28.08.2021 Via Claudia Augusta Part 2: Across the Alps.

The endeavour of crossing the Alps started in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. When cycling up from there to Ehrwald in Austria, Addy realised he would not be able to go on the next day without replacing a vital part of his bike. Luckily, a bike shop team in Ehrwald was up early and ready to help him out with a brand new cog set. Subsequently, we successfully climbed to the pass called Fernpass, which is well known by German skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts as one of the main gateways to the Austrian mountains. However, this was the first time we crossed it off the main road and were able to discover the beauty of the alpine landscape surrounding the place.On our way down to and along the Inn valley we made two new cycling friends, Noemi and Urs from Ulm. They had chosen the same route through Martina in Switzerland, up some gentle serpentines allowing us to climb 400 metres in about 6 kilometres, and across the next pass: Reschenpass on the Austrian-Italian border. We spent the night near the lake of the same name, which is known for the church tower – a relict from a village that was flooded during the creation of the lake.The weather was a lot warmer and sunnier in South Tyrol than it had been further north, which unfortunately meant that finding free pitches at campsites suddenly became a real challenge. Besides, most Italian campsites do not seem to expect travellers to arrive with just a tent instead of a caravan. On the bright side, there were two massive rewards waiting for us: First, a pleasant downhill ride of about 100 kilometres, past Merano and down to Bolzano. Second, a wonderful dinner with Addy’s colleague Ute and her husband, who live in the picturesque town of Kaltern.