My travels took me from Vienna on a 4 1/2 hour train journey to Innsbruck. Innsbruck is apart of the Tyrol region and some of you may know it from it being a destination for the Winter Olympics. It is a city located in the Alps, which makes it absolutely breathtaking. Especially if you get to experience the views I did!
The first evening we arrived we visited some hotels to get the feel of them for potential clients and then we went for schnapps tasting! When I heard tasting you would think a sip or so of a couple schnapps. Schnapps is very big in Innsbruck and in Austria in general. We visited the actual distillery with the actual owner and man who produces the schnapps. He had so many great flavor combinations. We have strawberry, hazelnut, plum, hazelnut chocolate, apple hay, and a whiskey. We had about 6 glasses (probably around half a shot) in each! Needless to say, everyone was tired after that. He was so insightful and never wanted us to leave. I do not think he realizes we do not drink schnapps like he does!
My schedule was pretty rigorous, and did not get much downtime to explore and sit in a café and sip a latte macchiato, but that is ok! I really only had one day there so I cannot do it all right? The streets are filled with little shops, coffee shops, to be specific. I could probably count on one hand the amount of people that I actually saw walking around with a coffee taken “to go” in comparison to the filled tables in the coffee shops. The culture is so different than what I am used to as usually it is grab a quick coffee to move onto the next task. Anywhere in Europe, but I have truly specifically noticed in Austria, the importance of these cafés and coffee houses. It has been stressed numerous times that you can go and have one coffee but stay all day. They will not “kick you out”. This is where people socialize, read the newspaper (yes actually holding it and feeling the paper in your hands), relax, and gossip, supposedly! It is a meeting place and something to be done at leisure. I really love this! When I drink coffee, it is more to savor it and leisurely drink it because I simply love it. I do not wake up every morning needing coffee by any means. I am going to try to incorporate this style into my daily life. It does not ever hurt to slow down and really “smell the coffee” in a world that is moving, growing, and changing right before our eyes. This is a February challenge to myself!
Like I said, I did not have too much time in Innsbruck, and wish I would have had more time to enjoy the old and new town, but one area I was so thankful for was the time spent riding cable cars to the tops of the Alps. Holy beautiful! I tried to document as realistically as possible but pictures do not even do it justice! Skiing and snowboarding are so prominent in this region, even the littlest of children were on them. I was told when they learn to walk they learn to ski. Pretty awesome!
One of the stops was the meeting place for skiers during the day and then people of the town go there to meet in the evening. Where do they meet in the evening, you ask? Well just an Igloo bar that can fit 400 people in it!!!! Now that is one of the coolest bars I have seen – pun intended!
One of my most surprising visits of Innsbruck, was visiting the Swarovski Crystal headquarters. I did not know what to expect and it was like a modern, sparkly museum that changes their exhibits every couple of years. The exhibits are so intricate and probably take the couple of years before changing to actually conceptualize and execute. It was fascinating! They also served my favorite drink of the trip – sparkling wine (they used Proscecco) with just a little bit of rose syrup. Mine was served in a rose gold flute and the colors matched perfectly. The taste is something I will never forget and literally sat in the lounge drinking this while ordering rose syrup on Amazon! You can make rose syrup, too, but I guess that shows how urgent of a matter getting it is for me at this time!
The city is absolutely gorgeous and so much to take in but so little time. My biggest memory leaving Innsbruck will be having the best of the best, “birds eye” view, overlooking the whole city. When you have that, you feel on top of the world.
Off to Kufstein where I found my favorite bar right before I had the best meal on my trip!