Trip Start Apr 09, 2009
Trip End May 21, 2009

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Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Thursday, April 16, 2009

I have to say, I'm going to be grateful to reach Vienna because all these mountains are killing me.  I've done enough walking uphill the last week and my feet need a break.  The ONE thing my hostel is close to is the Alpine zoo, the world's highest altitude zoo!  It's not really a typical zoo.  It's small kind of like the Akron one and only has species accustomed to high altitudes, most being Alpine species.  At first, I was a bit disappointed as there seemed to be lots of birds which are really boring but there were some really great other areas.  I should mention this zoo is basically built into the side of a mountain with 100 meters of difference in the altitude from the entrance to the highest exhibit.  Yet another work out.

I really liked the Wild cat because it looked kind of like Leo and had this really pissed off look on his face that people were looking at him.  The other bigger wild cats I have a video of.  Their cage was getting cleaned so they had to be locked up for a couple minutes and they were really pissed off.

I also saw some moose, bears, and lots of goats.  You have to check out this video of a Alpine Ibex.  This exhibit was cool as there were no real fences up.  The goats choose to stay up on the rocks while the humans are told to stick to the concrete so they actually get very very close to you.  The one in the video seemed to be one of the oldest.  He just kind of sat around, ate, yawned, and scratched his back with his horns.

After the Alpine Zoo, I started up a trail to the Hungerburg plateau.  It's a plateau above the city of Innsbruck going up the main mountain chain, that is basically it's own little village.  It was a long winding steep uphill path but luckily didn't take near as long as expected.  I have to say, I'm getting a bit pissed off with all this walking.  I go up one hill and I'm out of breath.  While I may walk faster, there's plenty of 60 year old women climbing these trails every day, a bit slower, with some hiking polls and they hardly seem to break a sweat.

So, I got to the top with the intention of getting on the Nordkettenbahn which is a cablecar that takes you all the way to the top of the mountain.  In winter, you can ski all the way back down.  There's still plenty of snow but the trails on this mountain are closed at this point.  Regardless, you can take the lift to the top anytime for the low low price of 22 euro.  That is, as long as you don't want to ride it between April 14th and April 22nd.  Yep, I walked all the way up there for nothing.  The whole town was closed up for the week and the view wasn't any better than down by the Alpine Zoo.

I made my way back down.  All the other mountain lifts are a bit out of town and take much longer to go up.  I wandered around town a bit, ate some lunch and a sandkipfl (my new favorite cookie) then visited the Hofkirche.  This church was one that we were supposed to visit on my first trip to Europe but it had been closed so Mrs. Lyons made us take a group picture outside of it.  It's much better on the inside and houses the tomb of Emporer Maximillion.  It also has lots of creepy life size statues of random people.
So that's about it for Innsbruck.  No mountain climbing for me.  Tomorrow, it's off to Vienna.

:: No more pictures until I find a place with fast uploads!::
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