“I feel the earth move under my feet, I feel the sky tumblin’ down” – remember the song? I now know exactly how it feels when the earth moves under my feet! Join me in my earth-shaking review of my trip to Innsbruck, Austria!
Earlier this year, I received the invitation for my dear friend Lisa’s wedding which was to take place in her hometown Innsbruck. I was really excited and decided that, of course, I would go. I asked one of my friends to travel with me, and she agreed. About a week before the wedding she told me that she had to cancel because of work. Not long ago this would have totally shocked me, but this time… of course I was sad that she would not go with me but for some reason I was looking forward to my first ever trip by myself! I mean, I have travelled to places by myself before, but I was never on my own at the destination. And while this would have been a reason for total panic before, I was really looking forward to it. Lisa was in town after all, so I would have someone to call if hell broke loose (as it does on a regular basis as we all know).
So at 6:25 – and this is a.m. people! – on Friday morning I was on the plane to Munich. Luckily I was too tired to get nervous when we flew through turbulences and soon I arrived in Munich, where I had one of the most expensive breakfasts ever at the train station. From there it is only a two-our train ride to the city of Innsbruck. The train was a Eurocity train and I should have thought about reserving a seat – so now I spent half of the train ride sitting on my suitcase in the aisle. It’s really interesting to see how the landscape changes when you start making your way through the Alps. They have never been my favourite mountains but the surrounding is indeed impressive.
When I finally arrived in Innsbruck it was rather warm and humid. I managed to find a bus that would take me to my hotel. *You may start to play said song now*. There I had to wait for another 45 minutes in the garden because the reception was not open yet. So I was sitting there having a cigarette when all of a sudden I heard a really loud bang and then…. I felt the earth move under my feet!!! And it was kind of funny. My first thought was “Earthquake!!!” but then I gave out to myself and told myself to calm down. It had surely just been a truck that hit something and I was having a bad case of travel nerves!
After I got my room I started walking towards the city where I was going to meet one of Lisa’s friends who agreed to meet me for coffee. The sun was still out when I left the hotel but soon the sky started to look like this above the River Inn:
Uh oh! And soon enough it started to lash down. I mean, we are not talking about a little shower, we are talking about a downpour! People started running and screaming and of course I was soaked pretty soon. Getting lost on the way did not help and when I finally found Lisa’s friend, my clothes were dripping! The first thing he said to me was ‘So, how did you deal with the earthquake?’ Whaat? 3.7 on the Richter scale! Wow! Isn’t it funny how I tend to react drama-like in harmless situations and am able to talk myself out of “real” danger?
We made our way up to the 7th floor of a building in the city to the “Lichtblick” restaurant which has an amazing 360° viewing balcony. And there, I encountered my next nightmare. I was sitting facing the “Nordkette” (The North Chain) which is a huge mountain chain right next to the city. I was trying to concentrate on my conversation with Lisa’s friend but then I felt the nausea. I really didn’t know what was going on and then I felt like I wasn’t able to breathe anymore – I was getting claustrophobic! From a mountain chain! I have never experienced this before, I usually don’t suffer neither from claustrophobia nor am I scared of height. But this Alps chain is so massive and so close, it was terrible! Everybody who heard my story just laughed because apparently it happens to a lot of ‘lowlanders’ when they first come to Innsbruck. In the end I just sat on another chair facing the opposite direction – much better 🙂 And here are the evil mountains: 🙂
And of course I gave away my German origin when I ordered the first drink – apart from my mid-German accent Austria and Germany do have different words for the same things – no way to hide it! It did not stop raining for the rest of the day, so we decided to go to the Swarovski shop where we discovered fantastically awful things like this tasteful Swarovski fly:
The next day was wedding day. I spent the morning strolling around the city with about 587.000 other tourists. I was therefore really glad to find the “Hofgarten”, a lovely garden area where I sat down and had lunch. And after a little nap in the hotel I was on the way to the wedding party! It took place in a restaurant on a hill above the city, so once more an amazing view. I had an absolute blast there – all my concerns about not knowing anyone and being the outsider were gone in an instant! I’ve met so many lovely people, there was food, dance, great weather and my favourite Austrian wine – yay!
After not so much sleep (can’t miss breakfast, can you?) I decided I was going to visit Ambras Castle. I took the bus and then started to walk up to the hill. Well, I managed to get lost in the woods there and therefore it was a pretty long walk! But the view on the hill and the castle and garden surely made up for it! It felt so good to just walk around there without knowing where I was or how far it was, it was just total freedom! I lay down on a bench in the park and read a book. When I got back I met up with Lisa again and then went to bed for my last night in Austria.
I took the train to Munich the next day and walked around in nice 30°C – visited the English gardens and just had a look at the city. I was at the airport pretty early and it was so boring! Then I got to know a little 10-year-old girl who was also waiting for the same flight with her mother. She was travelling by herself though and therefore asked me after a while whether I could sit with her on the plane, which I did of course. She was a great girl and soon started to talk about Pippi Longstockings who she totally reminded me off. Before take-off, she asked me “What would happen if we hit a thunderstorm?” I told her that the plane is built to take a thunderstorm but that it surely would not happen. Mark my words…. We took off into a nice sunset. 15 minutes later the sky around us went totally black. *You may turn on the song again*. Then of course ‘This is the captain speaking. Please fasten your seatbelts while we are passing a thunderstorm’! Aaaarrgh…. I feel the sky tumblin’ down, tumblin’ down… But I had this kid next to me so I could not panic without freaking her out. So I was forced to be a real adult and make sure she is not afraid. Another lesson learned!
And now I am back once again. I feel like I have been gone for weeks and this is always a sign for a good rest. I enjoyed my first trip by myself, I have learned once more that I am well able to deal with new and not always comfortable situations. I met great people and I fell once more in love with the Austrian sense of humour – and the world!
Yours truly, madly, deeply!
All photos used in this blog are mine unless stated otherwise. Feel free to use them if you like, but be decent and link to this site!