Etsch Tour: Day 2, Nauders to Prad

Into the Blue

Sunday September 26

I would be lying if I said the weather looked any different today than it did yesterday. The clouds were thick milky masses hanging threateningly close to the valley floor. We cycled to the bus station in a light drizzle. Four additional cyclists were waiting for the bus to ride up the 500 meters to Nauders. The bus arrived with a trailer that would have been able to transport many more, thirty maybe.

We reached Nauders after a one-and-a- half-hour bus ride, snow-capped mountains to either side. That was an easy 500 meters with our bikes. Gaining altitude also meant losing degrees on the thermometer and we put on our parkas and gloves and hoped the remaining climb to the Reschen Pass would warm us up – and that it did. The bike route climbed another 100 meters, a gentle climb, to the Austrian-Italian border. A blue patch of sky lay ahead in the cleavage of the mountains, luring us on, southward, to Italy. And the blue patch of sky grew and we rode into the blue hole.

We reached Reschen Pass and then Reschen Lake, a reservoir created in 1949 by damming three existing lakes. In doing so several  hamlets were flooded.  A single church steeple remained standing to raise its accusing finger from the depths of the lake, admonishing not to forget that once a village existed here, centuries old. Generations walked the streets that are now drowned and forgotten.

Unverhofft: one succinct word in German. It’s more than surprising or unexpected, it’s “unhoped”, “not hopeable”. Was it the beauty of the valley or the magnificent weather that we hadn’t even dared hope for that made this day one of the most beautiful bicycle rides that I could remember?

The bicycle path descended and we rolled. A north wind blew us toward our destination, where ever that was for the day. Our progress was only hindered by our excessive stops to take pictures. We finished the day in Prad and took a room in Gasthof Neue Post.

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1 Response to Etsch Tour: Day 2, Nauders to Prad

  1. david alston says:

    Suzanne and Janos,

    You know, we could start this trip in Munich, remember, we always have lots of time. Just descend the Isar to the Danube, turn right and head for Passau. If we stayed overnight in Vilsendorf we could stay in the same hotel for the third time. From Passau to Innsbruck would be upstream but it doesn’t like it climbs much. I think we could still do it. Just need to stay healthy.

    I’m making progress on my little wordpress blog but I need to guard against getting bogged down in detail and remember that I was just going to tell stories. Maybe I’ll have to give up the day by day format and just do the highlights, otherwise I might never finish all our trips. It is going to snow all next week, that means clean air.


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