Day 10

Trip Start Oct 07, 2012
Trip End Nov 05, 2012

Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Friday, October 12, 2012

A much better night sleep for us both! So to be up at 6am, bags packed and breakfast at 7am and on the road at 8am wasn’t too hard. We left the plains of the Veneto Region behind us and headed north today. It has been incredible to watch the landscape change as we experience this journey. We headed through the spectacular peaks of the Dolomites where small villages were scattered everywhere.

Our first stop was Cortina for a toilet break and free time to either wander through the main part of this town or through the local market which happened to be in full swing. The scenery here was grand to say the least! The weather was meant to be colder however it was still reasonably OK – blue skies, fog high up on the mountain and no need for jackets just yet! We did the customary photos of everyone and coffee to take away as we explored this area.

Back onto the Coach to continue our journey towards Austria where Michael and I both snoozed a little as we went. We crossed over the Europa Bridge and Brenner Pass as we crossed into Austria. Lunch was at a roadside stop called Rosenberger which was large, clean, lots of fresh food and very busy. Lots of people stopping here for a feed! Michael opted for a small salad whilst I had coffee and cake.

All refueled we got back onto the bus and onto Innsbruck where we are staying tonight. The 1962 Winter Olympic Games were held in Innsbruck and they built a Ski Jump specifically for them. At the foot of the ski jump is the local cemetery and the local joke that if you mess up on the ski jump you will at least end up in the right place!

We were dropped off at a point at the edge of the shopping precinct and then walked through more amazing streets, quaint and cheerfully colored. Similar to the fishing village I visited in Venice, though not quite as bright! We walked to the famous Golden Roof, which is the emblem of the city. Built in the early 15th century it is in the heart of Innsbruck’s Old Town. The 3 storey balcony has late Gothic Oriels which are capped in 2,600 gold plated copper tiles. Clearly, Innsbruck’s greatest tourist attraction.

From here we all went for a guided tour through the Swarovski Crystal World which was like taking children through a candy store! Michael stood back taking photos of Sue, Margaret, Claudia and me all looking at which watch we would buy. I believe we all walked way with the same watch (a photo was taken later in the tour showing them!) There were some stunning pieces in this store.

Once we had finished drooling in this store, we had free time to explore this quaint ‘old town’. The rain had started by now, so out came the umbrellas, but didn’t dampen the enthusiasm. Souvenir shopping done, we simply strolled enjoying the atmosphere. As we have done in each city visited, we had to sample a gelato – just to make sure they had the recipe right!!!

Our group met at 5.20 at the Golden Roof and we then made our way back to the coach and off the our ‘Hotel Dollinger’ which was again, very different to the other hotels we have stayed at. Gorgeous from the front, small but tidy rooms with paper thin walls.

We had only a short time before needing to be in the restaurant for our dinner. Soup, Chicken Schnitzel and Strudel tonight, which made a refreshing change from pasta!

After dinner some of the group headed off to a ‘lively folklore show’ while the rest of us stayed back and tried to connect to Wi-Fi for updates on Emails, Facebook etc. Early night for us!
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