Sun, Dec 11, 2011 - 25K - 03:15:00
Bavarian Castle and Austria Run
Ran 5K up from our place in Füssen up to Castle Hohenschwangau. By the time I was back in town I had gone 10K but my legs really wanted to run and I remember there seeing a little mountain road on Google Earth that got you over the first foothill of the Alps and into Austria, so I ran on to see if I could find it. I found it at 13K and started into the 8% grade climb. The fog was coming over the moutains so as soon as I got half up the mountain all the trees were enshrouded in thick mist. The top of the foothill brought me to Lake Alatsee, then up and over the border of Germany to Austria and down into the farmer town of Vils. The odd thing about this town was that it seemed fully deserted except for a humming factory which was exporting something in large, overhead containers which traveled along on a overhead pully system that extended out across the town, it was as if the only thing moving in the town was this factory and its slow-moving cable cars. I turned around in the town at about 17K and began the trek back, up over the hill, then caught up with another runner going around Lake Atesee who told me of a running trail that went along side the road back down to Füssen. I got on it which turned out to be a very fun running trail, padded with pine needles and many ups and downs, which eventually brought me out onto a little road on which I ran for another half hour back to Füssen, stopping sometimes to appreciate the absolute silence in this hidden valley smothered in fog and trees. Amazingly, legs are hardly phased at all, but I have hundreds of unique memories from this adventure run. 
first view of Castle Hohenschwangau: 
an imposing castle from below: 
Castle Neuschwanstein was wrapped up in scaffolding for renovation: 
ran around corner to see if I could get up to Hohenschwangau 
they had Bavaria turned up to 11 back here: 
Hohenschwangau approaching from the back 
the tips of the Alps were appearing in the distance: 
the King's Orangerie 
here's Castle Hohenschwangau where King Ludwig grew up and in the distance Castle Neuschwanstein which he built during his reign 
began the 5K run back down to Füssen 
found bakery in the village center, bought a brötchen to go, and motored on: 
a powerade completed my breakfast, and I ran off looking for the road up over the mountain 
some absolutely stunning views on this run: 
thanks to google maps on my smartphone, I found the road which led up and over the first foothill towards Austria: 
4K to Vils, Austria (Tirol): 
what goes up, comes back down, running down to Lake Alatsee: 
Vils, 2.6K: 
ran around this lake and then up and over the hill to run into Austria 
first view of Vils, Austria, a back-mountain, sleepy farming town 
should be enough wood to keep the winter stove burning: 
running into town: 
center of Vils: 
these overhead containers coming out of the factory and being pulled silently out over the town were interesting and odd: 
back over the mountain to Germany 
caught up and chatted with this runner: 
who told me of this awesome running path which ran along side the road a good way down the mountain: 
I think this is where Heidi lived: 
distances back here are measured in how long it takes to walk them 
fill you bottle with mineral water here: 
back in town: 
home sweet home, the end of one of the most memorable runs ever: