Written September 6-7 and Oct 5
Dear Family and Friends,
Today we had a plan:
go to Großglochner Pass, "the top of Austria". Weather had a
different idea: rain and low clouds. So, we moved to Plan B: go
as planned to Sankt Jakob today and swing by Großglochner the next
path took us directly south, top-up because of the drizzle.
Still, the views were pleasant, at least what we could see. We
went via the Felbertauern tunnel, paying the 10 euro toll and remembering that
our plan was still to backtrack tomorrow in order to get to
We stopped in Matrei in Osttirol to stretch. The iron eagle in
the town square gave the place a dramatic look, as did the surrounding
mountains of course. We could only imagine how they looked
covered in snow. (And how hard the driving would be!) As
the day wore on, the weather gradually got better.
Our goal was Sankt Jakob in Interrote, the Haus am Wiesenweg. We
found the small village of Sank Jakob fine, but Gertrude the navigator
misled us as to the location of our hotel. We were directed
through the village and up onto a narrow mountain road. I was
driving and Marianne was praying. After ten minutes, which seemed
like an hour, I admitted we were lost and Marianne called the hotel for
clarification. Oh. NOT up here with the mountain
Down in the valley floor, we checked in and asked for lunch
recommendations. Ilke, the manager, sent us for a 15-minute walk across
the open fields to her brother's restaurant. She said he had a good
kitchen, and he did. It was nice to be walking, settled, well fed, and
just looking at the surrounding mountains instead of risking our lives.
Later, we walked through town and even visited the tiny town
museum. The big attractions were an 11th century boat and a World
War II US airplane machine gun. Not much happened in between I think. Then we watched a farmer walk his
cows home. Then we rested. Still, not much happens in Sankt Jakob.
The next morning I got up before dawn to try some pictures. The
photos turned out OK, but the hour-long walk in the morning light was
wonderful. Sometime in this process, I decided that Großglochner
could wait for another trip. Taking time here seemed a better
After a breakfast of local yogurt, eggs, jam, and cheese, we left for
Bressanone in Italy. This would prove to be a very interesting
drive, but that's another story.
John and Marianne