What a day, WHAT A DAY! I don’t even know where to start. First, I’m not in Italy where I was suppose to be tonight. I’m actually in Innsbruck, Austria where I’m suppose to be Friday night. I’ll explain that later, but first about last night.
I mentioned in my blog yesterday that I was staying at a family inn called the Albergo Thaler Gasthof. As I usually do, I posted my blog yesterday before dinner so I didn’t know enough about the Gasthof (Inn) where I was staying to mention it yesterday. I went down to the ground floor to the restaurant for dinner last night and met Gerik and his father. Gerik, along with his mom and dad live across the road from the Gasthof and the whole place is a working farm. They have about 35 acres and 25 head of cattle. They use the meat and milk from the cows in the restaurant. The farm has been in Gerik’s family for 400 years. The building I slept in was 400 years old; and quite comfortable for its age. For dinner I had the most awesome goulash meal! I had no idea what to expect but what they called goulash would be something like our beef tips w/ gravy. It was just amazing. And all cooked by Gerik’s mother. I had a great breakfast there this morning before saying goodbye to Gerik and his dad.
So on to today’s excitement. I usually stay a few days ahead on the weather so I know how to plan how far to walk each day and when to take a day off. I have a detailed plan on where to walk to everyday, but I adjust based on the weather. Today I was suppose to walk 15 miles to the next little town down the road. That would put me into Innsbruck this Friday, right on schedule. However, the forecast for Innsbruck gets pretty bad starting Friday around noon. So I decided today when I got to my original destination about 1:30 that I would walk on another four miles to another Inn, literally on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, so that tomorrow I could get close enough to Innsbruck to walk into town by Friday at noon before the rain hits. And OBTW, Saturday will be a day off in Innsbruck; my first day off in almost two weeks.
So when I got to my first destination at 1:30, I felt OK and decided to press on to the little Inn in the middle of nowhere, even though I’d been climbing all day and the extra four miles meant another 800 feet of climb in elevation. So I passed up my scheduled stop and kept walking. I made it to the little Inn by the side of the road and it looked nice enough. But as I approached the lobby door, I noticed a sign that said “Day Off” in three languages; German, Italian, and English. And the door was locked. But there was a man outside working in the yard, so I approached him. He said sorry, day off. GREAT! My plan was falling apart. I inquired about another hotel and he said there was one in the next town of Brenner (Austria), but he didn’t think I’d want to stay there. He recommended I catch the train in Brenner to the next town with a hotel. I asked how far it was to Brenner. He said five kilometers; that’s three more miles.
So as I hustled down the road, with a BAD attitude, I started looking on google maps at the train schedule from Brenner to wherever had a hotel along tomorrow’s route. The schedule popped up and the train was leaving in 55 minutes. I usually walk three miles per hour, so that meant I was going to miss the train by five minutes. So I started speed walking for those three miles. Luckily it was down hill and I made it to the station quick enough. But wait; I didn’t have a ticket. So as the train pulled in, I spotted a uniformed guard by the kiosk and asked him to help me get a ticket. He said yes, but where are you going? Because I really only knew I wanted to go toward Innsbruck, I just said Innsbruck and I got the ticket and made it onto the train as it was leaving.
Once the train was pulling out, I started looking on google maps for a town between Brenner and Innsbruck, along my walking route, where I could get off, spend the night, then backtrack tomorrow to Brenner and start walking again. Then I realized it’s only 22 miles from Brenner to Innsbruck, and it’s downhill. So I decided to take the train into Innsbruck today, ride back to Brenner tomorrow, and walk 22 miles to Innsbruck tomorrow and miss the Friday rain altogether. That also gets me to Innsbruck a day early so I’ll either have two days off or I’ll bank one and save it for a rainy day. The weather will dictate that decision.
So here I am in Innsbruck, in a Hotel next to the train station. I’ll head back to Brenner tomorrow morning and WALK back to Innsbruck and stay in this same hotel again.
First thing tomorrow I’ll walk across the border into Austria. Brenner is literally right on the line. So that’s it for today. Thanks for reading.
Awesome photos, John! That scenery sure is inspiring!