New Years Eve In Austrian Alps

Trip Start Nov 27, 2012
Trip End May 18, 2013

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Where I stayed
Hotel-Pension Leitgebhof Igls
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Saturday, December 29, 2012


When our time to leave Garmesch was approaching, we began to look at our next destination – Innsbruck. Del – being the organised one – was carrying the print- out detailing our reservation at our next hotel. It was then that we noticed that we were not actually staying in Innsbruck, but at a small village outside of the main town – a place called Igls.

We were wary of this because location is important when travelling without your own transport. Were we destined to staying the next three days out in the 'burbs' with only expensive taxi fares to take us to the ‘must sees’ ?

As this time was the three days leading up to New Years Eve, we could not get into anywhere else at even a half reasonable cost so we decided to just accept what we had already reserved and enjoy ourselves anyway. Wow – did we back a winner!

Igls is the most beautiful alpine village , almost totally surrounded by snow capped alps. It has easy access to the city of Innsbruck, by way of a small tramcar which takes about half an hour to wind its way down the mountain. From our hotel, we could walk to the village centre of Igls and also walk to the cablecar which takes you up the mountain to the ski fields.

From every window in our ‘chalet room’ we had stunning picture post card views and on New Year’s Eve, these mountains were used as the backdrop for the display of fireworks.  Our hosts at the hotel were so friendly – going out of their way to buy natural yoghurt for Del’s breakfast and opening the ‘bar’ at anytime, in order to provide us with our required beverages – be that tea or something a bit stronger!

Being  a small establishment, we also met some lovely other fellow travellers – a couple from South Australia, another couple from Finland and a family from Switzerland.

Having only three days there, our time was precious to us, so we spent one day going up to the ski fields in the cable car (Steve didn’t attempt skiing this time). At the top we sat in an ‘igloo’ bar and watched a group of about fifteen local Austrian lads enjoying their skiing/drinking session on the morning of New Years Eve. All wore ski boots (naturally) and lederhosen ! Hopefully, this was some sort of dare or joke and not the norm amongst twenty year old Austrians!

Another day was spent in the old town of Innsbruck. It is a scenic European city and certainly worth a look if you are ever in that part of the world. An old twin domed cathedral is a stand out but otherwise one can happily just meander along the cobblestone streets, enjoying window shopping in the up market stores and generally soaking up the atmosphere.

We also did lots of walking while on this part of our journey. From Igls, we walked to the next two villages along the railroad track and found the local golf course (which was obviously closed for winter.) Locals told us that this was the first time in about sixty years that the whole area has not been under about half a meter of snow, at this time of the year. Conditions, whilst crisp, were surprisingly mild, so walking on the trails was very easy.

Igls was a lovely surprise, and one of those treasures which spring up on a trip such as ours. What we thought was a mistake, had actually turned out to be a gem. 

As I write this we are on the train to Rome. It is New Years Day and we are to meet our eldest son Leigh and his now fiancÚ, Layla there. They embarked on their own trip a week after us, and Leigh proposed to her whilst they were in San Francisco in mid December. Whilst we have spoken to them since then, we have not seen them so we are eagerly anticipating our ‘reunion’ and hearing about their travels.
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