Welcome today from South Tyrol and thank you to my sponsor IDM South Tyrol, who made this episode here possible. I’m currently on the cable car, going from Bolzano up to Oberbozen. This place lies at approximately 1200 meters above sea level and in the past, a rack railway used to go up here. In 1966, however, a cable car was built here, so the rack railway is not in use anymore. This cable car is a regular public transport facility today. During the day you can take this cable car up to Oberbozen every four minutes. Originally a rack railway ran from Bolzano up to the Ritten. Today, a section of this railway line is still in operation which goes from Himmelfahrt to Klobenstein. It is six and a half kilometers long. However, the historic rail vehicles are not always in operation. This train ride is one of the classics here on the Ritten. Whereas the Ritten Railway was travelling up to here as a rack railway, it is travelling as a “normal” adhesion railway around here. And with the Ritten Card, you can use all of the public transport in South Tyrol for free. Please be aware, however, that you have to insert this card into a ticket validating machine before every ride. Additionally this card entitles you to free admission or reduced admission to more than 90 museums and exhibitions, as well as castles, such as Runkelstein Castle. And the earth pyramids are my next destination. I think they are a very special attraction here up on the Ritten. In contrast to the pyramids in Egypt, the pyramids here on the Ritten have a much harder life. The earth pyramids can be visited in three places and their formation is very exciting. There is a layer of clay which is gradually washed out by the rain. Where there is a stone in the clay layer, the water can’t affect the clay anymore. This is where it stays firmly in place, so after a while an earth pyramid emerges here in the landscape. However, if the stone falls down, there is a problem because then the clay that was under it also gets washed away by the rain and the pyramid disappears after a while. The earth pyramids in Lengmoos are the easiest to visit. It takes around 30 minutes to walk back to the Ritten Railway. The ride on the Ritten Railway and the visit to the earth pyramids are two of the popular holiday classics here on the Ritten. But I also want to tell you a little bit about the insider tips and show you things that are not so well known. To show this to you I am waiting for someone who, unfortunately, only arrives in two days. Then they can tell me more about those things. In addition, there is a very special train ride up here in two days that I would also like to show you. So I guess that means it’s time for a break. Two days have passed and now I am here in Lichtenstern. But not alone anymore, because now Karl is here with me. Hello there! Karl: Hello!
Gerhard: You want to show me the insider tips on the Ritten, right? Karl: I am delighted to do so, I am a nature and landscape guide. We will visit beautiful viewpoints and places of power and I hope you will like it there. Yes, you can really sense that this is a special place of power and a prehistoric place, a sacrificial place. You can see this huge stone here, which is called Menhir. This stone Menhir is really puzzling. Between the Waldburg at Waldnereck and Mitterstieler lake, twelve such stones were placed in an arrangement of an isosceles triangle. There is private research which says that in ancient times, there was no forest and now trees here, and apparently one could see through the notch of Santner and Euringer Spitze by looking through this notch here. And exactly on the 21st of March and on the 23rd of October, you could see the sun rise between Santner and Euringer Spitze through this notch. Karl: Wait! Do you know this plant that we are stepping on right now? – Gerhard: This one? – Karl: Yes, exactly. Gerhard: No. – Karl: This is an interesting plant, it’s a broadleaf plantain. This plant wants to grow exactly where it will be crushed by humans or animals, like for example on this path. Our ancestors needed to somehow find out which plants could be useful for which purpose and they figured this plant always gets injured, so it might intentionally grow where it gets injured. Maybe it helps with healing injuries. And that’s exactly it. You can put it on injuries and it supposedly acts like a natural antibiotic. Gerhard: It is nice and quiet here! – Karl: Yes, this is really a quiet path. With my guests, I usually walk in silence if they want that, that is a very special experience: Hearing the steps, the wind, the twig snapping under your foot or the chirping of a bird. This way you are very aware of the nature around you. Walking in silence through the forest for a few minutes is absolutely pleasant. But now we are out of the woods again and I have to tell or rather show you something. Is that a great view over South Tyrol! Karl: We are here at the bee museum, the Plattnerhof, and I recommend you take a look inside, it is really something special. – Gerhard: Thank you for guiding me, I’ll take a look into the bee museum up there right now. Here in the yard you can not only visit the bee museum, but you can also see how the two women who inhabited the yard until 1975 lived here at the time. They led a very simple life back then, which they did by choice. In the midst of civilization, they lived here without electricity and without running water. In the basement of the house, there used to be a stable and today, the bee museum is situated there. Historical tools are displayed here, but also historical beehives, which are also called “Beute”. Here you can also see how the honey was harvested in the past and some things got broken, for example the whole honeycomb, and the honey was also contaminated. And over time, the technology has evolved ever since to today’s modern beekeeping. It’s really exciting how the life of these bees works and inside, in the museum, I’ve learned a lot about these bees. I could say a lot about it now, but it is also very exciting to take a look at the bee nature trail. There you can see how these bees live. On the one hand, the live in beehives, where about 40.000 bees fit into a two-level hive. You can also take a look into a windowed beehive. If you look very closely, you can even see the queen. The Ritten Railway stop Wolfsgruben is only a few meters away from the bee museum at Plattnerhof. And yes, I have just missed this train, but I will take the next one back to Oberbozen where a very special railcar is already waiting for me. As I mentioned at the beginning of the video, you can have a very special experience with the railway here a few times a year. You can take a culinary evening trip and today it is happening again. At the railway stops you are offered culinaric delicacies and in between you can be on the move with this art nouveau railcar. Thank you for watching and Tschüs, Servus, Baba and goodbye here from the Ritten. If you want to see more videos from South Tyrol, then have a look at the next video with excursion tips.