Sud Tyrol and beyond… part three

Tackling the Leutaschklamm- Geisterklamm and visiting Innsbruck

Leutasch has the great fortune to be located in an area where there are a lot of things to do. Many people go there for hiking, biking, or perhaps whitewater rafting. But it’s very close to Innsbruck and not that far from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I had been wanting to see the Eibsee, which is at the base of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. I had not been there before, but I had read it was a very beautiful lake. Then I got distracted by posts about the Leutaschklamm– the beautiful gorge walk I wrote about in my previous post. I love gorges. Bill and I visited Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia back in 2016 and it was unforgettable– and not just because it was so beautiful and we had fresh trout for lunch, but also because we walked about ten miles to get there. This time, we were smarter and drove to the gorge, although we probably could have hiked there if we were game to do it. It’s not far from the hotel.

It was lucky that we decided to discover the gorge in the morning. Saturday, August 8th, was a beautiful, clear day with mild temperatures. We easily scored a parking spot, but by the time we left, the gorge was very crowded and people were lurking around the lot in their cars like mechanized vultures. The Leutasch and Mittenwald entrances to the gorge are both next to snack bars, where you can also use the restroom. The Leutasch side appears to have more of a selection of food and beverages and doesn’t require walking through a turnstile to access the toilet. I’ll explain more about that later. For now, here are some photos from our walk.

After we finished visiting Leutasch, we decided to go to Innsbruck for awhile. I went there on a bus tour in 2009, during Bill’s last business trip to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I remembered it to be a charming city and bought Austrian refrigerator magnets and a beer stein there. Since then, I’d been wanting to visit there with Bill. We finally got our chance on August 8th, although we didn’t stay long because it was really hot outside and the city was a bit crowded.

We had lunch at the Augustiner Bräu Stiftskeller, mainly because I really needed to pee. I totally wasn’t planning this, but that turned out to be where I had lunch when I visited in 2009, too. That time, I sat inside in the smoking section and the very annoying tour guide who had a voice like steel wool advised me to move as she lit up a cigarette. This time, we sat outside in the crowded Biergarten, where people were also smoking. However, it was a fun place to people watch.

As we were headed back to our car, which was crammed into a tiny spot in a garage, a guy tried to scam the lady ahead of us by dropping a twenty euro bill. He called out for her attention, but she ignored him. This is a common scheme in Europe. Someone drops cash, and a Good Samaritan tries to return it, but it turns out to be a way to hook hapless victims into parting with their own money. It was good to see this dude wasn’t successful in his bid to rip off someone.

We stopped by a grocery store for some wine and personal items. Everyone in the Austrian grocery store was wearing masks. I took the opportunity to buy a new stash of them for the rare times I go out in Germany. We went back to the hotel and decided to take advantage of the refreshing pool. Hotel Kristall has two of them. One is a rather dated looking pool for doing laps. It’s not very big and the water is a bit chilly. The other is a slightly warmer heart shaped pool that has jets in it. There’s also a rather antiquated hot tub, which was nice after a day of walking. We put in about six miles worth!

After our swim, it was dinner time. Here’s what we had! We also had salad from the buffet and I had a little bit of cream of broccoli soup. I had just wanted to taste it. It was very good.

After dinner, it was off to the room for quiet time. Bill watched an Austrian show about cops while I did some reading. Sunday, the ninth of August, promised to be a busy day too!


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