Blog
Categories
© Tirol Werbung / Rodler Ilvy
Food & Drink
© Bert Heinzelmeier
People
© Tirol Werbung / Aichner Bernhard
Arts & Culture
© Tirol Werbung / Moore Casey
Recommendations
© Tirol Werbung / Herbig Hans
Family
© Tirol Werbung / Schwarz Jens
Bits & Pieces
© Tirol Werbung / Neusser Peter
Sports
Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe
Specials
Wolfgang

Love in the Mountains: Elena & Mario

Updated on 14.02.2022 in People

Every year people from around the world fall in love with the mountains and culture of Tirol – and some even fall in love with a local. We asked international couples about the role the mountains have played in their relationship.

Elena Barbist and Mario Käppeli love each other and the mountains of Tirol. Mario, who originally comes from Switzerland, appreciates the Innsbruck lifestyle – and the fact that there is always someone who has time to go climbing.
Elena Barbist and Mario Käppeli love each other and the mountains of Tirol. Mario, who originally comes from Switzerland, appreciates the Innsbruck lifestyle – and the fact that there is always someone who has time to go climbing.

A shared understanding of work-life balance

Without the mountains Mario Käppeli, 32, and Elena Barbist, 20, would have probably never met. Three years after their first climbing date, the couple - a student and a former professional snowboarder - still spend most of their time exploring the mountains around Innsbruck.

Mario: Two years ago I was working part-time in a snowboard shop. All of a sudden, Elena came in.

Elena: I actually went there to buy a present for my boyfriend at the time!

I found out her name through others who worked in the shop. At some point we arranged to go climbing in Telfs. That was the perfect first date for both of us.

After that, I went to Sri Lanka for a month. We had time to reflect and realised how much we liked each other.

When Elena came back, we went skiing together. We spent as much time as possible in the mountains.

As a child, I was always climbing, mountaineering or skiing. As I grew up, I started to go less and less, but through Mario I rediscovered my love for mountain sports. The many sunrises and sunsets we experienced together on different peaks created a bond between us.

That's also the reason why I like living in Innsbruck so much. In Switzerland everyone works all the time, putting money aside without really knowing what it's for. In Innsbruck, people work so much that they can make ends meet - and the rest of the time they spend in the mountains.

Part of that is that Innsbruck is a very young city. All the students want to study here because they can go skiing before their lectures.

True. In Innsbruck people are always up for doing something in the mountains. It has never happened to me that I wanted to do a ski tour or go climbing and no one had time to join me. Things are different in Switzerland.

Because people in Innsbruck are out and about in the mountains so much, they also have a great affinity with nature. I have the feeling that people here pay special attention to the environment.

Mario & Elena

Since I've been with Elena, I pay much more attention to protecting the environment. We also follow a vegetarian diet. It was difficult for me to give up eating meat. There were certain meat dishes I tasted for the first time here in Tirol and really liked, so it was tough having to stop.

Love in the Mountains

This article is part of the series "Love in the Mountains". In talk to couples living in Tirol. One of them is a local, one comes from another part of the world.

And I've adopted the Swiss dialect from you a bit. At the beginning, I did it for fun because I think some words sound so cute in Swiss German. But now I automatically say "Natel" instead of "Handy" (mobile phone).

I also wanted to learn Tirolean dialect. The result is that for the Swiss think I am no longer one of them, but the Tyroleans can't work out where I am from either. Many think that I am from Vorarlberg, the province in Austria between Tirol and Switzerland!

One thing that hasn't changed is Mario's love of cheese. If he is typical for people in Switzerland then it really isn't a cliché that the Swiss love their cheese.

Wolfgang Westermeier rides to the office every morning. On the weekends he likes nothing more than trying out new sports in the mountains – from hot-balloon rides in winter to trailrunning races in summer.

Wolfgang
Last article from Wolfgang Westermeier
Spinach dumplings
Updated on 27.06.2002 in Food & Drink
Dumplings
4 min reading time
Ort:
Updated on 17.10.2022 in Recommendations
5 Ways to Find Your Inner Balance
3 min reading time
Searching for marmots.
Updated on 29.08.2022 in Recommendations
The Fantastic Big Five and Where to Find Them
10 min reading time
titelbild
Updated on 23.05.2022 in People
Little Escapes: The Best Places to Unwind in Tirol
9 min reading time
Kate & Michl
Updated on 14.02.2022 in People
Love in the Mountains: Kate & Michl
6 min reading time
Caro & Daniel
Updated on 14.02.2022 in People
Love in the Mountains: Daniel & Carolina
4 min reading time
Timna & Juan
Updated on 14.02.2022 in People
Love in the Mountains: Timna & Juan
4 min reading time
Michael & Markus
Updated on 14.02.2022 in People
Love in the Mountains: Michael & Markus
4 min reading time
Tirolwerbung-Winderwanderung-2137
Updated on 17.01.2022 in Recommendations
Kartitsch: Stress-Free Winter Walking in East Tirol
10 min reading time
Photographer Espen about this photo: "As a photographer I often travel alone. Maybe that's why I like to photograph people. On the day when I took this picture in the village of Vals I met almost no one. I drove from side valley to side valley looking for something to photograph, but the area was deserted. I stopped, pretty frustrated, to look at a small herd of goats. As I walked back towards the car, I suddenly saw this policeman staring at me. Silent and stoic. Finally, a human being! Even if he was only made of cardboard. The photo I took of him was actually the starting point for a series of good pictures in the valley."
Updated on 17.01.2022 in Recommendations
Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes
5 min reading time
Activities with almost zero carbon footprint.
, © Ramon Haindl
Updated on 01.09.2021 in Recommendations
Five Eco-Friendly Activities Trending Right Now
9 min reading time
Lucknerhütte
Updated on 18.08.2021 in Food & Drink
A Vegetarian Guide to Tirol
8 min reading time
Money vs. mountains: Tourism or nature? Mountain guide Martina Mrak is in favour of steering towards the middle ground: Tourism in harmony with nature.
Updated on 22.07.2021 in People
New Directions: The Mountain Guide
3 min reading time
Unbenannt-1 Kopie
Updated on 10.05.2021 in Recommendations
Getting Your Hands Dirty: Farmyard Holidays
9 min reading time
20-07-24-HP-Paul-Schweinester-73-1
Updated on 19.03.2021 in Arts & Culture
An Acoustic Journey Through Tirol
11 min reading time
Marmot fat is still used to make a cream said to have a soothing effect on the muscles and joints, though today it is more of a souvenir than a salve.
Updated on 03.02.2021 in Recommendations
Tirol’s „Big Five“
4 min reading time
Updated on 17.11.2020 in Recommendations
In Other Spheres
4 min reading time
© Tirol Werbung, Ramon Haindl
11.01.2022 in Recommendations
5 Natural Winter Wonders in Tirol
3 min reading time
30.03.2021 in Arts & Culture
min reading time
TEXT Wolfgang Westermeier | PHOTOS Sebastian Schels
25.03.2021 in Sports
Ice, Ice Baby!
10 min reading time
Der Ballon wird  startklar gemacht.
17.11.2020 in Recommendations
Happiness is nothing but hot air
8 min reading time
All articles from Wolfgang Westermeier
No comments available
Write comment

Keep reading

Go up

Is your inbox in need of a holiday?

Then subscribe to our weekly newsletter full of exclusive holiday tips from Tirol!