Monday 19th August (bit behind)
We first met Otzi back in 2006. We were hanging out in the Otztal valley hoping to climb but the weather had taken a serious turn for the worse.
Trawling through tourist info leaflets we found that behind our campsite was Otzidorf.
Travel Back in time to an era where Ötzi ‘the man in ice’ lived. Said the flyers.
So, off we pottered for a very informative if rather damp few hours finding out about Otzi the iceman.
It turns out that Ötzi, also called the Iceman, is the well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE. When he was discovered, by 2 climbers in 1999, poking out of a glacier they thought he might be from the war, just 70 years ago but, it turns out that he is about 5,300 years old. I’m usually happy if someone thinks I look a few years younger than my current 55. Ötzi was mistaken for a man 5,130 years younger! That’s either one serious skin care regime or some blooming awful guess work from the experts on the spot.
Anyway, we’ve been to the outdoor museum, we’ve been within a few miles of the spot he was actually found. Time to visit the museum in Bolzano, Italy dedicated to and housing the man himself.
The museum is excellent and I thoroughly recommend both it and the city of Bolzano should you find yourself in that part of Italy.
The museum tells the story of the find and the research undertaken in the decades up to now. Strangely they only got forensic scientists involved relatively recently to reveal the possible scenarios around Ötzi’s ‘murder‘. Pause for dramatic effect…
… [pause ends].
You can’t take photos of his body so, no pictures here. (The National geographic have a good site where it can be seen) His body is kept in a frozen state and is visible via a viewing area with the exhibition culminating in a full size recreation of him.
Looking good for a 5,300 year old murder victim
After a very educational visit we headed off for lunch. This turned out to be very expensive because it also involved a couple of visits to shops as follows:
- Book shop: €36 – Climbing Guide book to replace ancient one.
- outdoor shop: €60 – lightweight trousers for Mr P for next years trip!
- Outdoor shop No. 2: €240!!!!! Mountain trousers and top for Mr P who has lost so much weight over the last few years that everything is falling off him (and other such vague excuses)
Those concerned that this spending spree is somewhat Mr P centric may be heartened by the fact that some years ago a similar shopping spree took place that just involved Mrs P.
Moving on, which is exactly what we did, we then drove south for a couple of hours to Arco. We were here in 2006 also. Sleepy little town at the northern most tip of Lake Garda. I’m sure nothing has changed…