Innsbruck, ski jumping and washing

Trip Start Mar 22, 2010
Trip End Jun 10, 2010

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Where I stayed
Camping Kranebitterhof

Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Saturday, April 10, 2010

Had a lazy start to the day, admiring the mountains. When we finally got organised we got on the bikes and pedalled the 5km to the altstadt, which was a really nice ride across fields planted with strawberries and just being totally amazed by the snow covered mountains on either side of us. We locked up the bikes and went for a bit of a walk, found a tourist information place to get some maps and wandered around to old town. Again it was all pedestrians, beautifully coloured building and the most ornate decorations. We even noticed some of the newer building that didn’t have ornate stonework, would paint the plain sides to look like they had ornate stonework. After doing some shopping and exploring we decided it was time for a quiet beer and checked out a place read about that is built into the stone. It was quite nice having a couple of local brews before heading out to do some more exploring. After finding a bite to eat, we decided to walk to the Olympic Ski Jump. The walk to the ski jump stadium took a steep winding path up the hill side, and about of the way up all the town church bells started to peal. The sound was so rich, it was quite easy trying to match the bell to the sound it was making. Kept on hiking up the steep little track, and got to the gates of the ski jump, and the man was closing! I asked him if he was closing up for the day, and he hustled us through the gates and closed them behind us, then smiled and winked! He also gave us half price tickets which was nice of him!

There was a cable car type lift that could take you to the top of the ski jump, but looking up, it didn’t seem that far, so I made the fateful suggestion that we climb it. (Please note, this is Rach making the well considered decision….). …..More than 800 steps later, we got to the top, sweaty, hot and bothered and out of breath. But the view was magnificent. You can look out over the terrace to where the jumpers sit to start off with, and the most obvious thought that comes into your head is “why would anybody take up this sport to start with???”. You look straight down over the jump, and at the bottom, rather macabrely, there is a large cemetery! Was a really fascinating thing to have a look around, especially since the information around the place said that they could fit 28000 people in here! I think they were counting everyone in the stadium, in the toilets, outside the gate, in the carpark, and they might even have packed a few people under the front desk to get to that number! I'd hate to be standing up the back with few beers/schnapps in you. Its a fair way down and I think you would take a few others with you on the way.

Back down the steps - once again, didn’t wait for the lift, thought we would get more out of it stepping down. Headed back down the steep little mountain path and back into the altstadt. The church bells started to ring again, and hadf the thought that Innsbruck is somewhere that the Sound of Music could be true, walking the hills around the town and hearing the church bells ring.

We found a bell museum nearby that looked fantastic, but alas was not open on weekends. Made amental note to come back on Monday. We were walking down the street, when all of a sudden a guy comes over and asks if we are from Australia (I guess Seano’s rugby jersey gives it away). We said yes and went through the usual where from routine. When we said Newcastle, he said oh, where abouts. We said Raymond Terrace, he said he was from Osterley (literally over the other side of the river). He was a kitchen maker, on holiday with his wife and 2 teenage daughters and was heading back from a day snowboarding. Well, I think that was our close encounter…..

Headed into town and Rach said she was thirsty, so of course made the suggestion of going to a bar. Decided to go to a bar that we had read about with some apparently amazing views of Innsbruck. Well, the name was 360 degree bar, which to start with was a bit of a stretch - due to a huge building, it was more of a 270 degree view, and the clientele seemed to be the beautiful people of Austria, and we felt decidedly underdressed! The smoke haze was awful, and when the table next to us pulled out cigars, we knew it was time to head off.

It seems that bars etc don’t need to provide their own toileting facilities, so when we left 360 bar and went down 7 floors to the toilets, there were guys from the bar we had just been to, with drinks in hand, standing around pissed in the men’s urinal room. I politely decided to use other facilities.

We headed back to the bikes and made a slight detour to the Speck Meister to procure some fine cured meats for our planned picnic tomorrow. Who can resist cured meats…….especially from the Speck Meister. We rugged up (the day had turned decidedly cold after the sun disappeared behind the mountains…) and hit bike path back to the campingplatz. We got home around 6.30pm and Rach went to organise some washing while I got some dinner on the go (Spatzele, tomato, oniion and garlic with wurst, mustard and rotekhol). After dinner when I went to have shower, found the washing machine hadn’t spun the clothes, hence each item had to be hand rung before going into the dryer, and since the dryer was only a 40 min cycle, we knew we would need to hang washing. Fortunately there was a clothes airer and the room was quite warm so everything turned out ok, if taking a bit longer than originally intended.

We finally got all sorted re washing and dropped into bed exhausted. Oh for the nice warm doonas in Hans Booby as the rain started patterring on the roof……..almost like at home on the tin roof.


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