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9/5/2018 A tour through the wilds of Eppan

Of adventures and wild men

The weather for our last-but-one day in Eppan was clear - as clear as the fact that we both would be out and about. My husband had decided for a challenging bike tour of the Mendel and Gampen passes - and I had no wish to stand in his way, as I had my own plans for this late summer’s day!

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We’ll take both!

So, after having had breakfast together at the Haus von Lutz, where we had once more taken a holiday apartment this year, we went our separate ways for the first time during our stay. My visibly excited husband devoured his breakfast significantly faster than usual so as to set off with a happy wave on his racing bike. I instead enjoyed another cup of coffee and a bowl of fruit salad and wondered whether I should set off on an E-bike, or just put on my hiking boots. I decided... finally, that the day should be long enough for both! So I skipped past the pool to the garage and the E-bike. “Where are you off to today?” called Mr von Lutz after me as I was closing the door behind me. Smiling, I replied: “Just cycling, no plan, no husband!”, then I headed off for Eppan village centre.

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A mixture of noble and rural architecture

We had already explored the vineyards below the Mendel ridge on foot in recent years and had even cycled up to the hamlet of Gaid at an altitude of almost 1000 metres. I didn't want to go so high this time, so I decided instead to meander aimlessly along the network of quiet side roads, enjoying the lush green vegetation and the extensive views - and especially the sight of the many beautiful stately residences, castles and gardens around Eppan!

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The slopes between Pigenò and Missian turned out to be the ideal up and down ride for my E-bike: without realising it I managed to clock up just under 25 km, it was lunchtime and my bike battery was half empty. If I was still to go walking, it was time for a change of gear!

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The climb up to the Wild Man

A little while later, hiking boots on my feet, I was the last to board the no. 139 bus to the Montiggl Lakes. I had planned to walk around the two lakes once again but, as had happened that morning, I was seized by the spirit of adventure. Halfway there, I got off the bus at Rungg and set off arbitrarily into the forest.

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In a good mood, I followed the signs to the smaller of the Montiggl Lakes until after about an hour’s walking I came to a turn-off from the trail signposted to the “Wilder Mann Bühel”, the “Wild Man Hill”. That sounds exciting, I thought, and I immediately set off in that direction. I was really enjoying this spontaneous adventure hike! I kept up a good pace along the well-maintained forest trail, which after a while became a track that snaked up some three or four sharp turns to the summit. The last section became rockier, while the deep blue of the sky could increasingly be seen through the thinning pine trees. Having reached the top I felt like I was in a fortress in the middle of the forest. I was alone up here and I sat on the wooden board that some walkers had fashioned into a bench seat between two rocks. On the horizon in front of me was the Mendel ridge – was this where my wild man now was?

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Happy holiday evenings

I savoured the view for a little longer and finally set off back to our apartment. My husband was already sitting on the balcony, a cold beer in his hand, visibly full of pride and joy after his bike tour adventure. “How was your day?” he asked as he saw my tired but radiant face. “I went to see the Wild Man!” I replied and kissed him gently on the forehead. “No need to worry – it’s the name of a hill in the Montiggl forest!”, I smiled in reply to his confused look, and sat down next to him.
After an exciting day’s holiday spent apart, our evening together could not have got off to a more relaxing start than in the late afternoon warmth surrounding the Haus von Lutz!
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