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A day trip to Mittenwald, Germany proved to be a grand experience. The train trip through the Austrian Tyrol into the German Alps was amazing. Breathtaking mountain vistas were everywhere. It was clear and cool and every turn of the railroad track brought new mountain peaks into view. Waterfalls fell from the sky and deep canyons divided mountain ranges. Verdant green high mountain hills nursed cattle, sheep and horses.
We arrived to the wonderful mountain “painted” village of Mittenwald. Picture postcard perfect, the village beckoned with its painted building, exquisite painted church, fountains and flower gardens. Throughout the village, water flowed through the streets in flower-lined narrow and shallow canals. We ate a late lunch in a restaurant that shouted German–dark wood carved paneling, shaded lamps and painted ceiling–oh, and every beer, including the Oktoberfest beer, was on tap and each beer had its own glass or mug peculiar to that beer. On a side note–German beer is chemical/preservative free and non pasteurized, meaning it is fresh and when it is best, cloudy. Even the same brands cannot be purchased this way in America and thus lose their excellent taste.
Rhonda and Charlotte opted to shop in Innsbruck and chill out, and Allen wanted to stay in since he did not feel well. Since this was a free unscheduled day, everyone could do as they pleased. God knew we needed that free day since Allen’s health deteriorated in the afternoon and he needed to go to the doctor/hospital. Rhonda took him since we were still in Mittenwald. After finding only German-speaking people at the hospital, they finally found a dentist who could speak English and helped them to the urologist who did a thorough job of running tests to diagnose Allen’s prostate infection. Later, we were off to the pharmacy to get the five prescriptions necessary to get Allen back to health. Please pray for his complete recovery. WEG – September 15, 2015
Innsbruck is the regional capitol of the Tyrol in Austria. It is a beautiful city ringed by the Tyrollean Alps and dotted with baroque architecture that is noted by its ornate scroll work and use of figures in the plaster. The buildings in the Old Town are colorful, many with intricate paintings, usually of a religious nature. The churches have onion-topped steeples. One church just down the street from our hotel is pink and white with thick wooden doors and large oval iron handles. The interior is white and gold in the baroque style. Just to the side of our hotel is the triumphant arch topped with statuary of horsemen in full charge.
We traveled to Innsbruck via the train over the Brenner Pass, one of Europe’s highest. We passed acres of orchards filled with apples nearing harvest time as well as vineyards. Along the way large castles or churches commanded hilltop locations underneath the Alpine vista. It was a wonderful trip.
Innsbruck train station is a wonderful experience in itself (as are most train stations in Europe). Filled with shops of many kinds, we noticed the large sausage store and a grocery store that had a large selection of lunch items in glass cases. We decided to eat our lunch here since there was also comfortable seating. It was a good choice.
It was sprinkling when we decided to walk to our hotel–a straight shot several blocks up the street in the Old Town. Unfortunately, as we walked, it started to rain. We had rain gear and it came in handy, but we still got wet. The Alps were covered in clouds, and so we could not see them. When the rain stopped and the clouds lifted in the evening, the sight of the Alps was majestic.
We were able to walk part of the Old Town and see the St. Jacob Cathedral. It is a beautiful baroque church with painted ceilings and a wonderful golden pipe organ. Here we viewed the grave of Kaiser Maximilian I under whose tenure in the late middle ages the city gained its prominence and its landmark Golden Roof. Built with a deep slant, the roof was a symbol of the city’s wealth and influence and gleams golden to this day. Surrounded by baroque and painted buildings, with the Alps looming overhead, it is a beautiful sight.
Our day ended with traditional Austrian foods–wienerschnitzel; saurkraut; fresh rolled noodles in melted cheese; goulash (nothing at all like the goulash you might know in America); fried potatoes with meat and fried eggs; marinated cabbage; roast pork and Tyrolean dumplings. We are now in beer country, and it is good. WEG – September 14, 2015