Sunday 13 March 2016

Winter Walking In Seefeld - Day 4

At The Sound Of The Bell

12.00 miles / A = 870m / D = 886m

As it happened, the morning wasn't overly icy, but a little more snow had fallen. And for once, the early skies were not completely overcast - the prospect of sunshine was a distinct possibility, and it was actually a bit warmer than expected.

Prompted by the discovery of the Peace Bell during yesterday's walk, we decided to go back and find out more. The short accompanying trail was much too brief for a full day's walking, so we decided to first of all walk to Mösern via the Gschwandtkopf, then do the themed trail, including a circumnavigation of the Möserersee, before visiting the bell itself.

View across the Wildsee, with sunlight just catching the
snowcapped mountains

It was quite sunny as we set off through the town centre and out to the Wildsee, where we picked up the same path as we had done a couple of days earlier on the way to Reith and Leithen. Round and about the tops of the higher mountains were picked out in sunlight, and sunglasses were worn for the first time all week.

Descending to Auland

Past the Lake and the deer pen the route remained as before. At Auland, though, we took a different route, and began to climb steeply through woods towards the col on the south side of the Gschwandtkopf. 

Cabins amongst the trees

Sunlight speared through the trees, the snow was fresh and the path less trodden, and with tantalising views to the high mountains across the Inn valley it was quite magical.

Distant mountains

Periodically, groups of wooden cabins collected in small glades between the trees - uninhabited at this time of year, but which would be great to stay in during the summer months, they had a fairytale-like quality to them. 

Cabin and mountains

After a short coffee break, we set off again, reaching the junction with the path to the Gschwandtkopf soon after 12.00 o'clock. Quiet at first, the path climbed steadily - soon passing beneath ski lifts and crossing busy slopes as we gained height and the views opened up.

Ski slopes above Mösern

Finally, we reached the top. There we good all round views including over Seefeld, and a couple of places to eat to tempt us. We settled on the Sonnenalm, choosing drinks and huge pieces of Apfel Strudel with Vanilla sauce. Yummy!

Outside the Sonnenalm on the Gschwandtkopf

Moving on, we retraced our steps to the col and followed the path towards Mösern in the warm sunshine.

Descending towards Mösern

Just before entering Mösern, we skirted the edge of the village and soon picked up the Peace Bell themed walk – the Friedensglockewanderweg! A steady climb brought us out just above the village, then we continued upwards for a little while longer to reach the Möserersee, a small lake that the route circumnavigated.

Looking across the Möserersee

We stopped for coffee part way round, soaking up the peace and quiet. Continuing through the outskirts of the village, we looked at each of the seven marked stops on the walk until we reached the Peace Bell itself. It’s a pretty large bell - I'd guess at least two-and-a-half metres across – weighing in at over 10 tons and with a heck of a clapper!

The Friedensglocke

This tolls at 5.00pm every day, and we had timed our walk to be there to hear it ring this evening. We were slightly early so we ducked into a nearby café, but as 5.00pm came round, we popped down the road to watch the bell being tolled. Considering the message of peace and neighbourliness being sent out, it’s quite a moving experience to hear the peals ring out across the Inn valley and properly contemplate the meaning behind it.

Fence near Mösern church

We caught the bus back to Seefeld, arriving in time for a wash and brush up before dinner, after which we chatted to our dining neighbours who come from Suffolk.

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