Tuesday, June 17, 2008


We followed the Inntal Radweg along the Inn River. This is just a route, and some sections are dedicated to bikes, other sections follow the main road, and others are detoured because of construction. There are little yellow signs pointing the direction at key intersections, and it was like a scavenger hunt to find them. We didn´t obtain a detailed map of the route until we were nearly off it. But we had several "angels" along the way that helped us...the two cyclists we met on the bridge (above) that told us of a trail closure ahead that saved us from backtracking uphill...the elderly gentleman on a bike outside Innsbruck that we stopped to ask for directions, and instead of trying to describe the way, headed off and lead us a couple of kilometers through an industrial area to a crucial bridge crossing...another gentleman that noticed we took a wrong turn and shouted out to us and pointed to the right path as he went by.

We had stellar weather, level to slight downhill grade, and peaks all around us...what more could a bike tourist want.

Well...maybe peace and quiet. We pulled into the campground just east of Innsbruck tired and hungry. We checked in, but could not help notice the campground was packed, vans adorned with national flags of Sweden, Spain, and Russia, and groups of young men sitting around hoisting beers or kicking soccer balls, music blaring. We managed to time our visit to Innsbruck coincident with the opening day of EURO 2008, the European soccer championships. The event is being held in various cities in Austria and Switzerland this year, and the fans have made news in the past for their heated nationalistic loyalties.

We set up our tent in a corner of the campground, shielded from the chaos by a row of motorhomes and escaped for the evening at the restaurant in the hotel across the street (an excellent Austrian meal of fish and chicken with wine was a good consolation). The party raged on all night, and we were awakened several times despite the use of earplugs. We tried to get out of there the next morning as soon as we could, but not before a tent full of Swedes awoke and started singing their national anthem.

We wheeled our bikes through the old part of Innsbruck before heading east of the city. Blue skies with a view of the Olympic village in Innsbruck with unobscured peaks in the background was a scenic parting.
At the town of Jenbach we headed north up a steep grade. The road had only two very long switchbacks, ending at a panoramic viewpoint looking down into the valley. Within minutes of arriving, the skies let loose, and we hung out an hour waiting for it to let up enough for us to cycle the last five kilometers to camp.
It rained all evening, and the next day, and the next day, too. But we were sheltered, cozy warm in a little one-room Austrian hut that was available at the campground on the shores of Achensee. We spent our days touring by bus to other local towns in the area, and returning to cook our dinner on our little table and sleep like babies under soft duvets and on down pillows.

And on our last night the clouds parted and rewarded us with a double rainbow.
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Anonymous said...

Doris and John: I am AMAZED by the pictures of the San Boldo Pass. I saw it on the map before you got there and it was all empty around it. I thought: They can't go there!
Good blogs. Exciting.
Keep on biking.

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