The next day we flew to Frankfurt and picked up a Volkswagon
Golf Diesel. We drove south to Kitzingen, saw its twisty tower,
fine old houses, and the river Main, and stayed at Hotel
Wurzburger Hof. We continued south, bypassing Nurnburg and Munchen, and spotted white peaked Alps glistening above
Kiefersfelden, the last village in Germany before the Austrian border. We arrived at Kufstein, a characteristic Tyrolean village
with memories for Victor of a previous visit here with Karen in
1987. We drove west along the 'Inntal', valley of the river Inn,
to Vörgl, where we found a Zimmer Frei, in a superb spot with
views of snow-clad Alps on 3 sides, so we stayed here for 5 days.
One day we crossed a footbridge over the Inn and climbed up
through the pretty Alpine village of Angerberg, where we enjoyed
Kaffee und Kuchen at the Gasthof "Blick ins Intal", on
their terrace overlooking the Inn Valley. We strolled further up to
Baumgarten, and wandered through idealistic "Sound of
Music" meadows, to Mariastein, where there is a somewhat
sinister Tower/Chapel/Pilgrimage dating back 10 centuries, full
of macabre crypts and tales of miraculous cures. On Thursday 18th
May, we drove through Hofgarten to Kitzbuhel, a pretty old town
with characteristic painted houses and baroque churches. Then to
St Johann and Gasteig for a picnic lunch, then to Grisenau, where
we paid 35 schillings to enter the toll road up the valley to the
snow. Brilliant white peaked WilderKaiser were to our south, and
Zahmerkaiser to our North, as we arrived at the Anton-Karg Hof.
We walked up right into the snow. We returned via Walchsee lake,
Kufstein for dinner, to Vörgl. Next day we drove west to Kundler Klamm, a deep gorge in the mountains with a fast-flowing river.
We took a lovely 15 km walk to the end of the gorge and back, and
collapsed in a gasthof garden for a leisurely late lunch and Sachertorte. Next day we went to Jenbach to visit Schloss
Tratzberg, for a tour guided by audio tapes and an Austrian
guide. It started to rain, but we then went to Lake Achensee at Pertisau. The rain dampened our enthusiasm a bit, but we enjoyed
coffee and hot chocolate at a chalet cafe by the lake.
The rain seemed destined to endure for the next several days,
so we resolved to head south across the Brenner Pass into Italy
and the SudTirol, hoping for sunnier weather.