Tuesday, December 20, 2011
over the brenner pass
after strolling around bolzano and saying hello and good-bye to the 5000-year-old iceman (his story is interesting: he died—perhaps was murdered?—in the alps not too far west from brenner and is remarkably well preserved in the south tyrol museum of archeology) we left our rental car in bolzano, took the train and headed out of the dolomites and into the kitzbuhel alps toward st. johann in tyrol.
our railway journey was uneventful—we shared our compartment with an elderly italian couple who spent most of their time in the dining car—but the scenery was lively—absolutely picture book pretty. as the train wound through the mountains i thought i would be able to capture some images of the tall, pointed firs lining the mountainsides and the fairy tale villages scattered in the valleys below. (some of the evergreens were not even ever green—they had turned a sunny shade of yellow; the sprinkling of huge, intermixed green and yellow "christmas" trees was an unusual sight.) what was spread out beyond the windows looked like a festive christmastime tableau, even without any snow on the ground. but the train's windows were filthy so, sadly, no pictures from the train.
we stayed in a quaint, old austrian inn on the post road.
there was a small shop in the village which had a window display of traditional austrian folk costumes for sale. very pretty, but where on earth would i ever wear one of these dresses except perhaps to a costume party?
here is a chalet i saw as i walked along a lake in the tyrol. with a little snow added to the scene the house and setting would have looked very christmasy. i could live in a once-upon-a-time, happily-ever-after storybook cottage like this one.....