This post is LONG overdue. I meant to have it up right after my Salzburg post but then I fell ill, and all my careful plans were lost in a vortex of Vicks Vaporub and used tissues. And when you add in going back to work after a two and a half week break, it hasn’t been the most productive January! But I think my cold has finally left me and I feel like a new woman. So let’s get to it.
To pick up where we left off – Innsbruck was the second leg of our Austria trip at the end of last year. We had spent a few days in Salzburg, and after being surrounded by the mountains, we were ready to head into them. It’s only a two hour train ride from Salzburg, and for a large portion of that time, I just stared out the window. White fields rolled by and giant snowflakes pressed up against the glass. Something about snow just makes me so happy, so despite the snow turning into rain by the time we actually arrived in Innsbruck, I didn’t mind one bit.
Innsbruck was decked out in spectacular fashion. Twinkling lights, giant Christmas trees, festive decorations pouring out the windows and more glunwein that I ever thought possible – this town is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It sits at the foot of some truly breathtaking mountains, and we couldn’t wait to explore. Our AirBnB was on the outskirts of town, and there is something so special and waking up and seeing these towering snow-covered peaks from your bedroom window.
We spent a good amount of time in the town walking along the winding cobbled streets trying to find hidden cafes and restaurants. There is so much to see – the Palace, the Cathedral, the Tower – I could go on and on. Even if you don’t end up doing any of the touristy bits and just walk around, you’re still going to have an amazing time. The architecture is beautiful, and everything is just so colourful! Visiting Innsbruck during the festive season definitely added to it, but I think it would be magical any time of the year.
We also visited the Alpine Zoo, which sits above Innsbruck. It’s about a 35 minute walk from the city centre, with some steep bits (I ended up taking my jacket off and regretted wearing a chunky knit!), but you can also take the bus or funicular. It is one of the highest zoos in Europe, and has many different species of animals, birds and reptiles. Being a feline lover, I spent far too long looking at the lynxes. I actually took loads of photos, but if I posted them all, we’d be here for days.
The highlight of our trip was taking the cable car up the mountain to the highest peak, Halflekar, which sits at an amazing 2500+ metres above sea level. There are two stops along the way, and each one offers the most spectacular views. We were there on New Year’s Day and I cannot think of a more perfect place to ring in 2018. With most people nursing a hangover far below, for a while it felt like we had the mountain all to ourselves.
Well, except for this little guy.
I loved every second of our time in Innsbruck. I grew up next to the sea, but I have always loved the mountains. I hope my pictures have helped you see why. 🙂 Until next time!