• Brendan Cutuli

High Up In The Clouds

Day 45 (October 19th): As I was stepping onto my bus in Geneva to head to Innsbruck, I noticed a group of Romanians who had a shopping cart full of items, along with other suitcases. Flixbus only allows you to have two items on the bus, one in storage and one carry on. Sure enough, a woman was complaining about not being able to bring all of her stuff and two men stayed behind with the luggage. It took around 30 minutes for the bus drivers to get situated and solve this issue. Now onto the 8 hour bus ride to Innsbruck, which was fully packed.

I arrived into Innsbruck late at night and was one of the few to first get off the bus, providing some empty seats on the bus. A woman in her twenty's came up to me and asked if I knew where I was going / had a ride. She offered to have her boyfriend drive me to my hostel. She studies in Vienna but lives out in Innsbruck with her boyfriend. It was refreshing to meet others who enjoyed the outdoors: hiking, rock climbing, etc.

I checked into my hostel and settled my bags into my room for the first evening. I walked down the street to grab a bite to eat. I ended up at a small Italian joint to grab some pizza. I ate the full medium size pizza (30cm) as I was starving. I went back to my hostel to relax for the night and plan out my days in Innsbruck.

Total Distance: 3.5 miles

Day 46 (October 20th): I woke up with the intention to explore the city and figure out where to hike the following two days. This was due to the fact that many of the Mountains had cable cars that were quite expensive to pay for and hiking some of the Mountains up and down within a day would be tough. Come to find out there is an Innsbruck city card that offers access to the cable cars, museums, public transit and more.

I packed up my bag, went to the hostel desk and bought the Innsbruck card and went on my way towards Mount Hafelekarspitze. I took the cable car up to the middle station and went for a hike up towards the summit, along the ridge and back down the mountain. The wind at the summit was incredibly fast, similar to what I've experienced at Mount Washington.

The clouds were rolling in consistently as I moved throughout the ridge of the Mountain peaks on my hike. I sat down for a bit to snack and watch the clouds cruise throughout the sky.

It was a pretty dead trail that I was hiking on, only crossing paths with people going in the opposite direction of myself. I came towards the intersection of where I would be heading down the Mountain. As I look down, it looks to be more of a slope to ski on than a trail to be hiking down. Nevertheless, I hike (slide) my way down a rocky trail with my sneakers.

I meandered my way back to the hostel through some neighboring towns and back into the City of Innsbruck. My legs were slowly making their way step by step back to the hostel. I laid down to rest for a bit before heading out to grab some dinner. I went to a place called Franky's and grabbed a burger to reenergize myself for the evening. I sat back on my bed to plan out my adventure's for tomorrow.

Total Distance: 15.8 miles

Day 47 (October 21st): I slept in a bit because I was extremely exhausted from a long hike yesterday. I packed my bag with a lunch and snacks before going to explore the city. I walked to the Biegesel Ski Jump, where youth olympics have taken place. Then I walked my way towards the Old Town to see some of the churches and monuments. I walked up the City Tower to see views throughout the city and mountains from the Old Town.

I made my way towards the Alpine Zoo near where I hiked yesterday. This Zoo focuses on animals that exist throughout the Alps range. This was a free access point with my city card so I thought I would check it out. I walked throughout the zoo to see animals such as wild cats, moose, brown bears, european foxes and much more. It had gorgeous views over the city and into the further mountain ranges.

I walked back through the city to my hostel to drop off my bag before checking out the Ambras Castle. This is the world's oldest museum, going back to the Middle Ages. It was fascinating to view some of the armour, art and sculptures throughout the castle. It was surrounded by a park atop a hill right behind my hostel.

I went to shower at my hostel before going grocery shopping for the next few days. I then walked back over to Franky's to have another burger and fries because of how delicious the one was yesterday. I needed a large meal as I was walking long distances every day.

Total Distance: 12.5 miles

Day 48 (October 22nd): I woke up with the plan of a long distance hike up Mount Patscherkofel. I packed my bags with a lunch before taking the bus to the bottom of the Mountain, next to the cable car going up the mountain. I started my hike up the Mountain, as others were casually riding up the cable cars to the top.

As I started my hike, there were gorgeous views of the Mountain I climbed two days ago. I was planning a longer hike to do but I did not have a map or many trail signs so I stayed on a clear trail to the summit. I stopped periodically throughout my hike to sit on a bench, eat some fruit and nuts while staring at some of the Alps range.

I pushed hard to make the summit of the Mountain in the middle of the day to spend time at the top. It took about two and a half hours to make the summit. The sun was beaming down but I was on top of a 2,300m mountain that had 15mph gusts of wind. I sat behind a rock to try to block some of the wind up top to eat some lunch and relax.

It felt fairly cold because of the wind and elevation so I made my way back down towards the cable car station a few hundred meters below. I sat to eat some more snacks and hydrate before taking the cable car down the mountain. It was a quick ride down the mountain and onto the bus to arrive back at my hostel.

I relaxed for the rest of the day by napping, posting some blogs/pictures and eating some food that I grabbed from the grocery store. This was a relaxing night before heading to Graz tomorrow.

Total Distance: 8.8 miles

Day 49 (October 23rd): I woke up to pack all of my belongings in the morning. I ate some yogurt and fruit before stepping into the city center. I stopped at a park to eat some more snacks and relax before my train ride. The wind was picking up and getting chilly so I went to the train station to wait for my ride.


© 2019 by Brendan Cutuli