T is for...Timmelsjoch

by Lee Santiva July. 09, 2019 175 views
View to Italy from the "Fernrohr" (binocular)

View to Italy from the "Fernrohr" (binocular)

Timmelsjoch is the German language name of the high alpine (2509 meters altitude) pass which enables you to cross the Alps between Austria and Italy. It is called Passo del Rombo (Passorombo) in Italian.

Looking to Austrian Alps from the highest point at Timmelsjoch Pass

Looking to Austrian Alps from the highest point at Timmelsjoch Pass

I found the extreme contrast in the landscapes over such a short distance fascinating: from the inhabitable, barren, rocky ground at the mountain peak to the lush, luminous green vegetation in Passeier Valley of South Tyrol (Italy).

Barren Alpine peak at Timmelsjoch pass in Tyrol, Austria

Barren Alpine peak at Timmelsjoch pass in Tyrol, Austria

Lush greens of the Passier Valley viewed from the "Granat" installation (Moos, Italy)

Lush greens of the Passier Valley viewed from the "Granat" installation (Moos, Italy)

The Timmelsjoch Pass is only open for a few months in the summer from mid-June to mid-October. We visited on a very cold but clear day in October 2016 right before it closed and will be going back to this region for our summer vacation this year.

Timmeljoch High Alpine Road has over 30 hairpin curves

Timmeljoch High Alpine Road has over 30 hairpin curves

The 45 kilometers of breathtaking road has over 30 hairpin curves, making it a favorite for cyclists and motorcyclists. The number of vehicles increases each year: in 2018 there were over 86,000 motorcyclists and 106,000 cars. Ironically, no heavy vehicles (trucks or trailers) are allowed. I say ironically because the pass historically was used as a major trade route between northern and southern Europe, which I will explain next.

Top of the Mountain Station and Museum at the peak in Hochgurgl, Austria

Top of the Mountain Station and Museum at the peak in Hochgurgl, Austria

Before the high alpine road and pass opened to traffic in 1968 after over 15 years of road construction (started in 1955 on the Austrian side), people travelled by foot for centuries.

Today we take for granted the common Euro currency and the ease of passage between countries without a passport for people or customs for goods.

The Smuggler at Timmelsjoch

The Smuggler at Timmelsjoch

However this freedom has existed only for a few "minutes" compared to the centuries prior during which people risked their lives for trade. Trade over the Timmelsjoch pass started over 700 years ago in the 13th century.

To avoid expensive customs, traders smuggled their goods across borders. It took a smuggler over 10 hours to cross by foot with his heavy pack filled with food, wine and flax, often in snow storm.

The Steg installation

The Steg installation

There are five architectural installations along the high alpine road from Timmelsjoch with information panels explaining its history while providing spectacular views of the mountainous landscape.

Five architectural installations along the High Alpine Road

Five architectural installations along the High Alpine Road

Sources:

1) https://www.timmelsjoch.com/en/timmelsjoch-high-alpine-road/

2) https://www.crosspoint.tirol/en-smuggler

3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timmelsjoch

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There are 8 comments , add yours!
Berckmans Peter 1 month, 1 week ago

Very very nice,love the scenery

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Berckmans Peter 1 month, 1 week ago

Thanks Peter, I love capturing landscapes much more than food, I must confess

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Jay Boggess 1 month, 1 week ago

Great camera work & fascinating info! Thank You!

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Jay Boggess 1 month, 1 week ago

Thanks Jay glad you liked it

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Lee Santiva 1 month, 1 week ago

My pleasure!
+1grinning+1

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Camellia 1 month, 1 week ago

Interesting information and very cool photos. I like the angles and perspective you picked for some of the photos.

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Camellia 1 month, 1 week ago

Thanks alot! I remember you are afraid of/ don‘t like heights so that road would not be for you so I‘m glad you enjoyed the blog nonetheless.
Your comment got me thinking. I took these photos on 2016, long before photoblog or sharing them with anyone else, I took them for me/Me and my husband. Now I wonder how much the thought „for the blog“ influences my composition?
Do you know what I mean? Does this thought occur to you?

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Camellia Replied to Lee Santiva 1 month, 1 week ago

Now that I have a blog I know that many of the shots I take make me think of "how will this look if I post it?" and therefor try to compose it so that it looks half way decent. So in some ways I can understand what you mean.

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
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