In the early hours before dawn, between 5am and 6.30am, travel in Austria’s largest cable car to the plateau on the Ahorn mountain and experience the magical moment when the sun’s rays illuminate the landscape for the first time that day.
The perfect birthday present
It is 4am when the alarm on my mobile phone goes off. Loud and annoying. Even the second and third alarms that I have set at five minute intervals, just in case, are an unwelcome intrusion on my sleep. There’s no getting around it, I have to get up. Normally, I’d sleep at least another two hours before anyone could rouse me from my slumber. But today I’ve got something very special planned: a day out with my daughter, Carina, my mother and my sister-in-law, Ingrid, who are treating me to a sunrise breakfast on the Ahorn for my birthday. And so I get ready to leave and pick my family up.
Travel by Austria's largest cable car to a sunrise breakfast
Even though it’s July, it is really cold and we dress in warm fleece jumpers. At 2000m the temperature at this early hour is likely to be less than 10°C. During the journey up the mountain in the Ahorn cable car, we are treated to breathtaking views down on the valley and of the beautiful mountains of the Zillertal Alps. We are not alone in the cable car; many visitors from Germany, England and Switzerland are also making this special early journey to watch the sunrise from behind the mountains. In just six and a half minutes, Austria’s largest cable car transports us up the Leisure Mount Ahorn.
The panorama plateau Zillertal
As we arrive on the Ahorn, we are greeted by the friendly team of the Mayrhofen Cable Car Company who accompany us to the nearby Panorama Plateau Zillertal. After just a few minutes of walking we reach our destination and wait excitedly with a cup of hot tea for the highlight of the day: the sunrise.
THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: THE SUNRISE
There is at least another half an hour to wait until the sun rises above the mountains. In the valley a low fog hovers over Mayrhofen and the few clouds in the sky are tinged a light pink. Everyone is waiting patiently with their cameras in hand, trying to capture the perfect shot of this beautiful dawn. Then the sun appears, rising gradually above the mountain peaks and we feel the first warm rays of sunshine on our faces. It’s an incredible experience. In such peaceful surroundings, it is easy to get lost in thought and totally absorbed in the moment. It is 5.51am and, with the sunrise, our stomachs start to rumble. We are as hungry as if we’d already climbed a mountain. So we make our way to the Filzenstadl hut where a hearty breakfast awaits us.
A sunrise breakfast at the Filzenstadl
After just a short walk we arrive at the Filzenstadl. Inside the hut it is cosy and rustic with incredible views over the surrounding mountains and a good breakfast selection. Relaxing, enjoying good food in a beautiful location and soaking up the peaceful nature at an altitude of 2000m - what could be better? The hearty mountaineer’s breakfast buffet caters to every taste: coffee, tea, hot chocolate, a range of juices, bread rolls, wholegrain bread, spreads, cheeses, hams, yoghurts, fresh fruits, cakes and much more. Simply delicious! Afterwards, our hunger satisfied, we take a gentle walk to help our digestion. We follow the well-signposted Leisure Trail, which I’ll tell you more about another time.
The Sunrise Breakfast takes place every Thursday in July and August. Advance registration is required by 2pm on Wednesday at the Mayrhofen cable car stations. Further information is available at: Mayrhofner Bergbahnen