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

Love in the Mountains: Timna & Juan

Updated on 13.02.2023 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.

Timna & Juan

The first Tirolean in the Argentinian pampas

Timna, 31, and her Argentinian husband Juan, 34, first met on a beach in South America. Today the family lives in Innsbruck.

Timna: Years ago, I was taking a walk on a beach in Colombia. Suddenly someone held a sign in front of me that said: "Never stop smiling, because someone might fall in love with your smile." I thought to myself: 'Great, another one of those pushy guys.'

Juan: I was working in a hostel at the time and one of my jobs was to attract tourists to our restaurant.

I was actually looking for an Argentinean who offered guided kayak tours to observe fluorescent plankton at night. By the time Juan came along, I had decided to paddle off on my own. Then it turned out that the guy with the sign was the Argentinian I had been looking for.

I told Timna that there were dangerous currents and even crocodiles in the area, so I couldn't let her go off on her own!

We didn't see much of the plankton that night, but we got on very well and at some point things got romantic under the moonlight next to the campfire. I then travelled on to Panama and was actually going to the Amazon when I realised I was pregnant. So I went back to Colombia to tell Juan about it. We both had so many different emotions - we hardly knew each other. In the end we decided to try it together.

We then went back to my home, a tiny village in the Argentinian pampas. I'm pretty sure that Timna was the first ever Austrian to visit that place. When we decided to get married, we were the talk of the town.

We cycled the way to the registry office. I sat on the luggage rack and we pulled empty cans behind us tied to strings. It was something the locals had never seen before. Soon after that we travelled to Austria because I wanted to have our child here.

Timna & Juan

For me, the first months here were a culture shock. I never really wanted to go to Europe, if at all, then when I was retired. On my first day at German school, after two hours I packed my things in frustration and left.

But even though you don't speak perfect German yet, you're already chatting away as you get to know each other. I'm sure this openness is a bit unusual for some people here. Whatever the case, Juan made me aware of how quiet and reserved most Tiroleans are.

It's true that people treat each other very respectfully here. I find it strange that I'm not supposed to honk my horn when I'm driving to greet someone. But I also like how honest Tiroleans are. I have already lost my keys and wallet and got them back without any problems.

Timna & Juan

Love in the Mountains

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

I will never get used to Juan's swearing - even though he only does it in Spanish.

One of the first words I learned here was "Geduld", "patience". I heard that all the time. "Patience Juan, patience." I have a little difficulty with that.

We are united by our common love of the mountains. We are outdoors as much as possible. Juan also took a climbing course straight away, although he spoke almost no German at the time.

I then watched climbing videos with subtitles. I worked for a time in Patagonia running the RefugioOtto Meiling, a hut in the mountains named after a German emigrant and famous mountaineer. He made many first ascents in the mountains of Patagonia and founded the first ski school in the country.

Since Juan has been here, he has taken on some of the habits of the Tiroleans. For example, now he spends all this free time in the mountains!

The first sentence I learned in German was "I bin a Tiroler." (dialect for "I am a Tirolean"). I guess it wasn't a coincidence. One thing I don't think I will ever get used to, however, is eating Schnitzel with cranberry jam.

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.

Last article from Wolfgang Westermeier
Updated on 27.02.2023 in People
Roman the Ice Man
8 min reading time
Caro & Daniel
Updated on 13.02.2023 in People
Love in the Mountains: Daniel & Carolina
4 min reading time
Michael & Markus
Updated on 13.02.2023 in People
Love in the Mountains: Michael & Markus
4 min reading time
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.
Updated on 13.02.2023 in People
Love in the Mountains: Elena & Mario
4 min reading time
5x5 Winter Villages
Updated on 23.01.2023 in Recommendations
Five Mountain Villages for Wintersports Enthusiasts
4 min reading time
Christmas Market Things
Updated on 28.11.2022 in Recommendations
Five Great Products at Tirol's Christmas Markets
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
Spinach dumplings
Updated on 27.06.2022 in Food & Drink
4 min reading time
Kate & Michl
Updated on 14.02.2022 in People
Love in the Mountains: Kate & Michl
6 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
Updated on 18.08.2021 in Food & Drink
A Vegetarian Guide to Tirol
8 min reading time
Unbenannt-1 Kopie
Updated on 10.05.2021 in Recommendations
Getting Your Hands Dirty: Farmyard Holidays
9 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
All articles from Wolfgang Westermeier
1 comment 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!