Sunday, September 14, 2014


We arrived in Innsbruck in the late afternoon and had to find somewhere to stay. Somewhere within easy walking of the old town centre, with parking, and with no unpleasant smells.  We drove around first, and only found one small place which looked terrible.  We checked Trip Advisor and everything we looked at was VERY expensive.  We checked the Austrian guide book we had and noticed that the modern upmarket hotel that we had passed appeared cheaper than many of the older, character-filled places we had checked. We looked for availability online,  and were offered an even better price. We booked into the Penz Hotel online and headed straight there.

It was very good. All the glass meant fantastic views everywhere. They had a bar up on the 5th floor (the top floor) where we had a drink before dinner. Such wonderful views of the Alps surrounding the town.
We wandered into the centre of Innsbruck for dinner.  Innsbruck has an extremely picturesque medieval "Altstadt", and the town is surrounded by Alps, so you frequently turn a corner to find a magnificent view.

15th century buildings around the old town

The Goldenes Dachl
We had a very nice meal in one of the restaurants spilling out onto the main "square" (it's more a funnel shape really). While we were eating, they were setting up a stage in front of the Goldenes Dachl - the symbol of Innsbruck. Just as we were getting ready to leave we heard a Tyrolean marching band coming down the street. They were having a Tyrolean evening, with music and thigh-slapping dancing.

Tyrolean dancers. Note the thigh being slapped

Jenny with two members of the om-pah band
Next morning, the breakfast (in what had been the bar) was unbelievable.  I have never seen so many different types of jam,  of fruits (at a breakfast buffet, at least), as well as cheeses, sliced meats and  hot food. They even had freshly squeezed orange juice (there is no bottled version that can compete).

Jam selection


Meat and other items
First thing on the agenda for the day was to take the Hungerburg funicular (a very modern funicular that seemed like something out of Thunderbirds) and then Nordketten Bahnen (two cable cars) to (almost) the top of the Hafelekarspitze, which was one of the mountains we could see from the town and the hotel.

The funicular arriving at the station

View of mountains from the funicular car

Scenery on the way up

We finally alighted at the top station.  The views were unbelievable.  They were better for me than for Andy or the camera,  because the slight morning haze was cut out by my Polaroid sunglasses.  I must get a polarizing filter for my new camera.  We walked up and over a little rise and saw other, equally impressive, views down the other side of the mountain. 

We then watched a paraglider prepare and then take off, nearly knocking some of the spectators (including Andy) in the process.  Andy decided that he really did want to walk up to the very summit of the mountain,  so I sat on the terrace,  enjoying a cold beer, watching him.

The paraglider over the Alps

We had been expecting it to be freezing up the top of the mountain,  and had filled the backpack with hats,  gloves and jackets, but it really wasn't very cold. While I was sitting around waiting for Andy to climb to the summit the lack of activity (and the cold beer) did leave me slightly cool, so I put on my jacket, but there was no need for the rest of the gear. Part way down we stopped for lunch and fantastic views.

Lunch with a view
When we got back down into Innsbruck we were assaulted by unexpected 34 degree heat. No wonder we weren't cold on top of the mountain!

The rest of the time in Innsbruck was divided between walking around sightseeing, and visiting the Folk Museum. Andy found that rather boring, but I loved it. They have all manner of old pieces of furniture etc., decorated with traditional folk art. That was particularly exciting for me as I used to do Folk Art painting.  I'd love to take it up again if we could arrange for the days to be more than 24 hours long. The other big draw card with this museum is that they have transplanted complete rooms from some old Austrian homes.

Decorated chair back

If it doesn't move, paint it

Decorated Storage boxes

A different type of decoration



One of the transplanted rooms ...

... and another

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