In search of Otzi

Bolzano Travel Blog

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Bolzano Youth Hostel

I woke up to (trains) screeching and (cars) honking.  Ah, yes, I'm in Italy.  That bed was the most comfortable youth hostel bed I've ever slept in, and much better than most beds I've slept in!  I slept well, though I'm not sure why I woke up so early.  I showered and woke up Michele.  We went down to a nice breakfast where we discovered how delicious spreadable cheese is on rolls.  Mmmmm.  After breakfast we had a decision to make: what to do?  The original plan was to take a bus to Castelroto and look at the scenery and come back.  But after so many problems yesterday, we didn't really feel like sitting on a bus for 2 hours.   We figured we'd probably get some nice views on the train when we left.  So that freed up a few hours in the morning.

Michele on the quest to find the Seilbahn
  Why not take a chairlift/skyride up to the top of the hill behind the city?  Probably get some great views from there. 

We set off, following the directions of the guidebook.  It said walk about 5 blocks.  Well, we didn't see anything, so we kept going.  A little farther, we noticed a chair lift going up the hill, but it was on the other side of a busy street.  Its definitely more than 5 blocks, but this town does have three of them.  We couldn't figure out how to get over there, so we just turned around and headed back.  On the way back, we saw "Seilbahn" crossing signs (the chair lift), but couldn't find it anywhere.  We saw some cables, so we found our way to them, but they ended in the middle of someone's yard.  What's going on?  We continued heading back to the hostel and passed a large wall mural about the Seilbahn and how it is undergoing construction and was not open at the time.
There's the sign, now where is it?
  Figures.

On the way back, we stopped in at the youth hostel and asked about the Seilbahns.  Yes indeed that one was closed and the other two were actually out of town.  Maybe we should have asked before we left.  This was the first time I had been let down by Rick Steves.  We walked to the train station and out to Walthers Piazza before deciding that we wanted to find the museum that the mummy of Otzi was in!  So we got our bearings and took off.  Well, apparently we were still jet lagged because when we got to the museum's location, there was no museum in sight.  We analyzed the street signs and searched our map - oh there we are...way down there...how'd we get here?  Did we forget how to read a map?  I guess so because we went south instead of north.

Oh, its closed for construction
  So we wandered back and followed the church spire to Duomo.  There we went inside, read our map again and looked at the sandstone pulpit that is supposed to resemble the Stephansdom pulpit in Vienna.  Okay, now we really need to get moving or we won't get any time at the museum!  After a few more wrong turns, we eventually made it to the museum.  And here I was to be let down by Rick Steves again. 

We got one (essential) audioguide and hit the museum.  Since we really came to see Otzi, we skipped ahead to that floor.  Following the map on the brochure, we went straight to Otzi's mummy.  Wait, where is it?  Did we read the map wrong again?  Clearly I left my head at home today.  But we did see all his artifacts - clothing, footwear, spears, birchbark containers, etc.

Duomo and Piazza Walther
  And of course, the highlight was seeing Otzi himself!  He was in a climate controlled case, which appeared to be bombproof.  There he was!  Ever since he had been discovered I had wanted to see him.  Yeah, like I'd ever be in Italy just to see Otzi, I thought.  And then 14 years later, here I was!  Cool!  It was just amazing to see him, I couldn't get enough of staring at him.  But we pulled ourselves away and looked at the exhibits.  This floor was in Italian, German, and English, so we didn't need the audioguide at all.  It was just fascinating to see the 5300 yr old man and his belongings and to read about the science behind everything and the suspected murder of him.  Wow.  So neat.

We didn't have much time before our train left, so we went back down to the first floor exhibit and looked at some stone age stuff, using the audioguide.

Inside Duomo
  I paid for it, so I better learn something from it!  We skipped the bronze age, iron age and whatever else they had there.  It was a really nice museum and I was mad at myself for getting so lost that I didn't have enough time to see the one thing that I wanted to see!  We were there only an hour or so before we had to head back.  I figured there was a pretty good chance we'd get lost on the way back, but we didn't.  We gathered our bags from the youth hostel and went to the train station. 

The train ride from Bolzano to Florence was amazing.  We went through the Dolomites and passed mountains, rivers, rocks, hills, just beautiful!  And to think our train ride here probably would have been better.

Sandstone pulpit in Duomo
  But we enjoyed the scenery and even the tunnels and all too soon we were out of the Dolomites and on our way to Cinque Terra. 

Its a good thing our next train was late, because our arriving train was late, but we made the transfer and were on our way to Riomaggiore.  The train from Florence to Pistoia was packed.  It must have been rush hour there.  We didn't get a great sunset, but saw a little orange in the sky.  We arrived in Riomaggiore a little after 8 pm and went to find our room.

missandrea81 says:
I have to put seeing Otzi on my list.
Posted on: Jul 27, 2012
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Bolzano Youth Hostel
Bolzano Youth Hostel
Michele on the quest to find the S…
Michele on the quest to find the …
Theres the sign, now where is it?
There's the sign, now where is it?
Oh, its closed for construction
Oh, its closed for construction
Duomo and Piazza Walther
Duomo and Piazza Walther
Inside Duomo
Inside Duomo
Sandstone pulpit in Duomo
Sandstone pulpit in Duomo
Rathaus Piazza (I think)
Rathaus Piazza (I think)
Via Museo
Via Museo
Otzi found in 1991 (photo from Par…
Otzi found in 1991 (photo from Pa…
Otzis footwear
Otzi's footwear
Otzi mummy
Otzi mummy
Otzi (photo from PBS website)
Otzi (photo from PBS website)
Mountains behind the train station
Mountains behind the train station
Adige River (?)
Adige River (?)
Dolomites Mountains from the train…
Dolomites Mountains from the trai…
Layers in the Dolomites
Layers in the Dolomites
Whoops!  Going through a tunnel!
Whoops! Going through a tunnel!
Neat bridge
Neat bridge
This is how we looked on the train…
This is how we looked on the trai…
I was always looking for something
I was always looking for something
Dolomites map
Dolomites map
Bolzano Hostels review
Best hostel beds ever!
Youth Hostel Bolzano is a wonderful, clean place to stay. The beds are like heaven (which says alot for bunkbeds!). The rooms are 1, 3 or 4 bed room… read entire review
Bolzano
photo by: aloneinthecrowd