We and several thousand other tourists got on the road on Sunday morning (6/25) to head north. With rain come rock slides, and one of the lanes of the road over the Brenner Pass was closed, so a trip that would normally take 3 hours took twice that. First world problems. I suggested we make a detour to Venice--as long as we were going to be several hours late, we might as well go in the direction with less traffic--but S vetoed the idea.
Along the way north, we zipped past some interesting ruins right next to the road, but with no obvious place to turn off. The interwebs have been unhelpful in determining the name of this place, but I'd gander a guess that it was built starting in the 13th century and knocked down by invaders from the north in the 16th century, since that's the general narrative for most of the ruins we've encountered.
^ After writing that, I gave Google maps one more try, which led me to a youtube video, which led me finally to the name Mühlbacher Klause. Begun indeed in the 13th century, it served as a gate and toll collection station for travelers coming from Venice and Treviso. It took until the early 19th century for it to be trashed beyond use in a Tyrolean uprising against occupying Bavarians, although a 16th-c. peasant uprising and the early 18th-c. Spanish War of Succession also took a toll (so to speak).
Look--non-ruins! That's Schloss Sprechenstein, near Sterzing--built ca. 1240, renovated ca. 1500, and still occupied today.
We stopped in Sterzing/Vipiteno for lunch. Everything but the restaurants was closed, cuz Sunday, but the place was buzzing with tourists regardless.
|The tower down the street is the 15th-c. Zwölferturm (the top is 19th-c.)|
|I don't usually photograph food, but this was yummy and seems easy enough to replicate...|
After lunch, it was on to Innsbruck, where none of us had been before despite its relative proximity to Munich. We didn't have a lot of time (Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen), but managed a quick look around.
|The famous Goldenes Dachl behind the even more famous golden arches|
|Helbinghaus--built in the 18th-c. for townhomes|
|The Inn. There's a Bruck (bridge) to our left, but it didn't make it into the photo.|
|By Andrew Bossi - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2954844|
We sped through the Swarovski Crystal shop--oh my, so sparkly; emerged into the fresh thankfully non-sparkly air; stopped on the way back to the car for gelato; and then headed north to Steinebach.