After leaving Castelrotto (a bit reluctantly to be honest), we took the bus down the mountain to the main hub town of the region, Bolzano. We never planned on spending much time in Bolzano, we were just using it as a quick stopover on our way South.
And here is how the bus down from Castelrotto went: horrible. If you are prone to any sort of motion sickness as I am, then be warned, this ride is not for the faint of heart. It was a long hour of very twisty roads following the edge of the mountain. I am pretty sure that I was green in the face and had a cold sweat when we arrived in Bolzano.
When we arrived, I was grateful to be on solid ground, but also to go check into our apartment for the night and have a moment to try and calm my motion sickness. Our apartment was a 10 minute walk from the train station, and honestly, no one could have paid me enough to get into a cab or anything moving at that point.
When we arrived at our home for the night, Il Battente 1862, Maria, our host, sweetly welcomed us in and gave us the tour of our enormous apartment – 2 large bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchenette, and a dining/living room. We had so much space that we almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves.
As you can see, the apartment was beautiful and had a fabulous and eclectic mix of antiques. We could have easily just relaxed the afternoon away, not stepping back out into Bolzano; especially after Maria kindly brought in a tray for us to enjoy with some wine and a few small snacks.
But, the show must go on, and so we stuck to the plan. After enjoying our wine, we headed out to explore what we could of the city in a quick afternoon.
Instead of wandering as we normally would, we headed directly across town to see the Iceman at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. Yep, the famous Iceman of Bolzano. Okay, well, maybe not exactly famous, more like a local attraction.
We had read about this online, and it had strangely peaked both of our interests. Here is the short story – in 1991 some tourists found a man perfectly preserved in ice on the border of Italy and Austria. After a lot of research, and unfortunately some poor preservation methods, scientists discovered that this man dated back to somewhere around 3500 b.c. And as it is advertised, this man is still on display on ice.
We both thought that this sounded pretty interesting. Well, unfortunately, it kind of sucked. It was honestly really bad. There were several floors to the museum, each telling you the story of the “Iceman,” building up your anticipation before actually seeing him. Well, here is the spoiler – he is not in ice anymore, he is just in a cold room. How can you call him the Iceman if he isn’t?!?
I think that the Iceman looks just about as confused about the whole situation as I was
Also, after seeing him, we realized that the museum literally has a video playing outside on the street that shows him as well. So, unless you really have a thing for seeing something like this, save your time and your money, and read about it online.
Post “Iceman,” we decided that that was it for our tourist attractions for the day. Instead, we wandered all over Bolzano center, window shopping, people watching, and then of course, stopping for a gelato. The historic center of the town was very cute – stone streets, historic buildings, cute little shops, and tons and tons of biergartens (the German influence is very strong here just like in Castelrotto).
It’s the funny travel days like these that make life so interesting, and as my parents would say, “are the spice of life.” Traveling isn’t about experiencing the perfect moment, perfectly timing the sunrise or sunset, eating at the best restaurants, or even enjoying the most fascinating museums. It’s about enjoying the adventures of life, and if you’re lucky enough, with someone you love by your side.
when all else fails, gelato. always gelato.