For CGTN reporter Johannes Pleschberger, the Alps were his playground as a child and are now his spiritual home. In this second podcast in the series, he continues his unique journey through this majestic mountain range and introduces us to some of the richest flora and fauna in Europe.
We go mushroom-hunting with Johannes and his mum Regina, who is a foraging aficionado and find out about how the Austrian environmental police are trying to crack down on Italian porcini hunters. After exploring alpine mushroom mania, we learn more about the region’s most famous indigenous flower.
The Edelweiss rose to fame in “the Sound of Music” in 1965, and has become a symbol of the rugged purity of the Alps. We also find out why wolves have been hitting the headlines in the Alps recently and why these predatory creatures can’t shake off their baddie image.
Covering an area of just 60 square miles, we then travel to the tiny landlocked Principality of Liechtenstein, which is the only country in Europe with 100% of its territory in the Alps.
We meet the region’s most famous inhabitants – Norma Voegeli and his golden eagle Asul before travelling to the Bavaria and investigating why the bark beetle is being blamed for destroying vast quantities of alpine woodland there.