Visited October 2012
Our last day in Austria saw us ‘celebrating’ Austria’s National Day with the rest of the country. As it was a public holiday, almost everywhere was closed, very much unlike how things are like back in my own country, where everything else is open.
Breakfast was at Manna Delikatessencafe, where the menu unfortunately was in German. Thanks to my instinct, I had a nice set of toast, eggs and orange juice, while the Boy unfortunately ended up only with toast and coffee. I did kindly offer him some of my meal though.
Our first stop for the day was to Nordkette Hafelekar Peak, a mountain for skiers, snowboarders and hikers. Taking the cable car, the ride is split into 3 parts, where we made our way to Seegrube for a lovely view of the town.
Not knowing that the route was mainly gravel and stones, me being decked out in lady boots was not a good thing, as it offers no slip-guard, and that was handicap no.1.
When we decided that it was time to head up to Hafelekar, along came handicap no.2. At a height of 2256m above sea level, I was struck with ear barotrauma, where my ears began to hurt so much, my mood started turning sour as well. Plus, the winds were really gusty up there, something which both of us was not prepared for. Now that’s strike three.
While the Boy could withstand the chill much better than me, and did his best to speed up his photo-taking process, I was technically ‘crippled’ at the peak. Urging him to finish up as quickly as we can, we finally descended back to the second level for some hot tea for me to recover. It was only then that we realised why the Austrians around us were fully decked out in their North Face or Jack Wolfskin attires. They must have been amused at our choices of apparels, especially me!
Returning back to town, we wander aimlessly for a moment, before coming to the River Inn, where I got colour therapy from the buildings by the river.
With some time on our hand, we made a trip to Bergisel, a hill at the southern end of the city. While our main aim was to visit the Ski Jump Stadium, we decided to make a detour to Das Tirol Panorama, a museum featuring Tyrolean history. Despite it being a public holiday where most places are closed, the museum however was free and open to all. Whilst offering fantastic panoramic view of Tyrol’s capital, what’s special about the place is also the 360 degrees painting of the Third Battle of the Bergisel.
Moving on up the hill to Bergisel Ski Jump Stadium, it is the venue of Olympic Ski jumping competitions. While being at the base allows for a colourful shot of the stadium, there is also an elevator that will bring visitors up to a restaurant and a viewing platform. This to me had one of the best panoramic views of Innsbruck and its mountains. Plus, it really gives visitors a view of the height ski jumpers have to put themselves through. Definitely not for those with a fear of heights.
And before we knew it, it was time for us to head back home. Thinking back, I find it amazing how we managed to survive 10 days there without knowing how to speak German. While this has set a new landmark in terms of travelling on our own experiencing new lands and cultures, it has also taught me that as much as I would like to look pretty touring Europe, comfortable shoes are way more important. Even lady boots without heels aren’t as wonderful as they seem.