking — walking where you can pee — there’s just something about walking outside and not smelling gas emissions and hearing car honks — and actually experiencing the breeze, the warmth of the sun on your skin, and the smell of the raw earth whilst enveloped in cool, pine-scented air.

And because the wanderlust is creeping up again . . . and because it is Fantasy Wednesday . . . today I dream of going to Green Lake in Austria — a “hikeable” lake or . . .  should I say a “diveable” meadow?

Oh yeah, I also have a thing for bizarre natural phenomena. It’s sort of like God said, “Hey, let’s have a little fun with this.”

Green Lake in Austria is a popular spot for hiking that is nearly dry during the winter months. It’s essentially a meadow full of lush flora, accessible trails, and bridges. I would go for that image alone.

But there’s something a bit special about this spot. Once the temperatures start to creep up, the winter snow on the surrounding Hochschwab Mountains starts to melt, water flows down, and the valley is soon beautifully flooded with crystal clear water. And this is why every year, from May to July, adventure-seeking divers get excited about this special dive site in Austria, considering that the valley has the capacity to reach a water level of up to 30 feet.

green lake, austria. image via flickr

This means that the once-meadow, with all its spring flowers, hiking trails, and park benches, gets flooded — giving a diver the rare opportunity to see how his or her world would look like underwater. I mean, it’s not every day that you can see a submerged park that’s dry half of the year. Hiking, diving, whatever — seems like Green Lake is now on my list.