>Some people meditate, some people pray, I hike. Granted, I live in an area that’s chock full of hiking opportunities; all you need is a good pair of footwear and a some free hours and obliging weather. The latter is usually not a problem because Innsbruck, it is said, lies under a Sonnenloch, which just means we get more sun than other towns.
The advantages of hiking are multitude. It gets me out into the fresh air, burns calories, keeps my heart in shape, and brings me closer to nature and away from all the worries of life. And, teaches the history and the biology of the region at the same time — a real bonus for bloggers.
So today, Easter Sunday, I set out for a day trip to Höttinger Bild, a little pilgrimage chapel above the neighborhood of Hötting, itself perched over the city and the Inn river.
Legend has it that a 17th-century student brought a portrait of The Virgin Mary up here and tacked it to a tree, and prayed for success in his studies. He must have had some (of course it may have been the hiking rather than the praying but who am I to say?), because the holy portrait became a pilgrimage destination for students and other people with things on their minds, and in the early 18th century a chapel was erected. The picture (I’m assuming it’s the same one) now hangs above the altar, behind glass. The ceiling above it is nice and captures the historical period well.
Down the path, closer to town, is the Gasthaus Planötzenhof, which has a very nice closed-in wooden veranda, recalling old Monarchie times (and the Apfelstrudel is delicious.) From there, as you look down towards the city, you can see the layers of settlement from rural to urban in 500 yards or less:
at the edge of this field one sees an old farm building. Immediately behind it is a block or so of villas, and then the city begins. On the other side, past the spires of the Wiltener Basilika, the autobahn bridge roughly marks the city limits, and behind it the Bergisel ski jump — and behind that, it’s all mountains and country living again, pretty much until you get to Bolzano, Italy.
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"Your blog is terrific. Great writing."
"I am vicariously enjoying your hikes. Lets me sit here with my cup of tea while you toil up and down the hills and take beautiful photos. Thanks!"
"I'm enjoying your writing. You have such a personal voice, strong and warm with a good edge."
"Dein Blog ist zu einem festen Bestandteil meiner online- Lesekultur geworden- du bereicherst jeweils meinen Tag."
"You seem to get around on topics -- as I recall, pretty much everything from local resistance to Nazis to now green roofs. That's what I like about your blog -- if you find it interesting, important, or amusing, you blog about it and your personality, as far as I can tell, really comes through. Great job. — And the pictures are just awesome. "
"Just wanted to drop you a note and tell you how much I enjoy your blog. ... Keep up the good work and hopefully one day when I am back in Innsbruck i can hear you sing."
"Great blog, I really like the way you write about Land und Leute."
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