Magdalena: „You cannot step into the same river twice“
Rivers seem to be the epitome of something that doesn’t change – always there, always seemingly the same. In reality, every single step you take in a river alters its course, every tiny drop of sun screen pollutes the precious water, every caught fish makes an impact to some extent – those things add up quickly. I walk because I want to raise awareness that it’s our responsibility to ensure those stunning ecosystems stay as healthy as possible.
Martin: I am walking because the spirit of “Riverwalk” is still inside of me! As I have been participating in all previous Riverwalks except the one last year, I am really looking forward to joining the crew and getting active for our rivers again. Walking along the Lech means exploring a river that is still in good shape, thanks to the hard work of local environmentalists. Let´s raise awareness so that people understand that thinking globally and acting locally do not contradict one another. Let´s step in for a globalized world in which we rediscover the uniqueness, diversity and power of nature and start to rethink our habits of destroying every square inch of it. Rivers are the source of all life and we simply need to realize that again. Personally, I am walking to connect, reflect and grow with those who feel the same way! Stay wild!
Leander: Ich freue mich schon sehr auf den Riverwalk, weil ich gern im Freien bin, und mir die Umwelt am Herzen liegt. Ich will natürliche Lebensräumer erhalten!
Arthur: Gehen ist für mich eine Möglichkeit die Natur in besonderer Art zu erleben, die Eigenschaften jeder Landschaft in eigenem Tempo zu genießen. Darum freue ich mich schon sehr auf den Lech.
Csilla: I walk because I am curious.
I walk to meet others.
I walk because I am at my happiest outside.
I walk because I love nature. And to make others love it, too.
Clara: Ich nehme am Riverwalk teil, weil ich die Idee und den Zweck mich aktiv, in der Natur und im Austausch mit anderen Menschen, für saubere Gewässer einzusetzen, ziemlich cool finde und weil ich gespannt darauf bin was wir in diesen zwei Wochen lernen und erleben werden! Ich freue mich sehr auf diese Erfahrung und hoffe wir können damit ein Zeichen setzen.
Bekki: Ich mache mit, weil uns die Natur so Vieles gibt, dass es höchste Zeit ist, ihr auch endlich mal was zurück zu geben: Aufmerksamkeit und Schutz. Sodass auch noch zukünftige Generationen das Glück haben, die Wildheit, aber auch die Ruhe eines Flusses, der Natur generell, erleben zu können. Und die Kirsche auf der Sahnehaube ist natürlich ein verlockendes Abenteuer in atemberaubender Natur mit tollen Menschen!
Lukas: Ich möchte mich auf 13 Tage Kontakt mit der Natur einlassen und dabei gemeinsam hinterfragen, wie die Menschheit mit Lebensräumen umgeht und was getan werden muss sodass diese auch in Zukunft noch existieren.
Julia: I will join the walk because I want to meet like-minded people, discover parts of Austria which are still well preserved and learn more about environmentalism.
Ida: Ich habe mich beim Riverwalk angemeldet, weil es sich toll anhört, zwei Wochen in der Natur zu verbringen. Außerdem freue ich mich darauf den Weg gemeinsam mit inspirierenden Menschen zu gehen.
Gregor: Ich freue mich beim Riverwalk auf eine spannende und abwechslungsreiche Auszeit in der Natur, wertvolle Erfahrungen und tolle Menschen. Ich freue mich auf knapp zwei Wochen, in denen man der wunderschönen und schützenswerten Landschaft näher kommen kann, Herausforderungen meistert, Neues lernt und dabei immer von Gleichgesinnten begleitet wird.
Sabine: Ich will mehr über Gewässerschutz lernen und denke, dass dies am besten vor Ort geht, wenn wir uns ganz auf das Ökosystem einlassen.
Lilli: Ever since I was a little girl I loved to be outdoors, to explore and discover the beauty of nature over and over again. And that’s why I’m walking. To conserve that beauty, to preserve nature togheter with a group of like-minded people, so that others – especially following generations – can experience it too.
Stefan: Ich bin dabei um gemeinsam mit Gleichgesinnten Abenteuer in der Natur zu erleben
Dominik: Ich nehme am Riverwalk teil, um bei erlebnisreichen zwei Wochen mehr über das Ökosystem Fluss und dessen Schutz zu lernen und mich dabei mit Gleichgesinnten auszutauschen.
Nadine: I walk because I want to reconnect with nature, because I want to explore myself and get to know the group. I also walk because I want to speak up for those who don’t have a voice – for all the animals and plants and streams that so desperately need protecting!
Clara – Riverwalk 2019 planning team: In times when environmental protection is mostly put behind other topics, it is of great concern to raise awareness on this present and very important issue. Rivers are not only essential parts of ecosystems and habitats, they are also extremely beautiful – and I want to help in preserving all that. That’s why I walk.
Franziska – Riverwalk 2019 planning team: Rivers are an essential part of our society, even if many people don’t see it. Healthy ecosystems are not a luxury, they are a basic condition for life and should also be treated this way.
In times like these rivers need me just as much as I need them.
Phil – Riverwalk 2019 coordination: I love adventure holidays and enjoy the beauty of natural landcapes. Ever since I heard of the Riverwalk, I loved the idea of following one of the earths lifelines for a longer period of time. This year it is on me to guide this unique adventure and I’m really looking forward to it. This is why I walk.
Nina – Riverwalk 2019 coordination:
Meet the Riverwalk 2018 – Austria team!
Bernadette Prasch: Ich möchte beim Riverwalk mitmachen, weil ich mich auf gemeinsam draußen sein freue und hoffe, dass wir zeigen können, wie wichtig solche Landschaften für uns alle sind.
Felix Mayer: I feel deeply sad about the fact that the life and structure in our rivers is still decreasing in its natural form. Watching the river grow and get to know the people along the walk who are interested in conserving the last free flowing parts of the Kamp sounds like a good time for me. Furthermore I’m looking forward to learn about the development of the waterguidelines.
Florian Köstenberger: I want to be part of the riverwalk to share inspiration with like-minded people, learn about and enjoy nature together and to be part of a project which stands for the protection of those important habitats.
Joel Paul Meixner: Weil ich Teil einer harmonischen Gruppe, die sich für die richtige Sache einsetzt, sein will. Weil ich das pure in der Natur sein genieße. Weil ich mich in Richtung river protection weiterbilden will. Weil ich die Regionen des Kamps erforschen und darüber lernen will. Weil der riverwalk dafür der richtige Weg ist.
Jure Klančar: Riverwalk has a special place in my heart, I walked before and I know what a joy it is to spend some time in a group of like-minded people, interested in preserving the outdoors as well as finding peace and calmness in it. I have learned that every year the Riverwalk changes, a different river, different people and a different experience I don’t want to miss.
Sarah Gross: I am walking because rivers are important.
Valentina Pelzmann: Ich liebe es draußen zu sein, neue Orte zu entdecken, zu Wandern, zu Zelten und dabei neue Leute kennenzulernen. Riverwalk wird ein einmaliges Abenteuer vor einmaliger Kulisse.
I love to be outside, exploring new places by hiking and camping and getting to know new people. Riverwalk will be a unique adventure in a unique landscape.
Elisabeth Schwarzkogler: I participated last year’s Riverwalk because I was responsible to make the movie 2017. Apparently they were satisfied, because his year they asked me again and through the beautiful and intense memories I agreed immediately. Riverwalk is an absolute wonderful opportunity to grow and discover.
Ulrich Weber: As my zodiac is pisces, water is my element and I hate to see how rivers are being treated!
Lisa Kimek: I am fully loving being active outdoors! 🙂 Nature is not a stranger, it is living inside of us and with us… water is memorizing information and serves as source of life. If there was no water on earth, some crazy sci-fi guy would create a best selling novel about the ‚Blue Planet‘ for sure! It is just too important and fascinating to flow with the river …
Jala: I am a super happy dog loving to hike all day long! As I live a very eco-friendly life I am super aware about the coolness of fresh water and a wild river along our hike!
Tom Handreck: I’m really looking forward to the hike. To the experiences with nature and with the group. I think it’s important to work for the preservation of nature and the rivers. And if I can combine the commitment to a good cause with a great outdoor experience then I’m doubly happy.
Garu: I am on my first long distance walk. I love walking with Jala and adventures!! And this is going to be an amazing adventure for sure!
Hosein Salmanzada: Ich mag Wanderungen in der Natur sehr und würde gerne neue Erfahrungen sammeln. Ich wohne noch nicht so lange in Österreich und würde das Land gerne besser kennen lernen, insbesondere die Natur.
Tim Pauli, Riverwalk 2018 coordinator: In January, I was grabbed by the river. Since than I followed the stream. A smile on my face – wondering what to come after the next loop.
Ronja: I walk to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of nature. I want to perceive nature with all my senses, but also show the importance of the river as a habitat for animals and plants. I would like to share this experience with other nature-loving people who hike with me.
Franzi: Because to do some changes we must come together and move ourselves. Riverwalking is coming together, hiking along a beautiful river, which is just one of so many wonderful places we have and should protect. For this protection I’ll do the Riverwalk again.
Katharina: I walk because I like to be surrounded by nature und by people who a like-minded. Walking gives me the chance to be calm and to see how beautiful my enviroment is. As a part of the riverwalk I can show that protection of rivers is important.
Meet the Riverwalk 2017 team!
We asked the 2017 participants, „Why are you walking?“ and here is what they said:
Johannes Mayer, Wien, Österreich – Guest walker
Why am I walking? – I like the idea of getting active for a „better world“ by walking instead of sitting in a silent cubbyhole. I would like to experience something while getting to know new people.
Lea Fried, Beucha, Germany
Daniel Hartl, Amstetten, Austria – Guest walker
Why am I walking? – After one year without riverwalking, I´m happy to be back again and take a part as a guest-walker of Riverwalk 2017. I know about the group dynamics which develop throughout the project and I like this. Of course, I like it very much move around in nature and have outdoor adventures. I´m also interested in (wild) flowing rivers and know a bit about how important it is to maintain untouched or restored rivers.
Dario Sulser, Zürich, Switzerland – Guest walker
Why am I walking? – Getting active for nature is one of the most important responsibilities of our generation. Walking together in a such team will be an exciting, interesting and unforgettable experience! As a guest-walker I will take part in the first section from the source in Maloja till Martina at the Swiss-Austrian border.
Beatrix Kapeller, Dornbirn, Austria – Guest walker
Why am I walking? – I enjoy meeting and getting to know other people from all over the world and learn about other ways to live and think. Furthermore I love to get out of my comfort zone, because this amazing experiences are those which I will remember when I´m old 😉
Valentin Lechner, Wien, Austria – Guest walker
Why am I walking? – Rivers give us so much, food, water, power, an efficent way to travel and transport, but we still demand more of them and destroy them with it. Thats not right and for that I walk.
Jasmin Özcan, Innsbruck, Austria
Why am I walking?
“Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar.” (Antonio Machado)
“Traveller, there is no path to follow, paths are made by walking.”
„Wanderer, es gibt keinen Weg. Der Weg entsteht beim Gehen.“
I walk to feel the ground under my feet, to become more connected with nature, to experience distance. In our everyday life, we rush too much. It seems like we are constantly on high speed. I simply love the outdoors, the power of nature and the flow of moving water calms me. I’m looking forward to being out of my comfort zone, to test my own limits through walking, cycling, rafting, open fires, freezing showers and falling asleep under the open sky. Not forgetting the chances to meet and learn from lots of interesting people 😉 This is especially important to me because I have lived in Innsbruck for 6 years. It’s exciting to explore the breadth of the Inn River from its source to its mouth.
Judith Kapeller, Bad Schallerbach, Austria
Why am I walking? – I have been part of Riverwalk 2017 in Albania and it was one of the most special experience I had so far. Connecting with nature and feeling part of the great whole ensemble through hiking, watching and protecting it. I am very happy that I am now also part of the Riverwalk this year and cant wait to share this special adventure with a group of enthusiastic people!
Theresa Posch, Innsbruck, Austria
Why am I walking? – I walk for the rivers. I walk, because they fill me with peace and happiness and because I am deeply grateful that they exist. A short while ago I heard someone say, that being by a river means being home for him. I could very much empathize with his words and am looking forward to spending two weeks walking for this feeling – walking for the freedom and protection of the rivers that are home to so many of us.
Jan Ciallella, Luzern, Switzerland
Why am I walking? – To walk around gives you always a new view. It is a possibility to take our own way, to go on every place where we could be on this planet. I’m convinced it will be a greatful time with much discoveries from the water, our important material. Let’s go.
Max Mock, Landau an der Isar, Germany
Why am I walking? – I walk because I like being in the nature while walking, practising archery and cycling. For me it is a peaceful and quiet place where you can leave your busy life behind for some hours and go back to your roots. There are still so much things we can learn from nature but yet we are selfish and tend to destroy it. Gandhi once said: “Be the change that you want to see in this world.”. That’s why I’m happy to take part in this adventure, getting to know all those new people and hopefully make a change!
Lena Wrba, Marburg, Germany
Why am I walking? – I am very looking forward to being in nature for such a long time, walking/cycling through amazing landscapes and sharing new experiences with other young, like-minded people. I am also curious about learning new things about the wild river Inn and environmental protection in general. I hope that we will have an exciting, interesting and fun time together!
Yvonne Markl, Kufstein, Austria
Why am I walking? – „Again…?“ In the past 2 years, Riverwalk has shaped my personality, has improved my connection to wilderness and gave rise to precious friendships. Never-ending group dynamics, time without a clock, nature without borders (nevertheless, I’ve got my passport!). I walk because I love all this.
Maria Kenel, Immensee, Switzerland
Why am I walking? – I walk to heal my insane mind with natural beauty and simplicity.
Jean Herzog, Zeuthen, Germany
Why am I walking? – I just wanted to join the Riverwalk, because it unites so many aspects I love to do. It’s a perfect project for saving und promoting our nature, especially our wild rivers, hiking in a beautiful landscape, alone in the wild but surrounded with lots of other people with the same feelings and motivations how one himself. Going back to the roots, your roots and the roots of our civilisation. This projects shows so many aspects I love to do in my life, that I never could have missed it from the moment I had heard about it.
Linda Walter, Winterthur, Switzerland
Why am I walking? – Following a river and experiencing it in its whole transformace from the source till its end when flowing into a bigger river is extraordinary. I walk for the nature and for me spending time with nature. That’s why I walk.
Nina Wagner, Graz, Austria
Why am I walking? – I wasn’t able to join the Riverwalk in the last 2 years, so I’m very happy, that it’s possible now. Rivers are real lifelines flowing through the land and that’s why it’s worth saving them. And I’m looking forward to spend such a long time with being outside and walk around with cool and inspiring people. For me it’s also a way to get away from the everyday life and not be reachable all the time.
Franziska Losse, Brandis, Germany
Why am I walking? – I walk, because I want to explore the – for me – unknown river Inn. I want to understand it’s importance by being there and exploring it by myself. And of course I am walking, because I do not want to do this alone, I would like to experience all these thinks with other young, motivated people.
Daniela Reisigl, Innsbruck, Austria
Why am I walking? – Der erste Riverwalk 2014 war ein so tolles Erlebnis, dass ich mich sehr freue, heuer zum zweiten Mal dabei sein zu dürfen! 😀 In meinem Biologie-Studium habe ich schon viel über Gewässerökologie und den Einfluss von Kraftwerken auf die Flüsse gelernt. So gut erneuerbare Energien sind, so schlecht sind sie leider für unsere empfindlichen Ökosysteme… Mit dem Riverwlk können wir gemeinsam ein Zeichen setzte, dass jede Medaille zwei Seiten hat! Außerdem lebe ich seit meiner Geburt in der Stadt, die dem Inn ihren Namen verdankt! Da ist es ja fast schon Pflicht beim Riverwalk mitzugehen, wenn wir von der Quelle bis zur Mündung diesem Fluss folgen.
Jure Klančar, Podpec, Slovenia
Why am I walking? – I am participating in the Riverwalk 2017 because I’ve been on two Riverwalks so far and it was always an awesome experience! I’m sure that this year will be no different and I’m looking forward to it. I have always been interested in nature protection and combining it with being active in nature makes for an event I don’t want to miss.
Here is the Riverwalk 2016 team!
We asked the 2016 participants, „Why are you walking?“ and here is what they said:
Yvonne Markl, Innsbruck, Austria
Why am I walking? I walk because I physically CAN. I walk because I have the FREEDOM to do so. I walk because of the intercultural EXCHANGE. I walk because I love wild NATURE. I walk the RIVERWALK because it means the perfect cocktail of all this.
….oh and I walk because the wooden hiking stick from Riverwalk 2015 needs further carving!
Jure Klančar, Podpeč, Slovenia
Why am I walking? I’m participating in Riverwalk 2016 because I want to help protecting waterways and what better way to do so than 2-week hiking trip along Europe’s rivers. I have participated in 2014 riverwalk and it was great so I want to do it again.
Stella Ramollari, Cormons, Italy
Why am I walking? Walking is essential for me, it’s the simplest and the most respectful way to get in contact with nature. When I walk I can think clearly, I feel relaxed and full of energy at the same time. In the woods I understand deeply what is really important.
Nathan Spees (group leader-Austria), Scharnstein, Austria
Why am I walking? This will be my third Riverwalk, and each time I’m blown away…by the landscape, the rivers, the connections, the time alone and time surrounded by amazing young people. I love this project – it blends the best of my favorite things: culture, nature, activism, challenge, and lots of fun. I can’t wait to get on the trail and especially the chance to check out Albania – wow… it will be an unforgettable experience I’m sure!
Pia Mlinar, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why am I walking? As a child I was encouraged to walk. It was a process, a process with many falls. First steps were followed by falls. And I wasn’t told: “stay down, you’ll never walk“, no, I was told: “ well done, you did a step!“ So eventually there were more steps than falls and I started my journey of walking. In this journey there are still „falls“ and some really bad ones … but they just make my steps stronger … so … step by step, fall by fall … I walk!
Judith Kapeller, Bad Schallerbach, Austria
Why am I walking? When I walk I feel free and alive, I leave all my worries behind me and just walk into the moment and feel the power of nature clearing my mind. With the riverwalk I have the possibility to give something back to the natur and help keeping it. I love this exchange of taking and giving just by walking. And I can´t imagine a better way of enjoying this exchange than with an international team.
Staša Mlinar (group leader-Slovenia), Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why am I walking? I joined the Riverwalk project last year… but in my heart I keep on walking. I love to promote this kind of mind-set and share the love for what should stay untouched… especially in this – walking way. I feel honoured and superexcited to be part of this beautiful walk again 🙂
Tine Mislej, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why am I walking? Above all, to stand up for the environment (rivers in particular) and to raise awareness of threats rivers in this area are facing. Besides, I find this a great opportunity to explore astonishing nature with like-minded people, meet interesting locals, etc. I am positive that we will inspire others to take action for wild rivers.
Alexandra Staudinger, Schwanenstadt, Austria
Why am I walking? My motivation for this project is the way it possibly makes the participants “walk in someone else’s shoes” for a while. Trying to look at things from a different person’s perspective has always helped me to limit my own ignorance and I think that that could be an interesting effect of this project as well: To gain a better understanding of the situation of people living in industrially under-developed countries and experience the power and importance of wilderness and free-flowing rivers in particular.
Lisa Napolitano, Trieste, Italy
Why am I walking? I’m walking because it’s a beautiful way to get in contact with the nature. Albania has a fabulous territory and this is the better way to discover it. In this trip I can see with my eyes the environment, and put into practice my university studies. Riverwalk can be an opportunity to learn and to do something for the environment, in particular for water, an essential element to life.
Theresa Posch, Innsbruck, Austria
Why am I walking? I walk for the rivers. I walk, because they fill me with peace and happiness and because I am deeply grateful that they exist. A short while ago I heard someone say, that being by a river means being home for him. I could very much empathize with his words and am looking forward to spending two weeks walking for this feeling – walking for the freedom and protection of the rivers that are home to so many of us.
Massimiliano Pegoraro (group leader-Italy), Trieste, Italy
Why am I walking? Because I want to damn it! Facing wilderness allows the chance to find a definition for oneself. I am me and walking is what I do. I want a space that doesn’t need anything as petty as a rational meaning, wilderness is that space and I want to protect that. Also, I kinda need to get in touch with people my age and stop sounding like a pretentious a##hole when I write someting.
Martin Huber, Mettmach/Vienna, Austria
Why am I walking? I am walking because the project “Riverwalk” definitely contributes to a more sustainable, but still globalized world. A globalized world in which we rediscover the uniqueness, diversity and power of nature and start to rethink our habit of destroying every square inch of it. Rivers are the source of all life and we simply need to realize that again. I am walking to connect and grow with those who feel the same way! Stay wild.
Genci Duka, Tirana, Albania
Why am I walking? I hate driving so I always have walked for doing everything. I like nature in Albania and I saw most of the nature in North Albania except the area where Riverwalk will happen. I don’t have in general for gym or other sports so the best sport for me is walking in nature for work and fun. Riverwalk till now is the best idea to promote wild nature and protect it so this is one of the main goal of this Walk.
Margherita Lucadello, Bassano del Grappa, Italy
Why am I walking? I want to keep walking because I want to continue the journey started last year, because I believe in this project and because walking as part of the Riverwalk, takes me back, step by step, more and more deeply, to the purest nature and life. „By travelling and discovering other countries you can discover a whole continent within yourself“.
Gent Imeraj, Shkodra, Albania
Why am I walking? I had a warm conversation with my grandpa yesterday. “Why are you walking my dear grandson?”-he asked me-“Don’t you like to stay and irrigate the flowers with me?”. I answered laughing-“ Dear grandpa, where I am going, I will be dabbling with river water hundreds of trees, so their crowns full of greenness will provide with fresh air the lungs of our mountains.”. Still questioning, my grandpa said-“Yes, I think, but wouldn’t you prefer to stay here and taste every morning the yummy donuts with jam that your grandma prepares?”. I replied-“I wouldn’t miss for anything my beloved grandma’s cooking, but where I am going, I will be eating mostly vegetables, in order to respect nature and protect it.”. In his last attempt to keep me at home, my grandpa said-“Hmm…I see. Although, I think that a domino game with your old grandpa would change your mind. You can’t have it there, right?”. I replied to him laughing-“Dear grandpa, where I am going, I will be meeting some wonderful people, from who I will learn plenty of new games that we can play together when I am back home.”. Finally, he said to me-“So, as I understood, this is a walk of peace, to protect the nature and mostly the rivers, which bring us infinite supply of water, making our life to flourish.”. I yawned-“Yes, grandpa, this is reason that I am participating in this trip .Goodbye now, because I have a lot of things to prepare for this walk.”
Gaia Tomassini, Trieste, Italy
Why am I walking? I walk because during the whole year I have been running too much, both figuratively and non. I want to take some time for myself, get out of my comfort zone and keep on with the path that started last year with Riverwalk 2015!! 🙂
Vjori Hoxha, Kukes, Albania
Why am I walking? I am walking because I love teamwork and hiking as well.
Ardit Marku, Albania
Why am I walking? I’m walking because I’m feeling so so bad for my hometown my parents have sacrificed komani river because they’ve felt unpowered to stop dam building. So now I will be a sound to stop the tsunam of river destroyers. So I’m joining riverwalk to say we have sacrificed too much rivers and now is more important to manage these than to destroy others.
Ana Ilesic, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why am I walking? I am a nature lover and always seize an opportunity to go in a forest or to go hiking. Riverwalk is even more tempting as it combines nature, a good cause and team work. Not to mention that I have never been to Albania and am looking forward to seeing its beauty of nature.
Here is the Riverwalk 2015 team!
We asked the 2015 participants, „Why are you walking?“ and here is what they said:
Chiara Toffolo, San Canzian d’Isonzo, Italy
Why am I walking? There are a lot of reasons that explain why I walk. First of all I love nature, I feel a part of it, and I’m sure I will meet people that understand what I’m saying. This is a possibility of learning something new about environment and share and discover new ideas with guys from different countries. Oh, there is another important factor: this is an ADVENTURE!
Jennifer Mori, Trieste, Italy
Why am I walking? Walking is the most relaxing activities that I know. It makes me free of any thoughts and it allowed me to be part of the surrounding habitat. So, walking along the river with my boyfriend Aris and new people, listening to the sounds of water and taking pictures of our adventures makes me very happy!
Aris Milani, Trieste, Italy
Why am I walking? Walk in nature re-bring us to to our primordial essence. Walk leave us free to think, meditate, concentrate and take important decision in our life. If we feel not well we walk, if we wait we walk, if we relax we walk. I walk with my girlfriend Jennifer to be part of the nature, to explore the intact nature of our river, to reach our Alps peaks, to test my outdoor skills and to get lost in landscapes.
Dana Schwarzmann, Vienna , Austria
Why am I walking? This is an easy question to answer, because there are so many reasons. One is, that I just love nature, and nothing can calm me down as much as looking at moving water. Another is, that I want to experience real wilderness, and get to know a lot of people that are exited about the same thing. And I do this, because experience is something nobody can ever take away from you.
Martin Huber, Mettmach/Vienna, Austria
Why am I walking? I was already a member of the Riverwalk 2014 team and looking back on those amazing days at the banks of such breathtaking rivers just makes me wanna hike, bike, raft, swim, camp, sing and dance again! I am really excited about this year´s journey along the Tagliamento and the Soca and can´t wait to meet the new crew. Let´s riverwalk and spread our enthusiasm for the preservation of the few remaining untouched areas in Europe!
Nathan Spees (group leader-Austria), Scharnstein, Austria
Why am I walking? Because every step reminds me of why I’m doing what I do! Riverwalk represents the best of all worlds (in my humble opinion): bringing people from different cultures together, discovering new, amazing natural areas, connecting with places at a slower pace, standing up for the environment, while at the same time gaining inspiration from a group of amazing people. That’s it in a nutshell. That’s Riverwalk!
Margherita Lucadello, Bassano del Grappa, Italy
Why am I walking? “I walk because I think the comfort of our homes and everyday life keep us away from our natural habitat This is why I like to spend some my free time close to the nature. During those moments I feel free in my mind and body. This is also why I decided to try to understand the functioning of nature through my studies. Riverwalk gives me a big opportunity: I will be walking for many days close to nature and along with other people who share the same feelings. That’s why I couldn’t miss it!“
Yvonne Markl, Innsbruck, Austria
Why am I walking?
„Walking means movement.
Movement means development.
Development means future.
Future… hopefully means nature. That’s why I walk.“
Aleš Oven, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why am I walking? „There once was water. There is water in us and around us. There will be water. However, its condition depends heavily on us. We can pretend to be ignorant or do something about it. I choose the latter. And have some fun on the way.“
Andrea Scudera, Trieste, Italy
Why am I walking? I walk not to stand still. I don’t stand still not to become part of the furnishing. I’m in motion for feeling, and thinking. New. To grow up. To share, then. That is why I walk.
Gaia Tomassini, Trieste, Italy
Why am I walking? I’m walking because in our day-to-day life we run too much and don’t walk enough. I’d like to change that, even if only for a few weeks 🙂 Apart from that, I love being active, travelling and meeting new people from other cultures and countries, and Riverwalk gives me the opportunity to do both of them!
Daniel Hartl, Innsbruck, Austria
Why am I walking? I was on the Riverwalk 2014 and i knew at this time, that i wanted to be a part of the next Riverwalk. I like to be outside in nature and prefer staying at rivers and I also like sleeping under the open sky. Walking is one of my favourite activities which I do often in my freetime. I realised how important it is to protect rivers to ensure intakt aquatic systems. Another reason why I want to take part is the local population which depends on the last remaining naturaly free flowing rivers. I want to be a part for saving the free flowing rivers again and again.
Staša Mlinar, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why am I walking?
you of human race…
why you use your feet
and walk upon Our planets‘ face?
to Watch the beauty and what’s real
to Admire what I can not comprehend
to Listen to the sounds that I can feel
to Know that there’s no end
and have to…
keep on walking
Jerca Koren, Kobarid, Slovenia
Why am I walking? We all know what walking is and how to walk. Even though this is one of the easiest ways of exercise, for me walking is something more. It is a good way to take a rest of all the stress caused by fast lifestyle and modern technology. It is the time just for me and my thoughts (and my dog of course!).
Nina Gorkič, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why am I walking?
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.- Mark Twain
I try to aspire to this quote as much as I can. I am a lover of nature, great admirer of adventure, and a traveler by my soul. Whenever I am not indulged in my college, or climbing, I spend every minute of my free time planing my next travel with my crazy sister. I believe we experience the world by interacting with other people, travelling, and with it I believe we learn seeing things through another perspective as well.
I am taking this walk because I believe I will learn a great deal from it, meet awesome and crazy people just like me, and I will get experience and new acquaintances that might last for all my life!
Ines Gorkič, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why am I walking? Hello rainbow people! Why did I decide to walk/ raft/ pedal/ laugh through this incredible journey? Well, one of the first reasons that pops into my mind is raising awareness about importance of wild natural habitats that we will be crossing. Especially the environmental importance to protect them and make people aware that these areas and rivers are our jewels! That we have to treat all the animals and plants with love and respect their living habitats.
I’m an active Greenpeace volunteer, currently traveling on one of theirs ships. I also recently walked Santiago de Compostela so I know what walking really means. 🙂 I want to try all types of travelling- from sailing, hitchhiking a submarine, rafting, jumping with a parachute, deep sea diving, even flying into space, why not?
It is interesting for me to expand my mind by experiencing new things, meeting new people, sharing ideas, knowledge, skills, stories, let the energy flow through… and form a circle. A family. And not just for these 2 weeks (as long the tour lasts), but also for the future. To connect, to network, create everlasting memories.
To be. In the presence of nature, fresh air, sleep under the bare sky and millions of stars. To have stardust as my blanket and sunshine rays as my food. Dance in the firelight, sing the harmonious song of birds.
To absorb the colors that Mother Nature is offering us. Turquoise pools, green forests, blue skies, colorful birds, blazing red sunsets. To observe repetitive shapes, structures and sequences in the nature.
To get in motion. Be active in mind and body. Everybody knows these two go along well.
And last but not least- to ENJOY myself. Laugh, express, feel.
Matija Dvoršak (group leader-Slovenia), Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why am I walking? Last years experience from the Riverwalk project gave me a great example of what people can learn from each other and about themselves on a trip between two amazing alpine rivers. Like little streams we come together with our life stories, worldviews, beliefs, experiences, skills,… to form one big common stream in wich we share everything we have: our time, our passions, our knowledge, perhaps even our dreams of the future – to flow over barriers laying on our common way. And at the end it is not finished. At the end there is a new beginning: like the water of the rivers flowing into the sea evaporates to fall down on the same mountains and into the same streams again or is being pushed away by strong winds into different directions to form other streams, we take this common story with us on our new ways leading us to new places where we can share again everything that we have gained since. This is why I walk.
But it is not only about us as people. We all share the same planet with all its biotic and abiotic components. Through evolution we evolved so strong that we can alter nature. But these alternations are not only influencing our lives but also the environment in which we live and on which we deeply depend. This is why protecting rivers to sustain their functions really makes sence to me. And if we touch some people on our way to make them ask themselves: why are they walking? – we have completed our mission succesfully. I love to RIVERWALK J.
Romana Roth, Vienna , Austria
Why am I walking?
Some can`t be told. There will be always missing words.
Some can`t be seen. There will be always scenes cut out.
Some can`t be understood. There will be always a riddle in it.
Sometimes some have to be experienced.
Nina Lozej, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why am I walking? I joined the Riverwalk as a replacement, as I was told that Slovenian team was searching for one more participant. As soon as I got the news that I could join, I was jumping with happiness, for many reasons. As a biologist and nature lover I am searching for any kind of opportunity to connect to like-minded people from different countries and cultures. Also, I love walking and I love rivers, so it seems like perfect combination for me. And the best is that together we can leave a footprint in other people’s minds.
I think that we all are like rivers…each has its beginning and its end, but the journey in between is what matters, what defines us. It’s the choice between supporting life or destroying it…I choose to struggle against the current and walk my way to a better future. Adventure is out there!
Here is the Riverwalk 2014 team!
Here you will find photos of the 2014 Riverwalk team with their reasons for walking!
Martin Huber, Mettmach, Austria
Why I’m walking? I am walking because I like travelling, being outdoors, hiking in the mountains, biking, rafting and kayaking in wild rivers, swimming in beautiful rivers and lakes, sleeping outside, lighting campfires, meeting new people and I am walking because I simply care about our few remaining untouched areas in Europe. What a great adventure, I am ready to go!!
Spela Kosir, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why I’m walking? I walk to clear my thoughts and to remind myself what is important to me. I love the smell of hay in the hot summer and the crickets singing their song in a tall grass. I love colors of autumn and the blooming flowers in spring. Seeing a breathtaking view from the mountain top and knowing all the hard work paid off. And last but not least, eating a well deserved sandwich with my friends and discussing what our next trip is going to be 🙂
Dani Reisigl, Innsbruck, Austria
Why I’m walking? I love being in nature and i know it is very important to protect it, because she can’t do it for herself. Sadly, most humans just think about getting richer and richer and to achieve this goal, they go what ever way they want, even if they leave behind a destroyed environment for their children and grandchildren.
The main reason for our Riverwalk are the few unspoiled rivers in the Alps. In autumn I’m going to start to study „Öko Energietechnik“ (ecological energy management), which is about sustainable energy. So the Riverwalk is the perfect event for me ;-). I’m very interested in the topic and I know it is very important to always look on both sides of a project (for example a hydropower plant and what effects it has on nature).
Neža Marolt, Kranj, Slovenia
Why I’m walking? Usually, I walk for myself, to escape the everyday routine and find some peace in this crazy world. Nature inspire me, especially mountain areas where human impact remains lower.
This time I am walking to inspire other young people to take action in protecting „wild“ areas, to help them understand the importance of free-flowing rivers and natural environment.
Daniel Hartl, Vienna, Austria
Why I’m walking? I spend much of my freetime doing outdoor activities. I also like sleeping under the open sky. I’m very lucky when I’m in the nature and my favourite time is when I can see areas untouched by man. And with great joy I stay by the rivers alone or with friends for more days. Also it is fascinating for me to learn about the relationships in the nature. And I’m very motivated when I can be active for nature and can meet people by the riverwalk which have the same interests.
Jonathan „Jojo“ Stängl, Pottenbrunn, Austria
Why I’m walking? Walking is a big passion of mine. It is a great way to get connected with nature and yourself. And if there is a way to connect it with doing something for our environment, meet young motivated people and carry a strong message for Wild-Flowing-Rivers… Then there is no way to hold me back!
Ana Sovdat, Bovec, Slovenia
Why I’m walking?
Wanderer, your footsteps are
the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road,
and upon glancing back
one sees the path
that will never be trod again.
Wanderer, there is no road—
Only foam in the sea.
By Antonio Machado
Lisa Schramböck, Vienna, Austria
Why I’m walking? I walk, because I love to move in nature, experience adventures and get to know new things about our environment. I’m looking forward to having two great weeks with other young people and hearing talks from river experts!
Tomaž Žigon, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why I’m walking? When I walk I feel connected with the nature. Everything that I see and hear while walking affects my well-being. Walking can be adventurous especially with company. Discovering new people and getting to know new friends should be a good motivation for all of us to start walking.
Mirjam Stängl, Salzburg, Austria
Why I’m walking? I’m walking to get silent and peaceful. I’m walking to listen to nature. I’m walking to find the right (slow) speed. Walking to get into the flow of life.
In this special case I’m walking for the wilderness of rivers. Because I need them, and I think we all can reach a higher wisdom if we start to listen to them. Listen to wild water, flowing its own, individual way. Since the beginning of time, but different every day.
I dream about being like one of those rivers. Free and accepted and loved for my own way of living.
Katja Kunčič, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why I’m walking? I walk because it helps me get in sync with myself. It’s a crazy world and I really agree with the saying »Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.«
Wolfgang Hofer, Scharnstein, Austria
Why I’m walking? I spent much time of my childhood at the rivers and lakes in my region. I think you can learn many things from water and spending time in nature is an essential part of finding oneself. Therefore I find it very important to save some parts of the nature and leave them untouched, especially wild rivers and the wildlife behind them.I am really looking forward to this journey and I hope that future generations will also have the possibility to experience nature that way.
Eva Seljan, Ankaran, Slovenia
Why I’m walking? I walk to reconnect, to get closer to nature and clear my mind of all the unnecessary thoughts. I walk to push my own personal boundaries, to be outside of my comfort zone. I walk to spread the awareness about the importance of staying healthy and active, of preserving the nature and enjoy it as raw and wild as it gets. To get in shape for this walk, I climbed the hill where my dad got a heart attack two years ago, as he was walking up. Me going up that hill gave him strength and motivation to try and get to the top again. We both did it, and he was the happiest I’ve seen him in a long time, so I will walk for him too!#
Annette Baubin, Innsbruck, Austria
Why I’m walking? I simply love nature, it’s hard to explain it more… More and more, it gives me home, I appreciate her as a place to get calm, feel connected and much more. But as trees, birds, mammals and insects become family, it hurts even more to see them dying. I’d like to get more active at the protective side. Nature is a treasure to us in many aspects; it’s not worth to destroy it for a bit profit, because then it will be gone.
Funny enough, since winter I yearned to do a pilgrimage. Plus I wanted to have fun with other young people this summer, and stay a long time outside in a simple living way as I love it. – Seems that it comes all together now! Awesome!
Domen Roter, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Why I’m walking? We are made to move and walking is an essence of the movement. Also, I find walking the best way of traveling, since I can really absorb surroundings. The fact that walking is a basis of the movement doesn`t mean one is limited in movement by walking only. Moreover, it opens you new posibilities and new challlenges. I love walking!
Maegan Pinschof, Waidhofen/Ybbs, Austria
Why I’m walking? I grew up in the countryside and went on to study environmental protection. So I am sensitive about nature protection, water resources, water pollution and free flowing rivers and enjoy hill walking and generally spending time in the natural environment. I also like organising projects and am curious to discover new places and relive the hiking experience during these 2 weeks.
Katja Fiser, Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia
Why I’m walking? I need to find excercise that maximises fat burning and muscle building. Walking is healthy. The walking is probably building muscle. I am walking for exercise. Walking is a journey. I am going to walk that I meet new people and culture. Relax my body and mind.
Lea Neuhauser, Wien, Austria
Why I’m walking? I walk to be mentally present. To live some inexpungible adventures. To mindfully observe nature. To get some crisp air into my lungs. To learn to see nature in the whole, rather than reducing it to individual processes. And to admire all of the beauty evolution brought to us.
Also I’m trying to only take as much as I need from nature and give back as much as I can. Therefore I’ll always treat nature with all my respect, on my walk, as well as in every other position. I assume that’s how all of us river walkers think and that is why I love joining you guys. That and possibly a hundred more reasons – that I’m not gonna list, but I’d enjoy telling you in person – make me anxious to accept the „challenge“.
Matija Dvoršak, Slovenian team „coach“ – Ekošola
Why I’m walking? To escape the everyday routines, to breathe in clean air, to hear the calming sound of nature, to see the beautiful creations of nature and to let my thoughts circle in wide open spaces not limited by man made borders. That are the reasons why I like to walk, run, cycle, paddle or ski in the natural environment.
We have an impact on the natural environment and rivers are an important part of it. Rivers can be either controlled and used by humans – including the production of electricity with renewable resources – or flowing freely through the landscape. So we as humans have to make decisions for each interference in the environment which role of the natural elements must be taken as priority to protect the needs of all species of our only planet – Earth.
Nathan „Nate“ Spees, Austrian team „coach“ – WWF Austria
Why I’m walking? I’m walking for many reasons! I’m passionate about the environment and supporting young conservation leaders who can drive the change needed in this world to make sure that future generations have a world rich in natural wonder and a healthy environment. I love rivers, flowing water, wilderness – there is nothing more beautiful than a free-flowing river – for paddling in a canoe, sitting beside in quiet contemplation, watching a kingfisher dive for a fish, and just knowing that there are still parts of Europe that are left to be „wild.“