With the bicycle from Mals to Merano: Report by Reinhard Jakubowski

Juval Castle and Naturns

Next focal point is, from the bike, on the left side shortly before Naturns Juval Castle, the domicile of Reinhold Messner, high up on a rock’s ledge at the entrance to the Schnals valley.

Photo: M. Banken

Parish Church St. Ulrich in Plaus with a modern cycle of frescos on the wall of the churchyard.

We reach Naturns (554 m), with approx. 4.300 inhabitants the most significant place of the Untervinschgau, at 16.45 hours. Naturns is art-historically famous for its frescos in the St. Prokulus church from the 8th century and St. Zeno’s Hall Church, dating from late baroque.

The Naturparkhaus Texelgruppe offers kids and adults the opportunity to get in a vivid manner acquainted with flora and fauna in the mountains of the Texelgruppe. In the course of a longer bike trip through the Vinschgau time is unfortunaltey too short for an extensive sightseeing tour of the Naturparkhaus. One has to allow some time for it on another occasion.

Photo: Reinhard Jakubowski

"Plauser Totentanz" along the churchyard wall of the Parish Church of Plaus.

In Naturns we change to the other side of the Etsch and approach the village Plaus after 5 km on an asphalted embankment on the left-hand side. For a short while we cross the Etsch to the other side and visit the small Parish Church zum Heiligen Ullrich with its Romanesque steeple.

One should definitely make this detour because of the "Plauser Totentanz", a modern fresco cycle by the Vinschger artist Luis Stefan Stecher on the outside of the churchyard wall.

Almost at the destination Merano

We return to the cycling track over the bridge of the Etsch and get started again. It’s approx. 10 km till we reach our destination Merano.

Photo: Reinhard Jakubowski

The raging water of the Etsch barrage at Töll is impressive and shows the enormous force of the river.

Speedingly reaching Töll, after approx. 5 km, we get off our bikes, firstly to take a picture of the raging water of the Etsch barrage and secondly to change to the other side of the S38; because it is here, some 5 km from Merano, where the biker’s glory comes to an end.

From here the cycling tour comes to an end on the country road to Plars, which has to be driven through the main road. Finally there is a small stretch of federal road on the programme, then the way leads on side roads to the centre of Merano, the second largest city of South Tyrol.

Our destination Merano has been reached

Photo: M. Bankeni

Soon we have reached Töll and Merano, the destination of our cycling tour along the Etsch, is not far.

In no time we have reached Merano (300 m) without any exertion. The pedals of our bikes remain in an idle position. Proof: Töll lies 550 m above sea level – Merano 300 m

What is very important on the last short stretch is, that the brakes are functioning well. However, since our bikes are, as already mentioned, in top condition, we are rolling unerringly via Plars and Algund into the thermal and spa town of Merano.

Before we know how it happened, we have reached the centre of Merano!

Words by Bärbel & Reinhard Jakubowski from Gladbeck. Pictures by Reinhard Jakubowski & Michael Banken. They are being use with the kind permission of the authors.

Reports and wordings of guest authors are not necessarily the opinion of the owner of the media

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