Wow! The sun was shining and the snow level was obvious on the Zitteral Mountains.
Although quite cold, it was exhilarating to be back on the trail. We returned to Niedervintl on the local bus, crossed the Rienz River, emerged into the forest and surged up the mountain. I say surged because we actually out walked a very fit couple of girls that we met and quickly dropped! Sometimes I just can’t help it, that competitive spirit rears it’s head and off I go! We climbed for several hours before coming upon a tranquil meadow with a few scattered farm buildings and plenty of cows who thought we were pretty interesting.
It was definitely snack time. Soon we were joined by the cow herder with whom we had a brief Italian/German conversation. He told us that we were just ten minutes from Roner Hütte where we could have a meal. He was correct and soon we were enjoying home baked apple strudel and hot tea in the company of many people all enjoying the sunny weekend afternoon.
The walk from here was filled with majestic vistas. We kept admiring one stunning mountain that we would become very familiar with in two days time, Peitlerköfel.
These views were our first introduction to the Dolomites, which would very quickly become our favorite part of the Traumpfad!
At last we arrived at one of our most inviting huts, Kreuzweisen Alm. The atmosphere was very alpine with the girls dressed in dirndls and the guys in lederhosen.
The place was soon filled with hikers, everyone enjoying the warmth of the room, playing games, or getting a good start on the evening’s beer intake. Peitlerköfel was now in full view as we contemplated our future adventures!