Who: Mark and myself
Length: about 5 miles
Time: about 3 hours
Weather: warm, sunny
This was the second day-hike of my Austria Summer vacation with Mark. Our rental apartment was in Stummerberg in the Zillertal valley. So, we drove about 25 minutes down the valley to the town of Mayrhofen. From Mayrhofen, we took the Penkenbahn cable car, and the Kombibahn Penken, to the top of Penkenberg. At the top, we stopped for a few minutes to watch a para-sail launch. We hiked several miles along the ridge on well-defined trails, enjoying the scenery, people-watching, and plenty of opportunities for dining!
Our first dining break was at the Panorama Restaurant, for a cappuccino and Germknödel with vanilla sauce. What a treat, after only about 30 minutes of hiking!
The Penken recreation area is popular and had people of all ages: children, families, young and old. We must have seen a dozen or more para-sails during the day. We also saw rock climbers, mountain bikers, and people riding interesting apparatus down the trails. One vehicle new to me looked like a mountain-tricycle. Another new one (to me) looked like a scooter with larger wheels, and the rider stands on it with feet parallel to each other and pointed straight ahead.
We hiked past the Penkenjochhaus (another gasthaus/restaurant), and followed the road to the Wangl Alm. At this point, we were considering hiking down to Vorderlandersbach and taking the bus back to Mayrhofen. However, Mark was feeling some pain in his hip so we took the more-level trail back the way we came, and rode the lifts down.
For dinner, we stopped at the Gschlösswandhaus. This gasthaus is near the middle station, where the Penkenbahn cable car and Kombibahn meet. it is relatively new, and built on the side of a cliff. I had Haussülze and Mark, Wienerschnitzel. We both had Zillertaler Weissbier. At the end of our week, Mark selected this meal as his best of the week–the Wienerschitzel was thinly-cut and the breading light and crispy.
Back in Mayrhofen, we walked around and explored the town a little, including a visit to the local church. On the way home we stopped for groceries and to fill the car with gas.
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