Tuesday, June 7th, 2022
Distance ridden 0 kilometres
Distance hiked 15 kilometres
When it comes to the weather, I am a bit of a “fatalist” – as a motorcyclist you more or less have to be prepared to ride in anything – but Lucie prefers to avoid riding in rain if she can. Whether this is an aversion to getting wet, or to her luminous yellow waterproofs, I cannot say … Anyway, as I have mentioned, she studies a number of weather applications and had long since informed me that this day would be wet, in some measure, for an almost 100% certainty. As a consequence, we had more or less decided to spend the day in or around Partschins and had factored it in to our plans. I have to say that, a final look the previous evening had certainly showed graphics with a lot of somewhat theatrical lightening almost directly above our heads. At the worst case, Lucie had said, we could simply lay in bed all day and read ….. I guessed that might well have suited her more than me !
Apparently, it did rain heavily in the night (not that I knew anything about it) but, when I woke up, it was to a beautiful sunny morning. Thunderous clouds were visible in the valley, but these only added to the spectacular beauty of the mountain views from our small terrace.
The breakfast was excellent, the standard continental mixture of sweet and savoury dishes. The rolls you get are always startlingly fresh and the ones on offer that morning were still warm. The landlady’s daughter spoke passable English and I was able to inveigle a “proper” teapot out of her. Sadly, she failed to quite understand that tea needs boiling water, but it was almost there !
As it was sunny, we decided to enjoy it and go for a hike. So, right after breakfast, we packed our windbreakers and set out. We went again to the cable car, where Lucie brandished the correct discount card. Amazingly, the discount applied with the correct card was less than it had been when we had not had the card. My suggestion that a special discount for escaped lunatics may have been applied the previous day drew a black look from my dearest.
The cable car ascended up through the cloud layer and, at the summit of Giggleberg, there was a simply glorious view.
It was warm and sunny and not the promised deluge. It would have been a great day to be on the Harley, but I decided that, as we had committed ourselves, mentioning that fact to Lucie might have been unwise. After our experiences at Bohinj, we elected to head back down to the valley via the asphalt road. There were “shortcuts”, but these were steep, still wet and sometimes muddy, so we kept to the roadway. We knew this would lead us, eventually, to the top of the waterfall, then around the actual cascade and finally down into the town.
Along the way, we found some fascinating exposed rock strata,
a few wild strawberries
and a self-service shop with numerous local products. Unfortunately, nothing in the shop suited us, so we just left some change for a good cause.
This time it really was an idyllic walk down the hill. The cascade of the waterfall was picturesque and we saw it from many angles, but perhaps the most impressive part was the pools at the top where water gathers before its leap into space. The sheer volume of water is very thought provoking indeed. Most casual tourists who go up by the bus and the walkers who hike up from the valley floor probably do not get to see that part.
When we were about two-thirds of the way down, we got what is perhaps the best view of the waterfall.
As you can see, the clouds were rolling in and, sadly, soon after that, it began to drizzle. Then it started to rain properly and then the heavens opened completely. The downpour was so intense that our coats, which were nominally showerproof, simply gave up the ghost entirely. In the back of our minds we had been expecting something – but not this. I now blessed both the fact that we were not riding on the Harley and and also the fact that I had not said that we should have been. It became the sort of rain that hits the ground so hard that the drops that miss you when they descend get you on the way back up. The road became more like a river than some public thoroughfare and we had to temper our hurry to complete the descent with the need for caution in such treacherous conditions.
We did halt our progress temporarily to examine a fairly ancient looking water mill, we were past the point where we could have got any wetter. Somehow, it then seemed to get even worse and we practically ran into town before we had to swim there..
Although it was lunchtime, it was early in the season and there appeared to be no cafes or restaurants that were open. In the end, we almost hurled ourself onto the same covered terrace of the Restaurant Garberstub that we had sat in on the previous evening. In fairness, I suppose that we did look more as if we had walked through, rather than around, the waterfall, but the youngish mother of a small family sheltering there literally let her mouth drop open as rainwater ran off of us and onto the tiles.
We were able to warm up a bit with some coffee for Lucie and a hot chocolate for me, but when I asked for the menu, we were informed that the kitchen would not open until around (by which we knew they meant “exactly”) four-thirty and that was still hours in the future. It was gently made known to us that we would not find anywhere open for lunch in the village. We put our coats back on, which seemed somewhat pointless and set off back into the rain to trudge home. There was a bakery (closed until four) and a small supermarket (closed until half past three) between us and our lodgings, so we got nothing.
Back in our room, Lucie hung everything wet around the room, the plethora of pegs hinting, perhaps, that such rain was not that unusual. I lay on the bed and, as I am prone to do, immediately fell asleep. Lucie, apparently, busied herself with periodically moving wet clothes around for faster drying, planning an upcoming trip with her friend, writing up her own diary and periodically watching the weather. I only have her word for that as, when she woke me at six, I was so deeply asleep that she practically had to push me out of bed !
It had stopped raining and, of course, it was a pleasant, if slightly chilly evening. We set off the few hundred metres back towards the village and this time chose the “better” Italian restaurant Buss’l & more (Via Peter Mitterhofer, 1/a, 39020 Parcines BZ, Italy).
This was obviously aiming to be more upmarket than the Cafe Garberstub a few doors down. There was a cheerful, multi-lingual, Maitre d’ with whom we shared quite a laugh finding out what the translated “Frog Fish” (Angler Fish) really was from an ancient book of translations,
There was an Italian-style, four-course menu, but we limited ourselves to three, sharing a swordfish carpaccio (delicious)
and, like two little twins, picking a mixed seafood grill each (also very nice indeed)
and the same strawberry and pineapple dessert which was a bit like a non-bruléed, strawberry flavoured, creme-brulée.
That may sound confusing, but it was a great finish. I had another beer from the Forst brewery which we were to pass again on our way down to Bolzano the following morning.
I had feared the dinner would be too small but we were both, as they say, replete. We ambled the short distance home as the fullish moon rose majestically over the roadside orchards. Naturally, I fell asleep again as soon as we returned to the room. Lucie claims that I woke up several times to tell her that I could not fall asleep because of her reading light before immediately beginning to snore again. I cannot substantiate that.