On autumn weekends with good weather you can almost experience caravans of people marching over the grandiose lookout balconies between the Dolomites and the Tauern and filling the mountain lodges to capacity. But very few people have the idea of turning the perspective around and approaching the Carnic ridge for once from the valley side. And that is something that is certainly worthwhile.
It is no coincidence that at Heinfels in the valley of Drau, which is called Pustertal here, there stands an ancient castle that still appears to be fortified. It guards the entrance to two valleys: the Villgratental and the Tyrolean Gailtal. The latter is quite hidden, as it begins with a terrain level high above the valley floor of the river Drau. There is a climb of several hundred metres on a serpentine road before reaching the community of Kartitsch, with the prettily shaped tower of the St. Leonhard parish church.
From the enclosure wall of the cemetery you can enjoy a distant view to the west into the Pustertal, which here runs in a strikingly straight line.
– John Doe
The reason for this is a distinct geological line, the “peri-adriatic seam“. This frontier line leaves the Pustertal in Kartitsch and follows the Tyrolean Gailtal, which to the east of the Kartitscher Sattel is called the Tilliacher Tal, and then further east beyond the federal border with Carinthia again changes its name, and for the next 20 kilometres goes under the name of Lesachtal.