Monday, September 21, 2015

Another Great Hike Near Bolzano

Our last full day in Bolzano, we hope to take one of the other cable cars up for a hike.  It's raining when we get up, but our hotel tells us that the forecast is for clear skies in the afternoon.  We are willing to take the risk and walk over to the Jenesiener Seilbahn (Funivia San Genesio) cable car, about ½ hour walk from our hotel.  This cable car goes from Bolzano at 262 meters (860 feet) to the town of Jenesien (San Genesio) at 1087 meters (3566 feet, 2/3 mile up).  From Jenesien, there are 2 to 4 hour walks to the nearby towns with elevation changes ranging from 450 meters (1476 feet) to 1000 meters (3280 feet).  There is also a Hikers’ Bus to other starting points in the area.

 Map of the area around Jenesien (San Genesio)

When we get to the cable car station, we see that the top of the hill is still in the clouds, so we decide to walk to Jenesien instead.  After all, it’s only 2/3 mile up, how hard can it be?  The path initially follows the road leading straight up through vineyards and orchards. 

 Vineyard on the path/road up

 Orchard on the path/road up

It is getting near harvest season for the grapes and we are passed by tractors pulling wagons of empty crates up to wineries.

Passing a winery on the path/road up

After about an hour it starts to rain.  We hide under a tree along the road for a while and amuse ourselves with selfies.

Selfie to amuse ourselves while taking shelter under a tree in the rain

 Eventually it looks like this is not just a passing shower and we decide to keep on going.  About ½ hour later, the trail leaves the road and heads up the hill into the forest. 

Trail heading up a streambed

And, getting steeper

It’s still raining, but the trees shield us and we walk up a streambed which the trail follows.  It is peaceful and quiet, just the sound of the rain on the leaves above our head.  Although we do share the trail with a few creatures, startling to run across, but harmless.

Sharing the path with the local salamander

Another hour and a half up, we get to Jenesian.  It’s still raining and we see that all the routes up from here are in the clouds. 

 Arriving in Jenesian

 The hills and paths are still in the clouds

There’s not much going on in Jenesian – all the restaurants appear to be closed and the cable car has shut down for lunch and won’t run again for two hours.  So, we walk back down.  The cable car comes by, but someone is standing on top, doing maintenance in the rain.  What a job.

Riding on top of the cable car to do maintenance

Rather than take the trail, we start down the road from Jenesian.  After a while, we start to see trail markers and realize that one of the other trails has come out of the woods and is using the road.  The drivers don’t seem surprised to see us walking on the road and must be used to hikers using the road as a trail, even through the tunnels.

Walking on the trail along the road, at least it's not raining in here

Eventually, the trail branches off the main road to a smaller road with less traffic and we follow that down to Bolzano.

 Heading down, off the main road

 Bolzano below, still in the clouds

Still raining lightly.

Getting to the bottom, we follow the river back into town for lunch and then to our hotel for a hot shower.  Total hiking time:  5 hours.  Time in rain:  4 hours.

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