From Innsbruck to Brixen and through the Dolomites to San Martino di Castrozza
Stage 1 - Innsbruck to Meissnerhaus
|An easy 5 hour walk through meadows and lush
forests. Total distance about 11 km. Trails are not well marked between
Innsbruck and Igls, for that reason we recommend taking the "Igler
Bahn", a tram that leaves near the train station in Innsbruck and winds
it's way to Igls in about 30 minutes. Igls hosted the olympic bobsled and
downhill races in 1964 and 1976.
|Path 350 (Heiligwasserweg) to Heiligwasser (chapel), then path 32 (Almenweg 1600) to Meissnerhaus.|
In 1606 two farmboys were looking for some lost calfs. The Virgin Mary appeared to them and led them to their lost animals at this spring. She requested that a chapel be built here in her honor. One of the fellows continued to make annual pilgrimages to this spot and when a deaf child was miraculously cured, a chapel was built in 1652.
After a visit to the chapel, we refilled our water bottles and refreshed
ourselves, then continued on path 32 along the side of the Patscherkofel
mountain. As we followed the path beside the olympic ski run (1964 and
1976 winter olympics downhill), the haze lifted and we could see all the
way to the Stubai alps in the west.
|The path was fairly well marked, unless we saw a sign directing
us otherwise, we took the straight or wider trail. That seemed to work as
we eventually emerged on a meadow above the Viggartal. The babbling of Mühlbach
creek increased in volume as we progressed along the trail. Eventually we
crossed it on a small bridge and soon reached the Meissnerhaus.
As we started to fill out the hut logbook, all of the sudden it became real to me ... we are walking across the alps!