What was supposed to be a comfortable 1.5 hr train ride through the Alps to Innsbruck, instead turned out to be a 5 hour train ride in the wrong direction. Because of an avalanche on the track the train had to take a ridiculously long way around, going in the completely wrong direction (via Munich). The train we would be taking instead also got canceled, and 2 hours later we were still at the same station, wishing we would have hired a car for the day instead. When we finally arrived late in the afternoon we were absolutely exhausted, but as soon as we walked out of the train station, our mood lightened up: Many cities don’t live up to your expectations, so we usually try not to have any at all, but when it came to Innsbruck we couldn’t help but to expect something great – and I’m happy to say that Innsbruck definitely lived up to its reputation…
We were in Innsbruck! The Capital Of The Alps
Innsbruck has everything any other typical city has: an Old Town, museums, tourist attractions and incredible churches – but there is one thing that makes this place stand out from most other cities in the world: The Alps. Known as the capital of the Alps, Innsbruck is one of the largest ski resorts in the Alps, giving you the best of both worlds: a vibrant city-life and stunning nature. No matter what direction you look, majestic snow-capped mountains dominate the view, giving you access to 7 ski fields and a great free ride park in winter, and in summer plenty of walking trails along with one of the best mountain bike tracks in Europe. You don’t really realize how close the ski fields and sport opportunities are until you see people in their full ski gear walking down the main street, on their way to the slopes.
Views, Views, Views…
The abundant nature and beautiful mountains surrounding you makes it impossible even for the most stubborn of urban people to resist the urge to get up high. Innsbruck is all about the views, and there are plenty of places to get them; Bergsiel ski jump, the City tower and Nordkette are just a few of them. We took the Nordkettenbahn up to the ski field, sat down in the sun chairs and embraced the view. There is something about getting above a city and seeing it from a distance that truly makes you appreciate it, and getting a look over the endless number of mountain peaks reaching out to the horizon, makes you feel very small.
Cupcake Buildings & Other Yummy Sweets
Painted in pastel colors of green, yellow, pink and blue, the buildings reminded me of cupcakes, and the white fluffy decorations made the icing on the cake. Walking around the warren of cobble stoned streets in the Old Town, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying a coffee and cake in the sun at an outdoor seating was a great way to spend a day in the city. Talking about coffee, Austria has one of the oldest cafe cultures in Europe, and the cakes are to die for! While the cafe culture really derives from Vienna, it’s flourishing in Innsbruck as well. The famous cafe in Vienna which invented the Sacher torte can be found in this city too, and on the opposite side of that cafe is another cafe specializing in what Austria is perhaps even more famous for: the strudel…
We stuffed ourselves full of different types of strudel (there is more than just apple flavor!), ice cream and cakes until we couldn’t take another bite, and then continued exploring the streets of Innsbruck. In many ways, Innsbruck reminded me of my home town, which is probably why I felt so “at home” there. It is hard to pin-point exactly what it was that reminded me of Gothenburg, but I think it was the relaxed and friendly vibe, one that you find more often in places that are larger than towns but smaller than cosmopolitan cities – a vibe that you find in places like Innsbruck.
Innsbruck Kicked Us Out … Where To Next?
After spending 1 month in Innsbruck we realized the city didn’t want us hanging around anymore – it was kicking us out! Having to take care of thousands of new students desperate for a place to stay, Innsbruck simply didn’t have time to deal with us as well.
So after two full weeks of apartment searching, we decided that while we really liked the city, it just wasn’t meant to be.
- Apartments were taken within hours of being put online.
- The students were desperate for ANYTHING!
- We were not …
We didn’t want to share a room in someone’s home, or pay €1500 extra just to get hold of an apartment – so we have decided to move on, or more precisely, we’re moving north into the wild..!
Ok, perhaps that was a “little” exaggerated, but the place we’ve decided to move to is one of those places you would like to find yourself in when the rest of the world falls apart – so what better place to spend the end of 2012 than in Norway? ;P
Norway is a country we both have been longing to see more of, and we’re looking forward to see if it really is what everyone always claims; the most beautiful country in the world. Having found a great 2 room apartment in Trysil (Norway’s biggest ski resort) located only 3 mins from the slopes, we decided to just go for it and spend the next 6 months in Norway. That’s the blessing and the curse with being able to be wherever you want – a blessing because you can do whatever the hell you want, but a curse for the very same reason. The students in Innsbruck HAD to make it work, we didn’t – so we moved on. Sometimes, having too many options makes it more difficult than if there was only one way to go