Mountains and peace. This is what you'll find at “Haus Bergfried“ in Hafling near Meran. Mountains and peace somehow go together. The all-round views from the balcony calm my soul. My daughter's too it seems, as she slept through the night. She can sleep in her own bed like at home, because there's plenty of space here. Other things have been taken care of, too. Clean towels, recently ironed, the table adorned with fresh flowers. The care taken may be seen in the attention to detail. But my favourite place is the balcony. I can't get enough of the views to be had standing amidst the flaming red geraniums.
Cinema? Yes, but not with flatscreen and in 'natural 3D', please
The meadows, mountain pastures and hiking paths around Haus Bergfried are not just pretty to look at, but may be easily reached. Anna and Josef, the hosts, are happy to provide information on the best routes or tours to mountain peaks. Lots of the hiking paths run right past the house. Otherwise, there's a bus stop nearby going directly to Meran 2000 hiking and skiing area, to the spa town of Merano-Meran or to the 'Gardens of Trauttmansdorf Castle'. The famous 'Knottenkino' is nearby ('Knotte' is a local expression for 'rock', 'Kino' in German means 'cinema'). After around half an hour's gentle uphill walk, you get to a viewpoint that affords far-reaching views across the whole of the Etsch river valley, the mountain peaks of the Texelgruppe up as far as the Gantkofel and Weißhorn mountains.
“Guests never get bored here, as there's so much to do all year round – whether it's hiking, skiing, shopping in the spa town of Merano-Meran or relaxing at the thermal baths in Merano-Meran. And if you fancy a bit of peace and quiet, you'll find it here in the house“, laughs Josef. The apartments are in a really quiet spot at the end of a road in the little village of Hafling set at 1600 metres above sea level.
On Anna's recommendation, we set out on an excursion. And not just any old excursion, but one to the longest toboggan run on rails in Italy, the 'Alpin Bob Meran 2000'.
The toboggan heads down to the valley for about a kilometre. Stoooppp! Not so fast! Daddy has forgotten that the toboggan has brakes, of course. At some point, we catch up with him and we talk shop about the best way to tackle this bend or the other all the way back.
Hosts through and through, straight out of a picture book
In the mornings, Anna brings us fresh bread rolls. She's been doing the same thing for her guests for nearly thirty years. “It's all part of it“, she says. Guests can help themselves to drinks in the cellar and pay for them at the end. As a trained builder, Josef helped to build the apartments himself, as well as the carefully-planned playground next to the sunbathing lawn right in front of the house. Both have run the property together from the start, making regular conversions and extensions and have devoted themselves to the business of renting out private rooms, along with bringing up three children. The atmosphere is as harmonious as the couple themselves and I simply love it here. Anna invites us to have coffee and cake with her – the mark of someone who enjoys hosting guests.
While she's making the coffee, she glances at Josef to tell him to get out the cutlery for the cake, and Josef starts cutting the(delicious!) roulade, which belongs to the routine of laying the table. He pulls the chair out for Anna as she sits down to join us for coffee.
I feel like I have been taken to a slower, more peaceful and, above all, honest world for a short time, where I am happy to forget my smartphone for a couple of hours and have a chat with the two of them. Thank you Anna, thank you Josef!