How Rock Stacking in the Alps Can Make You a Happier Person

by Karoli Hindriks July 04, 2017

My sunset hike view.

I was invited to give a keynote presentation at a major media company’s executive summit, to talk about global talent trends. The event took place a two-hour drive from Munich, in the picturesque Schloss Elmau in the Alps. I’m not sure if it was dehydration, lack of nutrition, or the adrenaline from standing in front of this challenging top-level audience, but after my speech I developed a horrible throbbing headache, so I decided to skip the fancy dinner and go on an evening hike.

There was no data coverage up in the mountains, so I had only my legs and a simple map to rely on. Luckily, after stopping a few German hiking-couples for directions, I managed to find my way towards a wonderful destination: The Partnach Gorge.

The sun was starting to set, but was still shining warmly. Humming the theme from “The Sound of Music” (I honestly just couldn’t resist), I hiked downhill towards the water (on my way I had a pleasant exchange with a group of goats wearing big clanging bells around their necks).

The Partnach Gorge was worth the trip. The light blue water of the river seemed to have been painted in between the rocks. I only understood that it was real from the powerful sound the force of the water made.

After some walking I discovered a field with hundreds, if not thousands of stones stacked on top of each other.

The hundreds of rocks stacked in the middle of nowhere (probably for future happiness).

I had no idea what it was for (if you know, feel free to share the knowledge), but I figured that if so many people had made the effort to dig up and stack this many stones, it had to be good luck.

So I dug up some stones and made my own monument. I can’t wait to see what kind of joy and good luck my little pile of stones will bring me now!

My pile of stones stacked for (probably) a happier life.

Isn’t that just fabulous place for a stop in the middle of nowhere?

On my walk near the stream and the woods, I also found a randomly convenient bench for meditation and rest surrounded by the powerful sounds of the mountain stream. It was a mesmerizing experience.

So I made a stop and enjoyed the view.

Me taking a stop during my hike in the Alps.

Despite the somewhat less exciting (but much longer) walk uphill back to my hotel, this journey reminded me how all the different corners of the world have their magical secrets for us to discover. All we need to do is to pack our bags and go.

A house up in the sky in the Alps.

Imagine — if you lived in Bavaria, Germany or Austria, you could take walks like this every weekend! Check out the opportunities here:

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