With a loud rattle of the engine, the city bus comes to a halt at the Bludenz Obdorfweg stop. My companion for today's stage 2 of the Sunna-Weg gets off with a lively step and a smile on her lips. Stephanie Ganahl works at Alpenregion Bludenz Tourismus and has taken over the coordination of the Sunna-Weg project. She will tell me today how a project of this kind runs. Let's go!
A few steps after our start at the Daneu bridge, nothing can be heard of the road traffic. We are surrounded by tall trees, the sun occasionally winks through the branches and paints magical patterns on the ground. It's nice how quickly one can come to rest in nature in Bludenz from the hustle and bustle of the old town. But I am here to learn something about the Sunna-Weg project. Stephanie, how do you approach it when the idea of a new themed trail comes up? "A new project always starts an exciting time. The first thing to do is get the idea in order and answer a few questions. Who is collaborating? What do we want to accomplish? By when should everything be ready? Then a preliminary project plan is created." Sounds logical. And how did things proceed in the specific example of the Sunna-Weg? "We then determined the exact route of the path and commissioned Christof Thöny to formulate initial themes for the information panels," Stephanie explains to me. We see the results at the edge of the path: forest-green panels with a sun tell us stories about the "Galgentobel" and the Bludenzer "Schlossberg", about the former Schützenhaus and today's "Schlosshotel". While we read, we pause at the same time and enjoy the silence of the forest. Birds chirp, branches crack and the wind gently strokes through the leaves of the beech trees. Again and again, the path passes clearings where we catch magnificent views of the Alpine Town.
Stephanie continues: "The most exciting thing about this project was that we worked across different locations and the project group consisted of a colorful mix of people who otherwise have little to do with each other. Bringing the different ways of thinking together, I found that very interesting." And what challenged you the most? "Obtaining the agreements from the property owners and then submitting everything compliantly to the district authority for approval took a lot of time. But it was worth it - we only got a few conditions and were able to complete the process relatively quickly."
At this moment we reach the "Montikel", a hill above Bludenz. Besides being an important recreation area for the people of Bludenz, this is also the site of a prehistoric settlement. And after we have arrived at the edge of the Montikel, I can understand why the settlers chose this place at that time - apart from the good location for defense. The view of the Alpine Town Bludenz is incredible, I almost can't get out of my amazement. Stephanie next to me explains the region. "With a clear sky like today, you can see far into the Klostertal, over there the entrance to the Brandnertal and over there into the Montafon. I'm still overwhelmed by the view even when I'm standing up here," she smiles.
In her description of the project process, she has meanwhile arrived at the nice things, as she calls it: "After the information boards are produced, I clarify the installation with the communities. And then all that's left for me to do is plan the opening ceremony." And what's the best part when it's all completed? "Seeing people's joy when they hike the new theme trail. In the near future, we also plan to build a kind of treasure hunt for elementary schools. Then the children would be able to exercise in nature, solve riddles and learn something about the region at the same time. That's what I particularly enjoy about my work."
In the meantime, we've been walking for just under an hour and a half, and have almost reached our stage destination on Gasünd. It's a pity, because I could continue the conversation with Stephanie for a long time. Perhaps another time, on another stretch of the Sunna-Weg.
A short moment
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