Our fifth day of hiking in the Stubai alps, from the Nürnberger Hut down to the road, and then by bus to Innsbruck.
We hiked down out of the mountains to the valley floor on a “Red” trail, where we caught a bus to Innsbruck.
Thursday 28 July – Nürnberger Hütte
I slept relatively well in our private room. The wind howled at times overnight and I could see stars above the peaks no longer obscured by clouds.
We decided to bail out from the rest of the route so I can rest and hopefully recover in time to start our next route on Sunday. We are also expecting thunderstorms and rain again this afternoon, and the route ahead was washed out and closed after Monday’s big storm (the one in which we were caught out) so we couldn’t have completed the full route anyway.
After breakfast (including a delicious oatmeal) we packed up, took a couple photos, and set out on an easier trail down to the the valley floor where we would catch a bus to Innsbruck.
My legs feel better today, but I still don’t have much energy from fighting this flu/virus. The trail is MUCH easier, however, than the “black” höhenweg that connects the huts. Today’s trail is not as rocky so you can actually walk without having to consciously place each footstep.
There was a cold wind this morning and it was overcast so I wore my jacket – it was a little too warm, but I figured I’d rather be too warm than too cold with this flu/virus.
We descended down to an elevation where we began to see heather and other small plants, then pine bushes, and then eventually trees – we have been far above tree line since the climb up to the Innsbrucker hut. Beautiful views emerged of the valley below where we could see an alm (mountain meadow/pasture) with refreshments.
As we descended the wind calmed down, the sun came out more, and we warmed up. Eventually we made it down to the alm where they had a restaurant, and we stopped for an apfelkuche (apple pie) and I also had an apfelsaft (apple juice).
We continued downward toward the Stubaital Strasse to catch the bus back to Innsbruck.
After walking along the gravel road that serves the alm and materielbahn (cable car for supplies) for the hut, we found a side trail. This took us to another sidetrail over to a waterfall, and then finally down to the Gletscherstraße (glacier road) on the floor of the Stubaital valley.
We understood from others, including the hut warden, that the bus was not running to this stop due to damage from Monday’s storm and a placard on the bus stop sign confirmed no service here. So we walked another mile up/down a trail parallel to the highway to the next stop, Ranalt, where we found a bus waiting!
We rode the bus down the Stubaital through picturesque little villages and eventually down the the mouth of the valley and across a gorge to Innsbruck. Passed a construction site for the Brennerbasistunnel which when finished in 2032 will be the 2nd or 3rd longest railway tunnel in the world (construction started in 2008).
While riding the bus we selected and reserved a hotel room online for two nights. We got off the bus near the center of Innsbruck, where it was much warmer than where we had come from. We walked a few blocks through the summer heat to the Hotel Neue Post and checked in.
We went out for a light lunch in the older part of the city (Alstadt) which was just a few blocks from our hotel, where I had (surprise) a Wienerschnitzl.
We picked up toiletries and sunscreen on the way back to the hotel where we showered (separately) and relaxed for a while before dinner. The sky got darker as thunderstorms approached. We walked only a block over to a restaurant for dinner as the wind picked up and rain began to fall. Once we were inside and seated in the restaurant, lightning, thunder, and heavy rain struck. But we were warm and dry in the Himalayan restaurant, where they had Zillertal bier (which I enjoyed on our previous trip to Austria before the pandemic)! I had a paprika/coconut chicken curry with rice and nam bread. Not German food, but delicious!
Dodged a few raindrops on the way back to the hotel where we hung out a bit and then to bed around 10pm.