Innsbruck, Austria – Part 1 (April 12th and 13th, 2018)

April 12th

Didn’t have to get up too early this morning as my train wasn’t until a few minutes before 11am. I got to the station and waited for the train to come. I didn’t mind the wait though… take a look at this view:

Don’t you just love that view!?!?!

On the train, I was looking forward to the ride very much because we would be heading a little deeper into the Alps which means stunning views as we ride the rails.

A pretty church…

Dang I love mountains.  

It was an approximately three-kilometer walk from the train station in Innsbruck to Marmota Hostel which is on the edge of town. Let me just say a couple of words in praise of Marmota Hostel. This hostel is immaculate. I made two separate reservations with them because when I went to buy the bus ticket from Innsbruck to Peschiera del Garda (Italy), there were only two available: one left really late and got there early, and the other left early and got there really late and so either way reception wouldn’t have been open and it just would have been a very long night. So, I decided to stay two more nights in Innsbruck. I had my own room for the first three nights and this room was amazing. The view out my window was directly at the mountains which was awesome.

One major drawback with this hostel is that it doesn’t have a self-serve kitchen. The reception area does have a kettle and cups and utensils that they can lend you but you can’t access them yourself. However, one thing I learned is that they put out breakfast and it’s included in the room cost. And it’s a very good breakfast! I highly recommend this hostel. It’s lovely.

I decided to just stay at the hostel the afternoon I arrived and work on my blog. I went to my room to get ready for bed a little early and noticed that sunset was pretty spectacular. Take a look.

Really magical sunset. 

April 13th

I woke up to a little bit of rain which was a little disheartening at first. Good weather really encourages me to get outside and walk around and explore. But then, I looked outside and saw a double rainbow; I knew then it would be a good day.

Magical sunrise/double rainbow too.  

Once I was ready for the day, I walked up the street to see Schloss Ambras, a castle not more than 10-minutes walking away. They had a museum that showed a bunch of old armour which was pretty cool. The buildings themselves were also quite beautiful.

Schloss Ambras Castle

Old Armor

I’m a major fan of this photo in what I considered to be the “great room.”  

Up in the castle exploring.  

I wouldn’t mind that view in the morning. 

Looking down at the castle courtyard area. 

After wandering around the castle, I walked the grounds around the castle which were equally as breathtaking, making me want to stay there for a long time.

It was so peaceful up in this area… I really was relishing the silence.  

Pay no attention to the castle in the background.  :-p 

I thought I had more pictures of the castle grounds but apparently I just enjoyed them. I do know that I was walking around on the trails deep in thought (well, trying to be deep in thought) on where I want to end up when I get home. I’ve been asking myself this question a lot and trying to dig deep for an answer. Where do I want to be? What do I want to do when I grow up?? I do really enjoy engineering when work it’s not a constant fast and furious.

Do I want to be in the US or abroad? How far away do I want to be from family and friends? Outdoor activities are absolutely a consideration in all this. I am finding that I absolutely want to be somewhere where there are beautiful and challenging hiking trails very close by. I want to live in an area where there are lots of folks (old and young) with similar outdoor/active interests so that I can find my people and not have to do everything alone. I will do things alone if I have to (obviously), but it would be nice to have people who want to meet regularly and do fun, challenging, outdoor things. I want to feel safe in the outdoors and not always feel like I have to look behind me. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve just been in new places where I don’t now the ins and outs of all that goes on around town, but I’ve felt safe in the outdoors on my own in New Zealand, Germany, Austria, and now the UK. There’s not as many clearly weird or disturbed people in these places as in the US. I think part of that reason is because I know there are lots of people in the outdoors around me; I’m never too far away from any one person. In the US, I feel like you could get pretty far from anyone in remote areas. Of course it is always safer to go with someone or in a group…. but what if you don’t want to wait till your dead for a schedule to match up or for people to join you? And who knows who is out in remote places on trails…. Why don’t these things ever freak me out when I’m not in the US? I really don’t know the answer to that.

I can’t think about it all too much or too long because it gets me pretty bogged down and a little depressed.

Moving on. I went back to the hostel and was going to ask the guy at reception about how to get to the olympic ski-jump that isn’t too far away. I wanted to go see it because I’ve never been to an olympic facility before. The guy starts printing directions on how and where to hop on the light rail train and says it will take about 45 minutes to get there. So I asked how far away it actually was and when he didn’t seem to understand where I was going with that I just opened my google maps and mapped it; it was maybe 3kms away! Heck – I can walk that easy! Probably a little faster or in the same time that public transport would get me there. It’s a beautiful afternoon – why spend money when I can get my daily long walk in and enjoy it in the process.

When I got to the ski jump, you have to buy a ticket to get in. However, Marmota (and other places) sell the Innsbruck Card which gives you “all access” for 24, 48, or 72 hours for a cost. I bought the 72-hour pass thinking I would be able to ascend the Nordkette.Seegrube mountain a couple of times…that wasn’t true. Anyway, I got to the ticket window and showed the guy my Innsbruck card and he told me in really fast German what I was should do with the card. But I didn’t understand what he said and so had to turn around from the rotating gate-door and ask him. He looked at me and said “German or English?” and I replied “English” and then he went on this small rant about how I didn’t ask him to speak English when I was first at the window and he seemed super annoyed. I’m really sorry that I’m such a tourist, sir. I usually can pick up what someone says in German from hand gestures and my ability to understand some German; but what he said just escaped my grasp. Anyway, I just had to put my card up against the card reader on the side and sure enough…I got in.

I walked up to the olympic rings to take some pictures and selfies and then I figured I would take the cable car up to the top of the hill. When I got to the door to the cable car though, I saw that it wasn’t operated by a person. You could just push a button like an elevator to “call” the car. For some reason, I felt like it was probably a little more complicated and I didn’t feel like putting myself in a potential awkward situation if I couldn’t get it to work or something silly like that. So I figured that I had walked here and my legs worked fine so why not get the exercise and just climb the stairs that were right there. I had to pause only to take off my sweater because I got really hot climbing all those stairs. I think climbing the stairs helped me appreciate the size and the steep grade of the hill that the ski jumpers land on. I am truly surprised that you don’t hear more of seriously injured ski jumpers because that truly is wacko. But then, I’ve jumped out of 6 airplanes to go skydiving so I’m not sure who is higher up on the scale of wacko. 😀

After walking around the ski jump, I headed back to the hostel to work on my blog and/or lay down and take a nap.

 

 

 

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Bergisel Olympic Ski Jump

Pano of the olympic rings and the ski jump. 

That’s just CRAZY to go take a FLYING leap off of that!  🙂

Finally I’ve visited an olypmics site.  🙂 

View of the mountains. 

I’m pretty convinced at this point that Olympic ski-jumpers are absolutely NUTS!! Balls and nerves of steel! YIKES!

Let’s getting a bit of a running start down this hill… :-/

Like my mom on an amusement park ride when she was younger….”Stop the ride, stop the ride, stop the RIDE!!!!”  That’s what I would be screaming.  😀

No this is not a painting, that is an actual view out the back of the lift up to the top of the jump.  

After leaving the ski jump, I walked back to the hostel to work on my blog and/or travel arrangements.

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