Day 20, 16 6 2014, St Anton to Innsbruck

We continued on down from St Anton to Landeck, at 800m, 1000m below the Arlberg pass.  We decided that it is considerably easier to ride over the Arlberg pass from west to east, rather than vice versa.  The problem with riding from east to west is the very difficult climb from St Anton to the pass at St Christoph.  The climb seems to be at a sustained 13%, whereas the steepest climb coming from west to east is at 10%, a very significant difference.  However, if you do want to ride east to west, the ride up to St Anton is hard but manageable, and you can catch the post bus from St Anton to St Christoph for the really hard bit. 

We saw just two touring cyclists attempting the Arlberg pass, but when we got to Landeck on the Inn River, we saw at least 50 cyclists with touring panniers over the next couple of hours.

Landeck is a point on a route that follows the Inn River from St Moritz to its junction with the Danube River at Passau.  So the people we saw must have been following this route and not going over the Arlberg pass.

The Inn River cycle route is very well defined and sign-posted at every ambiguous junction.  The path is usually high-quality and sealed, with a few gravel sections, and no on-road sections other than a few turns through the villages.  The beauty of the part of the route we rode today is the grandeur of the steep surrounding mountains.  The sides of the gorge that the river cuts through are very steep and the gorge is very narrow.  At a couple of points it could not be more than 500m wide, and yet carried the secondary road, the freeway, the railway, the cycle path and a huge powerline as well as the river.

The river is very turbulent and swift at this part of its route.

We stopped at one point where a sign directed us to a section of old Roman road that ran through this valley.  They know it was Roman because the wheel ruts carved into the stone are typically of Roman width, and can still be seen.

We got into Innsbruck shortly before 6.00pm, held up talking to people, then

found the tourist information centre who booked us a hotel.

We wandered into town for a basic pub meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes in the pedestrian section of the old town. The meals were simple, hearty, good and cheap.

Our costs today are around half what they have been.

One of the distinguishing features of hotels is the ability to wash your face in the bathroom sink without banging your head on the shelf above the sink.  I am testing a theory that this is a defining feature that separates four-star hotels from three-star hotels.

122Km for the day.

Roz says:  It is so nice to be on a downhill day so why would a path designer put in a few 10% and a 16%!!!! climb in when a path is following a river DOWNSTREAM.  So cruel.  They had a Public Viewing of the World Cup in Innsbruck tonight, huge screen, big pre game band, beer, and perfect behavior. Nice.  


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