A swim in the Rhine, then a drive to Innsbruck
Trip Start Jun 15, 2011
149Trip End Jun 15, 2012
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Where I stayed
Hotel Heimgartl Innsbruck
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
We disrobed down to our swimsuits and dove into the river, swam like hell out past the boat moorings as the rather swift current dragged us towards them. Then we just relaxed and waited for the current to take us to our exit point
One of the things you do in Europe without fail is to pay off your parking pass before heading to the outlet from the parking garage. I have always done this, but figured it was not necessary because the outlet from the garage has a machine that takes your payment. This time, I couldn’t find a machine in the parking garage, so I took my chances at the parking garage exit. The machine didn’t work. I tried all three of my credit cards but none of them worked. Then six cars stacked up behind me. I sent Estela out to find a machine to pay it off while I sat with the kids. Then a very angry man approached, and asked me what the trouble was. He pushed the info button about twenty times and started shouting into the machine in German for them to open the mechanical arm to get me the hell out of the way. They did it, and I parked across the street to help Estela, two floors below. The machine Estela was dealing with had eaten my credit card, and there was no way she was going to let us leave the country without that card. She got the attendant to open the machine and give her card back, then I stuffed some cash in there and the job was done. I thought I would never say this, but I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of Switzerland.
From Basil we had a four hour drive to Innsbruck, Austria
My mother told me after traveling through the Tyrolean Alps that Austria is the most beautiful place she has ever been. I tend to agree with her. We drove for two hours through tunnels under mountain peaks, and through valleys between towering Tyrolean ridges. The scenery is amazing. If Yosemite Valley was 150 miles long, you would get the impression of what it is like here. The peaks are rocky and completely lacking snow at this time of year, but the green foothills and endless iridescent grasslands lets you know you are in a place very special. The Alps blew me away during my first trip when I was in high school, and they still do
We arrived in Innsbruck at 6 pm, just as the sun went behind the peaks. I checked in with the front desk clerk, a guy named Steve, who treated me like I was his personal house guest. He gave me free internet, and explained in great detail all the things we can do in our one night and one day in Innsbruck, and asked us to come back at any time, he would have a room waiting. It was hard not to like this guy. We checked into a very clean room with five beds, and a waterfall right outside the window. We unpacked a little and then walked the half-mile to the old town, just down the Inn River.
Innsbruck is one of those towns you want to take your pack off and hang out for a while. I found a hundred things I wanted to do, just standing in the hotel lobby. The one night we had I wanted to go see the Gundolf Family, who would probably be like the Von Trapp Family in Salzburg, and they put on one hell of a Tyrolean musical show. But we were tired, hungry, and were broke after just one day in Switzerland. I wanted to rent a mountain bike and explore the hills, and go for a cable car trip and spend a day hiking through small villages on the upper slopes below the timber line. I wanted to get a kayak and paddle down the Inn River and have a van take me back and do it again. I wanted to see the area and get used to it. Almost everybody is fit in Innsbruck, and you can see why. It is an adrenaline and endorphin filled town.
When we arrived in the old town there were two knights in full armor going at it with swords on a stage in front of what looked like a royal court on a raised platform, right in the town square
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