Nobody knows how the cat came to Hotel Tirler. At some point he was there. Almost like Curadina. “Strangely, he is very friendly,” says Hannes Rabanser. Is he one of the good spirits? Or part of the wild people? There have always been lots of wondrous creatures on the Seiser Alm. That’s what people say. When times were still magical, head witches sat on the stone benches in Puflatsch, making envious women’s milk turn sour, moaning in the bog, and dancing devilish dances on the Schlern summit. Thunderstorms were in the hands of witches, and the sound of bells drove away the thunderstorms. Many perished miserably with this worldview. In 1506 and 1510, two great witch trials raged in Völs. What would have happened to Curadina back then?
Curadina was fed up with the evil, criminal, and revenge acts of the ancient witches. So says Hannes Rabanser. She was diligent, caring, open to the good. She was young too. A little witch. One day she ran away. There was this small, lovely piece of woodland, she thought, referring to the Bosch Curasoa, the forest rising behind Hotel Tirler. Days and weeks passed. Curadina enjoyed the free life. Until one day she felt she was being watched. She heard a scurrying …
No, it was not the cat. But Emma. An owl who has accompanied Curadina ever since. A tip: head to the sulfur springs. The two roam around there. We call them the witches’ springs. The path leads from Hotel Tirler on winding paths through the forest right to there.
Hannes Rabanser came up with the idea for a new nature experience trail when he once again thought of the sulfur springs, a natural monument that seemed to be completely forgotten. He started planning with the Mountain Meadow Committee. When the company he wanted to commission the path design with came in with excavators and trucks, he just said, “You did not understand.” Even back then, when the sulfur springs were created, people had done everything wrong. The witches had been devoted to humans, on one condition: they wanted to stay undisturbed. When curious people nevertheless broke into their realm, the witches enchanted the clean spring into a stinking sulfur broth.
Hans Mitterrutzner, a former carpenter and hobbyist from Albeins in the Eisacktal valley, who has been leasing a hut on the Seiser Alm for 45 years, is different. His dream once was to make a path, and he let Hannes Rabanser know. Hannes made the way out. He started at the many positive energy points that came to light. He cut down thickets, put sticks in the ground, used brushwood on the ground as a border, did without fences and spanned bridges so that mosses and lichens remain untrodden. It’s best to walk barefoot on the Witches’ Trail. Yup, all the way. And please do not look for signs. “People should look for the way themselves,” says Hans Mitterrutzner. No one has gotten lost to this today. A triad serves as orientation. The Celtic sign for the number three.
Hannes Rabanser swears by the number three. It’s the first pure number, he says. He has observed that everything that works in life is a triad.
Curadina, the witches’ springs and a path to nature. So the question arises: Where is the cat? The cat really does exist. It’s huge. A real beauty. Or witch craft. At Hotel Tirler he is called Fridolin.