Sight-seeing. Biking. Shopping. Mingling.

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Jul 18, 2012

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Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Sunday, November 6, 2011

Friday November 4, 2011

This weekend Megan, Amanda (from Canada), and I went on a weekend getaway to Innsbruck Austria. We took the train a little after 9am Friday morning and had a three and a half our ride to the town. Luckily we didn't have any connections so we could sleep, relax, and not worry about running from train to train. When we arrived we weren't sure how to get to our hotel, but Megan is pretty good with directions and a map so she got the hotel address, figured out which streets to take and we just followed her. It was a little bit of a walk from the station, especially with all of our luggage, but we made it.

Once we checked into our hotel we relaxed for a little bit and then went out to find some lunch. We walked around the city exploring different parts and looking for a restaurant that fitted what we wanted and was within our budget. We finally decided on this restaurant in the square next to the theatre, church, and what we think was the university. The architecture of the restaurant was so peculiar and modern- It was a glass box building sitting right in the middle of the square. The food was delicious though, and we had great service! Our waiter voluntarily translated everything on the menu for us, and was so nice! I had Kartoffel Gnocci which are like potato balls with garlic sauce, bacon, and mushrooms. Very good! Megan had a pasta and Amanda got a turkey salad. The atmosphere of the restaurant was nice as well. Since it was glass we could look around outside the whole time and the inside had a modern feel to it. We surprisingly did not get dessert.

After lunch we wandered around the town and looking at all the different sights. We walked down the Inn River for a while and the scenery was gorgeous. The mountains were right next to the town and the river's water was so blue. I've never seen such a clean river. No matter how good my wonderful Nikon camera is the pictures from Innsbruck really don't do it justice.The trees were also so colorful with the fall leaves. Fall lasts a lot longer here in Austria I've noticed than back home. Hopefully this means it experiences all four seasons a little better than Missouri! We saw the Jesuit church and a few other churches, the university, the "golden roof" that is supposedly really famous but was kind of a let-down for us because it was so small, the column in the middle of the town square, and an arc. The town had a peaceful vibe to it. It's smaller than Linz so it wasn't quite as buzzing, but still big enough to have a lot of really cool things to see and do. We like to just walk in and out of the streets, stopping in shops, and looking around.

After exploring for a while we went back to hotel to freshen up a little before dinner. We decided to go to this Italian restaurant called L'osteria we saw earlier because there's one in Linz as well and we wanted to see if it would be the same, which it was I thought. I had Tagliatelle with a glass of red wine which was good as well as similar to the dish in Linz. We also didn't have dessert here either, surprising!

After dinner we went out to a couple different bars to check out the night life. The first place we went into was an Irish bar but it was packed and really smokey so we left as soon as we got there. The next place we went was called Stadtcafe that was recommended to Megan from her friend who is actually from Innsbruck, however, when we got there no one was inside. We stayed for a little while and each ordered a Baileys but it was so expensive we left after that. We walked around outside for a while (which the weather was fabulous all weekend) and saw some kind of festival going on but it was packed and we didn't feel like trying to walk around all these people so we decided to just go back to the hotel. We were all pretty tired anyway and ended up falling asleep before 11pm.

The next day we got up and had the included breakfast at 9am in the hotel. It was bread, meat, and cheese. Surprising, haha. It was good though and I also had a little fruit to go with it. After breakfast we made our way to the bike rental place. We each rented a bike for 2 hours for 8 euros and this was probably my favorite part of the whole trip! We had to bike a little bit in the city which was a little scary with the traffic and people, but we eventually made it to the bike trail next to the river. We biked along the river the whole way getting off occasionally to take pictures of the beautiful scenery.

We had to return our bikes a little after noon and then we walked around looking in more shops for a while. We did a lot of souvenir shopping again and it was nice because they had some different stuff than the other shops have had in other cities. After a couple hours we were starting to get hungry from our bike ride and went to this restaurant my Austria book sis gave me recommended. It was a pizza place called Mamma Mia's and it was SO good and cheap. It looked like a family-owned restaurant and it was packed with customers. We each got a "slice" of pizza which was actually half of a pizza for only 3 something euros. The pizza here was probably the best pizza I've ever had. I don't know why it tasted so good, I think it might have been the sauce, but it was great! It must have been a secret family recipe :).

After lunch we walked around for a little while longer and then decided to go back to the hotel to get ready for the night. We figured with three girls and one bathroom we could use the extra time. As soon as we got to the hotel I showered first and whenever I got out Megan and Amanda had both fallen asleep, so I laid down for a while too. We all had a nice little nap. After our sleep we finished getting ready and then had a couple glasses of wine and chatted. Since we had a late lunch we didn't get hungry for dinner until a little after 8pm. We walked back into the city and decided to have dinner at a traditional Innsbruck restaurant called Goldener something...I don't remember what it was called. I was proud of myself because I tried something out-of-the-ordinary. I ordered what was called the "Tyrolean Specialty" (Tyrol is the state in which Innsbruck is located). On the menu it didn't have any kind of description of what the entree was, but since it was the specialty of the area I wanted to try it. Luckily, I actually really really liked it! It was a mix of fried wedges of potatoes with garlic and pieces of bacon mixed in and a fried egg on top. It came with a "salad" which I believe was all sliced cabbage with some kind of dressing I didn't recognize. It was so good though and ate all of it! Amanda ordered the pumpkin soup which is also popular here and is also very good with a salad, and Megan had another pasta entree. This time I got dessert though. The Sacher Torte is the famous Austrian dessert that I haven't had the chance to try yet so this time I ordered it. It was a big piece of chocolate cake but it also had a fruity flavor as well. I think there was some kind of fruit syrup or sauce in between the layers of the cake. It was so good though! The other girls were full but I made them try it because it was so good- they agreed :).

During dessert three guys came over to our table and introduced themselves and said they kept seeing us throughout the whole day. They first saw us at the bike shop, then out on the street, then at the pizza place, and they said when they saw us here too it was just too crazy and they had to come introduce themselves. They were all three US Army captains in the infantry and artillery units and have been living in Germany for the last three years. I didn't recognize the name of the town they were stationed at, and they said it was pretty small and normally people don't know it. They were just visiting Innsbruck for the weekend to go skiing, but unfortunately the mountain was closed down for the time being for some reason. One guy was from San Fransisco, another from Cleveland, and the third from DC. They said they could tell we were Americans because we were chatting loudly and laughing. When we asked how that would make it be known we were American one of the guys said, "How many times in Europe have you seen a group of girls laughing at a table?". After thinking about it, I actually have never seen that. Or, people laughing "loudly" in general. So, Americans are known for McDonald's and being loud. Great. Now every time I talk I try to be really quiet!

Anyways, after we chatted at the restaurant for a while they invited us to go out with them and we didn't really have other plans so we took them up on the offer and first we to the Irish bar again. It was a free night for us :). They bought our drinks the whole night, entries into the venues, and the cab. The Irish bar was a little boring for us girls though so we told them we wanted to go somewhere that there was dancing so we went to another place nearby, stayed there for a while, and then ended at the Stadtcafe again. This time it had a lot of people, music, and dancing and was a really great time! It's always nice to meet Americans here, and especially good-looking army captains who pay all night :). Since this is kind of my journal as well as my blog you get to hear all about these little ventures I have. Lucky you!

The next morning we woke up early to get our free breakfast in the hotel, packed up, and headed to the train station. We got there earlier than expected and were able to catch the 10am train back to Linz. We had to go back early because we all had homework to do, and we had already seen most of Innsbruck in the last two days. Sadly, I couldn't fall asleep on the train this time so I just listened to my iPod the whole way, but about an hour outside Linz I got a nose bleed! I hadn't gotten one of those in a really long time. My nose just started gushing blood and Megan had just went to the bathroom and she was the only one who carried Kleenex with her so I had to run to the other bathroom before I got blood everywhere! Whenever I was in the bathroom getting toilet paper I didn't bother locking the door and the cleaning lady tried to walk in and accidentally hit me with the door. When she saw I was holding my face and had blood on my hands she kind of freaked out and of course didn't speak English so I just had to show her it was just my nose. She gave me more toilet paper and told me to put water on the back of my neck. I had never heard of that before but I did it and it helped I guess. I had to hold my nose and lean my head back for a while though. I guess the air was really dry and the train caused a lot of pressure. Stupid nose bleeds!

After the three hour trip back we arrived back in Linz and the tram wasn't running. We were a little aggravated because we were tired and had all of our luggage, but Amanda said this had happened to her before and that we just had to take a bus back. Luckily she knew which one to take and how to get back to the dorm. It turns out that the city was setting up the Christmas markets and that's why the trams were closed!! I'm so excited to go to the markets! Apparently there are three of them in Linz. Two are kind of mini markets and the main one is in all of Hauptplatz (the city square). I'm so looking forward to going to them!

All for now! xoxo
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