We left Cesky Budejovice early in the morning, but despite what we felt was a head start, it took us until late afternoon to reach Innsbruck and drive up the mountain to the peaceful village of Mutters, where we stay each time we visit the area. The drive, in addition to being lengthened by endless miles of major road construction, was hot.
Gruss Gott is how Austrians greet each other. We said it over a hundred times one day while we were hiking and met other hikers!
Owing to a miscalculation on my part, we only had an overnight there (I had lengthened our stay in Prague but had not adjusted for it!), and this was the first time we had experienced any intense heat. The rooms in our hotel were not air-conditioned, but hardly needed to be since there was always a cool breeze in the mountains. Or almost always.
We decided to take the tramway up to the top of Patscherkofel, the mountain down which Franz Klammer roared to a gold medal in the 1976 Winter Olympics. We had climbed there before and hoped it would be cool after the hot day. It was, and we met a charming young man running the tramway, with a happy face and a head full of dreadlocks. He told us he had been a roofer before taking the job, and he was earning more doing it.
At the top, we had a beer at the restaurant and wandered around admiring the mountain roses. An elderly woman tramped by us with an armful, headed back to the tram. Gene went over to the start of the downhill run. It is straight down, not something you could hike, and vertigo-inducing.
We had a beer at this mountain top restaurant.
The views from the mountain were spectacular and we watched a rain storm move in. We were told the tram wouldn’t run in a storm, so we had to head back down early.
After we returned to Mutters, Gene took some pictures of the village, which has grown enormously since we first visited in 1972.
Here is a picture of a formerly typical house, where the cows are kept on the ground floor. He was amazed to find one still existed in the village. The farmer welcomed Gene into is first floor barn!