The Kohler family’s favourite places
Top tips for a holiday at the Hotel Engel
A gathering of angels
They are known as the places where angels gather: places where memories and the outside world touch at each other’s wingtips. I have this time asked the Kohler family for their personal favourite places and redrawn the map of South Tyrol.
Drawn by the Karer forest
Carmen Kohler loves the high spruce trees, the twilight on the moss carpets, the morning hours with the first birdsong and the animal tracks in the undergrowth – all the different moods of the Karer forest. She visits the magical old tree trunks almost every day, straying with the family dog far off the beaten track. She clears her head to start the day in all its fine greenery.
Quiet mysteries of the waters
Son Matthias Kohler loves to go where the many faces of the Latemar massif are almost close enough to touch, either alone or with a friend. :-) For just three weeks of the year, up on the meadows, the Mittersee Lake appears. Then, like the legendary melt waters, it disappears again, draining away into Lake Karer. In its place the meadows below the Latemar begin to bloom and memories awake. Carmen and Luis Kohler have spent many hours there with their children, sailing a raft on the waters, playing on the bank with their kids or enjoying a delicious picnic.
The big city lights of Bozen
When Johannes is not off on a trip to Amsterdam, Barcelona or Innsbruck, he can visit the nearby delights of Bozen and the square in front of the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano. Here students and the open-minded wander, discuss and celebrate their exchanges and encounters. Here the buzz is local, Mediterranean, international, and a celebration of the notion that “anything is possible”. In short, a colourful melting pot of the realities of life, traditional architecture and light-heartedness.
Conquering new paths
Where some walk or fly, others get in the saddle. Luis Kohler clears his mind not by bagging peaks, but rather by conquering new paths. He criss-crosses South Tyrol on his bike, from the Brenner Pass down to Verona, from Lienz up to the Reschen Pass. While he prefers the pass roads, he also loves the many small villages along the way, each with its own character that reveals so much about this land and its people.
Clear view, clear head
Johannes wants to get up and about, because a bird’s-eye view makes the rolling news and information overload of the world down below so much smaller and less significant. The silence clears his head, the clean air purifies his lungs. Johannes has made tandem flights through the skies above the Gröden and Passeier Valleys, but his latest hobby is climbing. First at the end of a rope, but now he enjoys free climbing and bouldering on fixed-rope routes and cliff faces. The enormous physical effort frees the mind.
Angels come down to earth
When angels eat out, they choose straightforward fare. Because a gourmet can also savour “erdäpfelblattln” [potato fritters] and sauerkraut, preferably at the Grieserhof in Neustift, an authentic family-run establishment. It is also a beautiful experience to wander around the town of Brixen, along the culture trail or up to the monastery of Säben, between vineyards and abundance at all times of year. Even the way there through the Eisack Valley, with its red, yellow and black rocks, its vineyards and mountain villages, shows off the many facets of this, South Tyrol’s most diverse valley.
Special days with the angels
If the soul sometimes requires no more than peace and quiet, then a moment to withdraw into silent thought is required. On such days Carmen Kohler seeks out the pilgrimage church of Maria Weissenstein in Deutschnofen, a refuge and a place of tranquillity, where everything can return to its origins and above all a place where the angels are close to one another.