Trip Start May 07, 2012
Trip End Jun 06, 2012

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Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Sunday, May 27, 2012

Check-in to the Ibis Innsbruck. Surprised and delighted to find we had a huge disabled room with two bedrooms and views of the snow-capped Alps from two aspects. First room with a view this trip.

15 minute stroll into town for the evening. It’s a city (though relatively small) so plenty of people around for a Saturday night out. Lovely evening so we sat down at an outside table in the old town for a quiet beer. We were joined for a while by a lively but good humoured Austrian stag trip (video not for publication!).

This was also the venue of the worst holiday beer, an Edelweiss dunkel weissbeer which would be hard to beat in awfulness anywhere in the world (according to John). Nice meal in a smart bierkeller restaurant and then a last stop on the way home ended a good (and another long) day.

Got up on Sunday and decided to head for the town of Seefeld for a few hours. This village sits high up in the Alps and is reached via a scenic rail journey. Wrong! The curse of weekend engineering works strikes not just in the UK and the dreaded bus replacement service is in operation today. Anyway it was still a pleasant climb upwards on a 40 minute coach journey and we spent a lovely day under blue skies and in hot sunshine walking through meadows and up grassy ski slopes as well as taking lunch in a very pretty (but quite large and busy) Seefeld.

Also, it was interesting to see quite a few Austrians, particularly older people, wearing traditional dress for Sunday best. For men it’s lederhosen and a feathered cap and for ladies it a bodice dress. On our coach to Seefeld there were grandparents taking their young grandchildren out for the day and all wore traditional dress. They looked like they had stepped out of the Sound of Music!  Although it looks a bit like fancy dress they are deadly serious about retaining this tradition and all power to them. Whilst walking just out of the centre we stumbled on a bar full of elderly Austrian drinkers sitting outside in the sunshine singing along to a bloke belting out sing-a-long Alpine tunes – most of which were accompanied by a raucous chorus of La-La-La and the occasional yodel. This appears to be a Sunday tradition here and the beer swilling, singing, clapping pensioners were lapping up the entertainment; all this at 11 in the morning. (See videos for the action.)

We also met our two favourite dogs of the trip so far. ‘Sweetie’ was a Westie we met in the meadow above Seefeld who immediately assumed the ‘lie on back and tickle my tummy’ position and then on the bus we were introduced to ‘Lilly’ a 2 year old little mongrel who was deaf and had just had a tumour removed from her leg. We hope she has a bit more luck in her future life!

With the clouds arriving mid-afternoon it was time to head back on the bus replacement service and despite a half-hour delay we’re back in Innsbruck for a rest before the evening. Out and about in the old town again we decide to steer away from traditional Austrian cuisine.  Following a recommendation we decide to go for a Nepalese meal at a restaurant called Himal in the university area of town which was excellent. Pre-dinner John discovered the delights of an Austrian concoction called Diesel which is half of lager mixed with half of the Austrian equivalent of brown ale. It’s popular in Innsbruck but we can’t see it catching on in Ealing. Resisted too late a night and removed ourselves from a very stylish bar in the centre around midnight. It’s been a really good day and just time for a late night pack before heading south to Italy in the morning.

We have enjoyed our time in Austria. The couple of hours in Salzburg were great but can’t say too much about Innsbruck itself as we made the right decision to head further up into the Alps to spend a good weather day in Seefeld. One big plus for Innsbruck though is the wonderful backdrop of the snow capped Alps and felt very comfortable with the Austrians as they have the best bits of Germans but with a better sense of humour!
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Dave P on

BIG error John ........NEVER DRINK WEISSBEER (unless no other beer is available)!!

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