Innsbruck was one of the places I wasn't so sure about when we were planning this trip. After we'd booked things, I began to read other people's stories where they said that Innsbruck was boring and that they didn't really enjoy the city and that it wasn't worth it. I'm really glad that they were wrong, because this was one of our favorite places of all. It was a beautiful, a great city to explore, and I'd love to return. I'm sure it's even more lovely in the summer (and maybe a little more fun to be outside - it was 17 degrees here which was the warmest day of our trip so far!).
We arrived at about 10pm Wednesday night because our train from Munich was delayed quite a bit. When we woke up, we realized how amazing the view from our hotel really was (our hotel is the one pictured on the right - Hotel Zach). The hotel was really great. I don't know if it's new or what, but it felt like our room was recently renovated. There was a main bedroom and then through a sliding door was another living room area with a foldout couch. It was a really big room and it was nice. The bathroom was nice too because it had heated floors and there was one room with a shower and sink and another with the toilet, which is always nice with a group. The breakfast was really good too, although we'd just come from Arthotel Munich which was really the best ever so it was a slight downgrade. The hotel's location was in great walking distance to everything.
We stayed right near this arch.
And pretty darn snowy.
We purchased Innsbruck Cards at our hotel. You can buy them from a variety of places in town, and online, and they offer entrance into many museums, include all public transportation, and even get you up on cable cars above the city. So that's what we did.
We headed up the cable cars and went to Nordkette (at least that's the place my wifi connected to once there). We were pretty much the only tourists while everyone else was there skiing. There were children who could barely stand all ready to ski in the Alps. I was impressed! It felt really warm up there in the sunshine, and I wanted to take my coat off and just hang out right there in the warmth.
This photo thing Fern is looking at was really neat - you press a button on it and turn around and smile - there's a webcam on the building that takes your picture and you can pick it up inside. Before we read the sign, we pressed the button a bunch of times so I'm sure there are a bunch of pictures of our backs looking at the sign.
There were several groups of tiny skiers with instructors. Neither Carson nor I have skied before, so I was especially impressed by how none of them fell - maybe that's because it's easier than I've imagined?
We went up another cable car where things were a lot windier, and decided to hike just a bit. There were some black diamond ski routes from there and we watched a couple people appear to drop off cliffs on skis... a far cry from the bunny hill from earlier. Danita opted to go inside and not witness her adventurous son defy death by climbing on things, and staying warm was probably a very smart choice. It was so windy and once I fell and slipped on some ice, bruising my knee and shoulder. It was beautiful up there though!
We did take a group picture up there.
And went back to our warm spot where we could watch the skiers. There was an igloo there and we went inside. They were setting up a bar or something inside.
Back down into the city, we went to a couple of museums (among them Goldenes Dachl - where I fell asleep in one of the rooms) and churches.
Carson tried on this spectacular hat. We didn't buy it but clearly we should have!
A good thing to eat in Austria is strudel - this place was listed as a particularly good place in Innsbruck, but we never got the chance to try it because we we were searching for lunch food.
We went up in a tower and got a great view of the city. And a great view of the rooftops. This guy had quite the cozy setup.
This is the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof).
I was exhausted, so I went back to the hotel and squeezed in a long nap, and Carson took the others on a wild goose chase. The bus schedule was harder to read than expected. It could be easier when there are more tourists in the summer, but they had a hard time. They wanted to see the Bergisel Ski Jump that was used in the Olympics and a castle, but got to go up to neither because they had to wait so long for buses. So here's the ski jump from afar.
And here's an arch with some mountains in the background.
After I woke up from my nap, everyone came back to the hotel and grabbed me so we could go to the Kristallwelten. We had a beautiful ride there! (post on that coming next!)