Obergurgl, Austria - August 3, 2010
I am now in Obergurgl, just downhill from Hochgurgl (but uphill from Untergurgl) in southwest Austria. Actually, I wasn't planning on being here, as I thought I was on the road to Switzerland and OOPS!. Wrong road. Struggled up this pass for a good hour, got my passport and all the bike papers in order for the Swiss border. Imagine my surprise when I got to the top and it said “Welcome to Austria”. Guess I meant to be one road to the west. Well, my excuse is that I don't really have a map and am working off the edge of a 4x6 inch road atlas of Italy. No wonder the poor GPS couldn't find the towns I was trying to get to. Oh well.
Tough Day at Lago di Garda
So I decided not to backtrack (what's the fun in that?) and headed down the other side of the pass, down through a U-shaped glacial valley, and just below treeline, came to Obergurgl. The weather was getting crappy (fog, drizzle and a bit of snow) and so I decided that I just had to stay in Obergurgl. It's a rather deserted ski resort this time of year, but found a small hotel that was open – in Obergurgl. I'm sure I am the only guest (again). Not much night life this time of year here in Obergurgl, but there is a free chamber music concert tonight in the community center of Obergurgl and so I think I will go to that. It starts in about 30 minutes. I heard them practicing.
In the Town of Longiaru
Anyway, I have had some very nice days since my last dispatch from Ferrara I think. I headed out for Lago di Garda but didn't make it as the rain started in buckets. Very heavy and so I ducked into a hotel in Schio. It was run by a very young couple, and as such had great internet service. I've generally found that to be a good indicator. If the hotel is run by old folks, you can kiss your chance of a connection goodbye. Not much to do in town, but had to stay a second day because of the weather as well. Just slept most of the day.... and looked up British train schedules on the internet But by the next day, I did make it to the campsite that Niels had told me about at Lago di Garda. Lovely place... camped 10 feet from the water. Bright sunshine, although the camping was European style. Cramped together. They stuck me in the site situated between two sets of sunbathing blonde girls. I was going to ask for another site but didn't want to be a bother. You know, the ugly Canadian. Besides, it was almost the last spot.
Up Into the Dolomites
Climbing up to Austria?
Down to Obergurgl
Had to leave the next morning (boo-hoo, “Bye girls”) and headed for the ancestral hunting grounds at Pozzale, north of Venice. It is a very tiny place, butwith a beautiful setting in the Dolomites. Why my Grandfather wanted to leave there for a life on Manhattan Island is beyond me... but anyway... I was there four years ago with Ian and my mom and can report that absolutely nothing has changed. Same peeling paint, same holes in the road. But I did visit the museum down the road and discovered that the area had been inhabited since at least 600 BC as they have found a necropolis from that age in town with a bunch of artifacts. All very nicely displayed of course.
Have to go to the concert... and the WalMart jacket springs into action...