87km Calliano to Bolzano
We put the bikes into high gear today and sped along the smooth and vineyard-lined bicycle path that links Trent and Bolzano. The trail was well done in every respect – paved, well marked and with lots of water and picnic tables – and this meant it was also heavily used. We saw dozens of other bike tourists (mostly Germans on their way south) as well as racing cyclists, speed skaters out on their roller blades and local grannies on their way to the shops. By early afternoon we were in Bolzano, a town that has more of an Austrian feel to it than an Italian atmosphere. German seems to be the most common language spoken on the streets and there are sausage and pretzel stands on every corner. After some time we finally manged to get directions to the campground (none of the locals seemed to know it existed) and we checked in for two days; partly to give our legs a little rest before we hit the Dolomite mountain passes and also to go see the ice man Otzi at the local museum. Otzi hit the headlines a few years ago when his frozen but perfectly preserved 5300-year-old body was found in ice not far from Bolzano and now he’s on display in the archeology museum here. We normally aren’t much for museums but this we definitely wanted to see so we’ll swallow the rather expensive camping fees for a chance to meet Otzi.