Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Austria (Part 3)

May 15, 2013 4:30 PM—Innsbruck

It was a lovely, perfect day in Innsbruck! I left Salzburg this morning, despite how much I really loved it there. I took the train from Salzburg to Innsbruck. It was only one stop to get to Innsbruck. However, this was a high speed train that was going all the way to Zurich, so 1 stop took almost 2 hours to get to. So I arrived here around 10 AM and walked across this small town to get to my hostel/guesthouse. This place really is more of a guesthouse than a hostel. I have my own room this time, but with a shared bathroom, although I don't know if anyone else is staying on my floor (I haven't seen anyone yet). I also like the location of this place. It is just across the river from the old town, so it was just a short walk away.

Luckily, when I arrived I was able to get into my room immediately despite how early I was. This was good because getting up early this morning didn't agree with me and I wanted a nap. So when I first got here I napped for about an hour and a half before going out to explore the city. Once I finally got out I decided to first get lunch. Today I actually had a real sit-down meal as opposed to the on-the-go street food I've been favoring lately. I ended up getting some Weiner schnitzel that came with fries and salad. I know I'm not actually in Vienna yet, but this is actually served all over Austria as well as in other countries. It was delicious! After lunch I also stopped at a small pastry shop and I bought rhubarb strudel. Since I've been in Switzerland, Germany and Austria I've been eating apple strudel like its my job, but this time I wanted to try something different. I didn't actually eat this one yet. It will probably serve as my dinner.

Now that I served many of my gastrointestinal needs I decided I should actually see some of this town. Innsbruck is actually a very historically important city, despite the fact that many people have never heard of it. It is the capital of the Tyrol region of Austria and it became the center of European politics and culture due to emperor Maximilian I, who moved the imperial court here in the 1490s. Innsbruck also hosted the winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976.

Just like Salzburg, Innsbruck is surrounded by mountains

The first place I went to see was the Hofkirche, which is an old Gothic church in the middle of the old town. After that I went to Hofburg, which is the imperial palace. It was originally built in 1460, but it was later rebuilt in the 18th century by Empress Maria Theresa. I was able to go inside and see all the state apartments with a lot of their original furniture.

By this point, I again wanted a snack, so I stopped to get a gelato and I ate it as I walked to the Cathedral of St. James. When I arrived there I still wasn't finished so I sat outside on a bench and ate the rest of my ice cream. After I went inside the church to have a look around. Once I was done there I finally went to Goldenes Dachl or “The Golden Roof”. This was built by Maximilian I in 1500. It used to be a residence and The Golden Roof is actually a balcony on the third floor that looks out onto the central plaza of the old town. It actually has 2657 fire-gilded copper tiles. It is the main site in Innsbruck.

After seeing all that and wandering around town for a while, I returned to my guesthouse to relax and chill out the rest of the day. Tomorrow morning I'm taking the train to Verona, where I'm spending one night. After that I'm meeting my dad in Naples!

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