Our first trip to Austria
Trip Start Jan 08, 2012
13Trip End Feb 02, 2012
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We leave St Moritz catching the bus back from the YHA to the station. We have several changes on our journey today the first being in Chur. So we are retracing our journey on the Bernina Express although on the original journey we didn't go into St Moritz. The scenery again is really beautiful. The train bends and curves over viaducts and through tunnels, it really is a terrific engineering feat. As you look back to see how high the track is behind us and then look down to see where we will be in the next few minutes is amazing. Lots of snow, snow on the pine trees, alpine skiers, cross country skiers, snowboarders and toboganists are seen as we rumble past the many villages and towns.
We changed trains in Chur where we spent two nights recently and caught the next train to Buchs where we changed again this time onto a bus
We arrive on time at Innsbruck and purchase our next train ticket and then find the information centre regarding our hotel which is just up the road. My quest to avoid taxis where possible is working out. We walk up the road and there in front of us is our hotel – Hotel Goldene Krone, a green building on the corner and within easy of the old town and the shops and obviously the railway station.
Thursday 19th January
The weather has been great since we have been away, cold but with blue skies and the sun shining, except for the day we left Lausanne when it was cloudy for a few miles but soon became sunny. But today it is very grey and overcast, not as cold as it has been in Switzerland and by the evening the roads are damp and there is a hint of rain in the air
The hotel is situated right next to the Triumphal Arch which was erected in 1765 on the occasion of the betrothal of the later Emperor Leopold ll to Maria Ludovica. His father Emperor Francis I Stephen of Lothringen died during the celebrations. On one side of the arch symbolises the happy event of the wedding, the other side the grief of the Emperor’s death.
We spend the day wandering around Innsbruck. Innsbruck has a very modern railway station and several modern small shopping centres but it has also retained the Old Town where the architecture is fantastic, beautiful carved buildings, painted in soft greens, blues and pinks.
There had been a Christmas market and there was still a stall in the Old Town square selling gluwhein – beautiful, it is so warming.
The Golden Roof was built by Frederick IV in 1420 as the residence of the Tyrolean sovereigns. Emperor Maximilian I added a loggia over an oriel window and covered it with 2657 fine gilt copper tiles. The work was completed in 1500.
Innsbruck is the host to the first youth winter Olympics
We can also see in the distant the Bergisel stadium. The ski jump was first erected in 1925 and renovated for the Olympic Games in 1964 and 1976. This new facility was designed by a London architect.
It rains most of the night leaving very little snow on the ground in the city the next morning.