Born and bred in the mountains of the Ziller Valley

In the vast adventure playground of the Zillertal Alps, amidst the beautiful mountain landscape, Selina grew up spending her summers with her family in a hut at an altitude of 2,000m. Here, Selina tells us all about her childhood in the mountains.

Childhood in the Zillertal Alps

©Selina Heigl

Created by Gast Autor

Baptised on the mountain

I was lucky enough to enjoy a relaxed and happy childhood. It was an honour to be the only child baptised on the mountain. The priest still proudly tells the story today of how he baptised a child at that altitude with glacial water, and he still visits me now and again to bring me a blessed angel. 

Kindheit in den Zillertaler Bergen
©Selina Heigl
Kindheit in den Zillertaler Bergen
©Selina Heigl
Kindheit in den Zillertaler Bergen
©Selina Heigl
©Selina Heigl

Internet etc.

We were never short of playmates as new guests arrived daily to spend the night and we helped the visiting children learn how to play in the nature. We had no mobile phones or internet. Instead we played with stones, water, built dams, fed our rabbits and watched the wildlife. We were never bored. In the evenings we played cards rather than watch television. Each round got more and more competitive!

 

Learning through nature

Our daily walks included the Schwarzsee lake, the ‘Granatenmühle’ (Garnet Mill), the Schönbichlerhorn and the Horn lake. To have a lake at 2050m where you can go swimming is fantastic and should never be taken for granted. I remember the first time we hiked to the ‘Granatenmühle’ to collect the red stones from the river. I loved hunting for stones with the local mineral experts and finding out more about these fascinating garnets. As a reward for my efforts I was even given my own sieve and spade, which obviously made me very pleased and proud! 

©Selina Heigl

Practice makes perfect

 

My favourite thing to do in summer was to work in the hut. I helped my mother and grandmother by waiting tables and my father and aunt in the kitchen. I especially enjoyed meeting the guests and so was happiest waiting tables or showing guests to their rooms. Some guests were amazed that such a young girl knew so much useful information. Because of the hut, my parents were really busy during the summer months and didn’t have much time for my brother and I, yet we has a wonderful childhood and were always coming up with new adventures for our summer holidays.

 

As my brother and I got older, we were expected to take on certain duties and responsibilities. However, looking back, my childhood was filled with fond memories and special experiences.