DAY 12 – Thursday, July 4, 2019 – Innsbruck, Austria
We had breakfast at Hotel Grauer Bar. The buffets are getting better and better.
After breakfast, a local tour guide took us around Old Towne – it is through the first arch of the courthouse! How did Barbara and I miss this last night? We walked through an alley past inexpensive gift shops, a backerei (bakery) selling Sacher Torte, the traditional Australian dessert – a chocolate cake with marmalade and whipped cream, and a shop selling Tyrolean Speck, a bacon-like specialty. The cities Old Towns are getting better and better. We saw St. Anne’s Column, but the highlight of Innsbruck’s Old Town is Goldenes Dachl (the Golden Roof).
The Golden Roof, built in the 1400s, has 2,738 gold-plated copper tiles. The Emperor Maximillan I and his wife used the balcony to observe festivals, tournaments, and other events in the town square.
Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to hear our tour guide on the busy street. Dicktator got so irritated and angry when anybody would wander a few feet away to take photos.
Our tour ended at Hofgarten (Court Garden) where we touched a large rock that is supposed to provide healing.
Hofgarten covers 25 acres. It was initiated in the 16th century by Archduke Ferdinand II as one of the most important formal gardens north of the Alps. There are still plants in the park that were planted personally by Austrian Empress, Maria Theresia.
After the tour, Barbara and I took the Funicular up to the AlpenZoo stop. We transferred to the cable car; rode up to the first stop and took a few photos, then took another cable car to the final stop, 7,400 feet above sea level. It was a beautiful view. We climbed to the top of the mountain – Hafelekarspitze (Hafelekar Summit). By the summit cross, we looked down on Innsbruck and out over Germany on the other side. The 360 degree views were absolutely stunning! Besides the Old Towns, the views and nature are getting better and better! On our descent, Doug, Rita, Dennis, and David were climbing up.
When we got back to the cable car station, Marlene, Jason, Ceil, Ceceila, Misa, Ann, Jan, Dick, Linda, Dan, and Vladya were there. We took photos of Dick and Dan. Barbara and I had a beer and dessert for lunch on the deck of the Hafelekar station. I had Sacher Torte – the traditional chocolate marmalade cake – on a mountain. Ann had a glass of wine. Gradually, the others came down from the summit and joined us. We watched a parasailer jump off the side of the mountain. It was a surreal experience. A yellow beaked crow ate peanuts out of Dennis’s hand.
When we got down from the mountain, Barbara and I walked through a hospital church and St. James Cathedral. The churches are getting better and better, too!
The Cathedral of St. James (also known as Innsbruck Cathedral) was built in the 1700s. The Diocese of Innsbruck in notable for two important treasures: the painting of Mary of Succor (Maria Hilf) and the canopied tomb of Archduke Maximillan III of Austria, Grand master of the Teutonic Knights.
Then, we walked down to the Triumphal Arch.
Triumphal Arch was built in 1765 in honor of the marriage of the future Emperor Leopold II to Maria Ludovica. His father, Emperor Francis Stephen of Lorraine, died during the celebrations. One side of the arch symbolizes the happy event of the wedding; the other side symbolizes the mourning of the loss of the emperor.
We used the water closet in a modern shopping mall, amidst all the old buildings.
We went back to the hotel and sat in the hot tub for about a half hour. Then, we got ready for dinner.
Dinner was really delayed. They didn’t have enough tables/seats. They started us with a lettuce salad with eggs, tomatoes, and two slices of ham. A half hour after the salad plates were cleared, we received the main course: veggies, rice, and kabobs. Then, a disappointing dessert: ice cream with leftover mixed fruit from breakfast.
After dinner, we walked down to Concert Hall with our group and listened to a couple of songs. Barbara and I moved on to look for Adler’s Bier Garten. We were unsuccessful, but finally settled on an outdoor café over looking River Inn with a colorful row of houses along the far bank.
What are your favorite things to do in Innsbruck?
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