16 July 2011
We awoke to a near cloudless morning, and after breakfast we started up towards Timmelsjoch. The first part of the climb was in the shade of the mountain.
There are quite a few tunnels and galleries on the way up to the pass.
Once the trees cleared a bit, we got a better view of the valley.
The road continues up with a segment of switchbacks, and then a tunnel. The road is quite popular with motorists and motorcyclists.
Past the tunnel, close to the pass, the road goes past a segment of the valley that is completely barren.
Piaw and I regrouped at the pass. The pass even has its own stylized logo or seal.
The first part of the descent from Timmelsjoch is very smooth and fast. There is, however, a significant retrograde that follows it.
Here we crossed the border into Austria. Near the border, it looked like they had recently built a lookout point that juts out past the mountainside and which you can walk out onto.
We ate a supermarket lunch in Sölden, then descended towards Imst. The road following the bottom of the valley was positively beautiful. (Austria's scenery has a lot of my favorite elements of Switzerland, and I'd like to take the time to explore Austria more thoroughly sometime.) The ride was a bit annoying, though: though we were heading downhill, the grade was annoyingly shallow, and we met with a headwind.
We continued past Imst in the direction of Landeck. It looked like the clouds were gathering, which put on some pressure for us to find a place. The first town we stopped at appeared to be nothing more than a gas station attached to an enormous gift shop. There was a hotel there, but I got a really bad vibe, and we continued on.
Eventually we found a hotel at Mils bei Imst, and just as the rain was starting, too. The hotel was quiet and dimly lit. Our room had a no-privacy shower that opened up directly into the room.
We settled in and then headed down to dinner. After the rain, of course, …
Dinner was schweineschnitzel (breaded and fried pork), which always hits the spot. Actually, though I had been waking up hungry in the mornings, my appetite in general seemed pretty poor, at least compared to last year's tour.
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