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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