Skip to content

“Servus” Austria

by christina.kronstal on October 16th, 2011
View from the train

View from the train

Well, we’re in Innsbruck, Austria and I can’t get the ‘Sound of Music’ soundtrack out of my head – and it’s only going to get worse as we head towards Salzburg.

Altstadt (Old Town)

Altstadt (Old Town)

A couple of days ago we had found ourselves leaving the Santa Lucia station in Venice, sharing a 6 chair cabin with a German family of three. ¬†As we peered through the windows, we saw the scenery slowly change from the rolling tuscan hills and terracota rooftop homes to towering rockfaces and Germanic-style homes with large wooden beams. As we rolled past the last of the northern Italian towns, I noticed a change in the language in the train as well. The passport control officers asked if we spoke ‘Deutsch or English’ and the gregarious Italian conversations dropped off to whispered German conversations. We quite enjoyed the dramatic landscape, which was probably the best we’ve seen during any given train ride. Every now and then, there would be a castle or church teetering off of a cliff edge, surrounded by a dozen or so homes.

Pink building - that's our inn!

Pink building - that's our inn!

We arrived in Innsbruck just as the sun was about to set and the temperature was quickly dropping. We were lamenting on not visiting this part of Europe earlier, since now it seems that Autumn has caught up with us. In fact, we later on made new purchases of gloves, scarves and toques. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this town – from the photos on Wikipedia, it looked a lot like Banff to me. Directly from the train station, however, we were greeted by very modern buildings. It wasn’t until we walked 8-10 minutes further into town did the old town unfold before us along Maria-Theresien Strasse, with the snow-capped mountains dominating the backdrop.

River view

River view

Just a little further down, across the river we walked, and easily found our spot, Gasthof Innbrucke – which to me, is a proper inn, with a small pub and restaurant on the main floor and some rooms above.

Innsbruck at night

Innsbruck at night

We were lucky enough to be put in a room on the highest floor, in the furthest corner of the hallway, so that it was nice and quiet for sleeping, despite the crowd down below. Since we were starving (we hadn’t eaten much prior to the train ride), we headed directly out to the old town and found a small, but busy basement tavern that had large tables which forced its patrons to share. Dan ordered spicy sausage with a spinach, feta and cream jacket potato, while I gave in to the pot roast, roated veggies and potatoes – and boy did that hit the spot! Gone are the days of carbs through noodles – hello potatoes!! And we washed everything down with some local beer, which to Dan’s delight is about half the cost of that in Italy.

Cute church

Cute church

The following couple of days consisted of us wandering the streets – ohhing and awwing each time we saw a church or old building perfectly framed by the mountains, drinking hot chocolate and people watching, while sitting on fur covered patio chairs, and shopping for warmer (but discardable) wear.

Warm seats

Warm seats

Probably our favorite place to hang out, visit and journal was at the “Strudel-Cafe Kroll”, where a kind, blonde haired Austrian waiter was patient with our attempts at German, and keen to teach us a few phrases. In this cafe, we enjoyed their coffee, hot chocolate, tea and strudels. Our first visit, we tried the classic Gezogener Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) – and on another occasion, we tried their chocolate and raspberry strudel. Yum!

Tomorrow, we’ll be leaving the charming gothic buildings and friendly locals of Innsbruck, and hope for more of the same in Salzburg. I’m very curious to see how the rest of Austria will be, since we’ve had such a great welcome here.

2 Comments
  1. Mom and Dad E. permalink

    Your blog is hot off the press! You really caught up blogging in current time… You guys are lucky you got out of Rome when the rioting broke out…
    Was Sounds of Music filmed in Salzburg? I forgot about that… I heard the real chateau burned down years ago… but the monastery and the open concert area will be interesting places to visit.
    Apple strudel sounds the same in German! But of course it’s German!
    He-he! It’s an opportune time to start learning German… I just wander if it’s the same kind of German they speak in Berlin… you know, regional differences…

    • Mom and Dad E. permalink

      Correction: that wondering, by the way… But all the same, I see you enjoy wandering around Innsbruck…

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS