It was just a spectacular day today. A fantastic hike followed by a wonderful picnic lunch and ending with a swim in one of the nicest outdoor pools I’ve ever been in. Couldn’t have had a better day.
We started this morning going up 1689 meters on the Gartnerkofel Chairlift. From there we made our way down the mountain, first in Austria and ending up in Italy.
The scenery was every bit as breathtaking as you would expect. At one point I just wanted to break out in a yodel! I restrained myself though. No need to punish all these other hikers with that noise! The biggest surprise of the day was the number of cows we encountered. At one point we were walking through a pasture among them. Apparently they’re quite used to people because they didn’t bother with us at all. But as one hiker said “I’m glad I didn’t wear a red shirt today!”.
Our end point was a beautiful field in Italy, just across the border from our hotel where our hotel staff combined with another local hotel put on a fantastic spread for us. They called it a picnic, but it was a complete buffet lunch with several hot dishes, salads, and of course, wine, beer, grappa and jagermeister. If there’s one thing these Austrians know how to do, it’s eat! Every meal here has been an event unto itself.
When I got back to the hotel, it was time to go for a dip. The outdoor pool was as warm as bathwater but with the benefit of an amazing mountain view. Then it was into the hot tub to work on the tired muscles in my ankles and feet. Kier stuck to the jacuzzi tub in the room. Yup, we have one of those too.
Tomorrow is a much needed day off from the planned activities of the tour. We have a list of things we want to check out here in the village we are in, and then likely back up the Gartnerkofel to try another route back down. Plus, there are 5 different saunas in the spa area. Must check some of them out too!
We’re really getting into this hiking stuff. Already entertaining the thoughts of what other hiking holidays we may want to tackle.
Time will tell.