Saturday, July 17, 2010

Innsbruck, Austria

My first view of the awesome Alps.

Innsbruck, Austria. Find the ski jump in the hazy skies.

I arrived in Innsbruck completely exhausted from a mostly self imposed train ride from hell, Tait and I had both found a 7 hour option that would get me in at 8:30, but that option did not actually exist. Even after getting there two hours early, the best I could do is get in at midnight. At Linz, I jumped a train to Salzburg instead of Innsbruck and had to change trains again. My new train did not arrive until 4am. Major kudos to my brother who came to pick me up at 4am. I told him I was happy to sleep in the station and figured I would see him at breakfast in the awesome hillside hotel that Jill found. Too bad, I was only there for five hours.

A mountain hut high above Innsbruck on the Nordkette, reached lazily via the Hungerburgbahn.

An endearing elderly couple taking in the view.

After four short hours sleep, it was time to explore Innsbruck. I was over city stuff so taking the gondola up to the top of a nearby mountain sounded fantastic. I found out later that we could have hiked it, but coming off Worlds and a little banged up, I could use a few lazy days. The gondola is broken into three parts, the first of which you can take from town, which is great if you do not have a car. Otherwise, you would be walking up to hill to catch a ride up the hill which seems a little counterintuitive.

Tait and Jill drink at altitude.

The steepest downhill mountain bike trail I have ever seen. The guys riding this had motocross helmets.
I would guess that we spent two hours on the mountain. We got to hear a high school band play a song, Pachelbel's Canon in D Major, that I only know because Sheetal introduced it to me. While we heard them play, we saw some hanggliders get ready to take off. I cannot imagine how many more aerial sports would occur in the US if we had the easy access to the top of mountains that the Austrians seem to have. I believe a lot of the aerial adrenaline sports come from Europe. I suspect that also has to do with liability laws in the US too.

An inn in Innsbruck. Yes that was just to make an alliteration.

Once we got down the mountain, it was time to head out. I did not need to explore another city. Also, Tait and Jill did not like it that much anyway. I suspect it was just because they could not get their beers fast enough at the biergarten. Next stop, the Krimmel falls at Hohe Tauren National Park.

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