Day 24: Moos to Mils bei Imst, Austria

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.

Approach to Timmelsjoch

There are quite a few tunnels and galleries on the way up to the pass.

Tunnels on the road up

Once the trees cleared a bit, we got a better view of the valley.

Approach to Timmelsjoch

The road continues up with a segment of switchbacks, and then a tunnel. The road is quite popular with motorists and motorcyclists.

Switchbacks and tunnel at Timmelsjoch

Past the tunnel, close to the pass, the road goes past a segment of the valley that is completely barren.

No-man's land at Timmelsjoch

Piaw and I regrouped at the pass. The pass even has its own stylized logo or seal.

Timmelsjoch pass sign

The first part of the descent from Timmelsjoch is very smooth and fast. There is, however, a significant retrograde that follows it.

Descent from Timmelsjoch

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.

Vista point

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.

Clouds gathering near Mils bei Imst

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.

No-privacy shower

We settled in and then headed down to dinner. After the rain, of course, …

…comes the rainbow

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.

"Phil, are you OK? You haven't been eating like yourself recently!"

Up | Next: in which we eat Chinese food in Austria and it is actually not bad