Zams to St Anton am Arlberg, 35Km
Hotel Central, Innsbruck
Strange kind of day, today. It was an extremely long, hard climb up the Arlberg massif and I reached St Anton am Arlberg just in time to catch the train all the way back to Innsbruck. I’m now at the same Hotel Central where I stayed four nights ago. But now I’m all set to go to Oberammergau tomorrow morning for the Passion Play and will then return to St Anton on Monday to continue my walk across Austria.
As I was checking out of the hotel this morning I saw a large group by the door, complete with backpacks and scallop shells. They were all Austrian women walking the Upper Austria part of the Jakobsweg. So, as I approach the last few kilometres of Jakobsweg in Austria, I’ve finally met others on foot.
The forecast was for 29 degrees and it was correct but up in the hills it didn’t feel so hot. There was a refreshing breeze as I climbed and climbed the Arlberg massif. I reached Grins and visited the church of St Nikolaus, just to sit down in the cool. After that I passed several villages, none of which had a cafe until I reached Flirsch. A small beer was all I needed to decide to press on to St Anton. It means I can get the train straight back on Monday and resume walking over the watershed towards Switzerland without having to backtrack by bus to any of those isolated villages.
The countryside was full of people making hay. All the hay making equipment was deployed and the whole family was raking up the grass.
Jakobsweg found the best route and I climbed from 766m to 1302m, someway short of the Arlberg watershed at 1865m, coming next time but still exhilarating. I walked into St Anton and took the train all the way back to Innsbruck. It took the international express 70 minutes to cover the distance and I couldn’t believe how far I’d walked in 4 days.
I’m exhausted and will probably sleep all through the Passion Play tomorrow.