The Bells in the Valley
Today I got up around 8:30 – long before most others in the croft were awake. I got a head start eating some bread and Nutella for breakfast with a glass of tea. Initially I was planning to head to church before I did anything, but felt intimidated by the small town style. I decided instead to head up the closest mountain, Muschpitz.
I started my hike heading towards Schloss Tirol, the castle above our castle. After passing by it I tuned up what seemed to be a pretty steep path. Needless to say by the end of it I was soaking wet with sweat and breathing heavier than a squirrel in heat. I came to a view on the other side of the hill that took my breadth away. The falling rocks from my feet, vision stretching across the gorge to the other cliff – 400 feet, or more, away. I realized that one wrong step in these mountains will send me to my doom.
When reaching the top of the hill, I started my trek towards a far town on the hillside – around 2 hours. I saw some of the most amazing views I could ever ask for, but worked my butt off to reach then. I passed by a number of notable sights. In one part of the hill there were two sturdy wooden reclining chairs put on a pivot, ready to be moved around to whichever way you want to look. I sat down and enjoyed a few bits of dried rye bread. A perfect mid-morning pick me up snack.
After passing through a great notch in the hills with an amazing waterfall, cooling myself off in the water quickly. As I walked up another hill, I came to what looked like a little charming yard and a great GastHaus (Guest House.) I thought it was quite weird that I was walking five feet from the front doors of this building, but the trail led right past it – that’s the culture we live in now. I stopped and sipped from a running water fountain – these are located all over the place for thirsty travelers.
I made my way to the town and down the mountain, enjoying a nice blood orange on the way down to the valley. When I’m hiking down I get too focused on the ground and finding my way that I don’t remember where I am. This is until I hear the bells from the valley. It’s a sunday, bells are going off all day – and they echo! If you haven’t heard the bells echo through the Tyrol valley – let me tell you, it’s a must hear.
The walk back was a meander, almost two hours along what I found was the wasserweg – watertrail. There was no water flowing with me, the months have been too dry for us to have much water. I’m glad they still have the fountains – I don’t currently have a water bottle to take with me. Upon almost reaching the castle again, I decided to hike up and around Schloss Tirol. It’s a beautiful castle – the best record of Tyrolian architecture around, similar to the Gothic architecture. The Gothic style, one of my least favorites, is just an indulgent style. More on that later.
We had our first tea with Mary. I will add more on this later – tomorrow, when I speak of our first day of classes! Until then – Arrivederce!