We noticed that most other people at breakfast were rather fat. I wonder why?
I enjoyed my caffe latte and an apricot croissant.
That set us up for the short walk to the cable-car up to the village of Jenesien. We rejoined the E5 route at the foot of the cable-car, as the route very sensibly uses this means of descent/ascent to/from the heat of Bolzano. The cable-car runs every half hour, but luckily we arrived a few seconds before the 9am car was due to depart, and ten minutes later we found ourselves in the cool air of Jenesien, after gaining 800 metres with very little effort.
Gillian suggests staying in Jenesien rather than in Bolzano - cooler and cheaper, with easy access to Bolzano, and ideal for a visit to Runkelstein. We commend her suggestion.
It was only 15C! We could walk comfortably uphill without boiling over! Overnight rain had cooled things down, and thick cloud still cloaked many of the mountains that surround Bolzano, with just the jagged summits of some of the Dolomite massifs visible.
Gasthof Edelweiss was reached after less than an hour - it was only 10am but we couldn't walk past its enticing refreshments. An early elevenses.
Outside, it was now even cooler, with a little light rain in the air, so we donned our anoraks despite the bluish sky and the generally clearing weather. Progress was slow. The 'Path of Legends' had reappeared. Many photos were taken. I have vowed not to re-tell these legends just now, but readers (victims) may be subjected to them on those wintry days when I have nothing else to write about.
A posse of Haflinger horses cantered past. These horses roam wild hereabouts, but those passing us were well tamed. Apart from the seemingly never ending stream of legends, we passed a Noah's collection of animals - goats, sheep, donkeys, cows, chickens, etc, as we moved through green meadows full of well-spaced fir trees.
Langfenn farm at St Jacob (pictured) was reached at 11.50. Too early for lunch, but not too late for a second elevenses. We sat outside in the sun, the air now being free of moisture - probably the least humid since we started. Jagged Dolomitic peaks struggled to display their profiles above distant clouds.
We drew ourselves away for the easy hike past a three-pronged cross dated 2006, next to a shrine, and up to Möltener Kase, another farm cum restaurant where the cheeky goats taunted a large dog at the next table. Massive bowls of soup filled with frankfurters would guarantee we wouldn't starve this afternoon. I was glad that we'd been unable to take on extra supplies!
After our late lunch we detoured away from E5 to follow Gillian's recommendation of a visit to the three-pronged cross dated 1980 at the summit where there's a proliferation of 'Stoanerne Mandlen' (Stone Men). There are huge numbers of small stone cairns, some of which apparently date back to prehistoric times. They reminded me of some similar (memorial) cairns that litter one of the minor summits near the Berlinerweg trail, high above Mayrhofen.
It was cool. We donned fleeces for an hour or so after lunch, for the first time since leaving Verona. They still smell freshly washed!
Now well and truly above the tree line - quite a novelty after the last few days from Cembra - we romped along the last few undulating miles to Meranerhütte, arriving at 4.30, just before an afternoon shower.
The shower soon moved away, but in the deep valley to our west a storm appeared to be raging all afternoon and evening.
The E5 brigade are here - several groups going north to south. All German speaking, Josh remains the only native English speaker we have seen since leaving Verona. They say that unlike us they have had some rain every day.
It's a smart Rifugio, and we have a spacious room for four to ourselves. The showers are token operated from outside the cubicles, and on entering the washroom for the first time I thought I'd walked into a scene from a third rate sex film, but it was just a confused, stark naked German lady looking for somewhere to put her token. Gillian records the showers as being 'unreliable'. Sue and I found them to be great, but others agree with Gillian. However, the table football machine on the verandah seems to work fine...
Too full for beer, we've made do with red wine tonight, to wash down our salad, pasta bolognese, veal in breadcrumbs with sautéed potatoes, and apfelstrudel with cream. We'll need to walk a long way tomorrow to shed the calories from that lot!
Gayle - sorry to hear of your return to a 'mudfest' - it's another three weeks before we get back with the sun, so perhaps you should nip over to Italy for a while...
Dot - we don't think we've ever been to Fondo, so you are one up on us there! It's true that we are eating well, but we are burning it off quite energetically. We actually only have one more full rest day planned. Strangely, the black squirrels are just like the ones that live in Ken and Helen's garden in Ottawa. We've now seen red ones as well.
15 July 2012
27km in 8 hours with 1350m ascent, plus a 10 minute cable-car from Bolzano to Jenesien (1087m), including a 2km walk to the cable-car from Hotel Post Gries
Other E5 walkers - quite a few coming the other way and lots at Meranerhütte
Flower of the Day - Globe-headed Rampion (rampant around Meranerhütte)
Itinerary - http://www.topwalks.com/E5%20Route.html
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