Innsbruck

Mittwock
The weather forecast said rain and it was drizzling continuously when I woke up. Luckily we are not staying here in Kitzbuehel today but taking the train to Innsbruck. The station is only about 5 minutes walk from the hotel. The train arrives on time and we get to Innsbruck before eleven.

The guy at the information centre points us in the direction of the Old Town. We walk down the road till we reach the Triumphforte or the Triumphal arch. Built in 1765 to mark the wedding of Leopold II to Princess Maria Luisa, the south side of the arch depicts and celebrates the wedding. However a few days before the wedding the Archduke’s father died and so the north side of the Arch is dedicated to images of sadness and mourning for the Emperor.

From here we turn right along the Maria-Theresien street, one of the famous streets in Innsbruck, which was founded 700 years ago. A busy street lined by beautiful baroque buildings, each painted in a different shade. It leads us to the Old Town. Our first stop is the Stadtturm or the Town Clock Tower, where one hundred and thirty three steps take us to the top of the tower and we get views of the city and mountains in the distance.

The combined entry ticket also covers the Goldenes Dachl or the Golden Roof, which is just across the square from the Tower. Commissioned in 1493, it was built to commemorate the second marriage of Emperor Maximilian I to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan. Covered in 2,657 of fire-gilded original copper tiles, it forms Innsbruck’s golden landmark. The Emperor and his wife used the balcony to watch main events in the square. Inside is an exhibition which takes us through the history of the city during the reign of the Emperor.

The Square and Old Town is bathed in sunshine and we walk around the streets lined by souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. Not far from the Golden Roof, we walk past the Imperial Palace. Also completed in 1500 by Maximilian I, it is the third most important historic building in Austria. We are not sure if we will have time to see the interior and so opt to have a traditional Austrian lunch instead.

Despite being a weekday, the pub is packed, but we find an empty table. We all have our own favourite Bavarian dishes now and enjoy the food. After lunch, we leave the Old Town and walk to the river Inn which flows through the city. This is where the city gets its name from. The bridge over the river Inn. From here we have enough time for a stroll through the Hofgarten or the Imperial garden with it’s lotus pond and garden in full bloom, before we make our way back to the train station.

The evening is spent watching the game. Croatia’s experienced team proved too much for our boys in the end, but the boys have done us proud and we had a good time while they were winning. At least now my Sunday afternoon is free to enjoy instead of being glued to the telly. Did somebody say something about a tennis match on Sunday.

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