SALZBURG

WEDNESDAY, 21st June

Today was another train day with further use of our Eurail Pass. It is a pleasure travelling First Class with a seat reservation as we know exactly which carriage number to look out for as the train pulls into the station and also know just which seats are ours. It is always a bit of a challenge getting our cases on board as there can be a few steps to negotiate – sometimes a kind gentleman comes to our aid and we are very thankful. We enjoyed our stay at Hotel Zach in Innsbruck, a family owned hotel with a most helpful staff.

Our arrival in Salzburg was delayed by seventeen minutes due to work being done on the tracks, but we had checked into our hotel by midday and were soon on our way towards the the city centre.

A LITTLE ABOUT SALZBURG – literally “Salt Fortress”.   It is the fourth largest city in Austria. Salzburg’s Old Town (Alstadt) is internationally renowned for its baroque architecture and is one of the best preserved city centres north of the Alps. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. The city has three universities and a large population of students. Salzburg was the birthplace of 18th century composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is on the border of Germany with views of the Eastern Alps. The city is divided by the Salzach River with medieval and baroque buildings of the pedestrian Old City on its left bank facing the 19th century Neustadt (New City) on its right.

More than 300,000 “Sound of Music Fans” come to this city every year so as to walk in the footsteps of the Von Trapp family. The Sound of Music was filmed in 1964. In the film Maria and the children dance around the Pegasus Fountain in front of the Palace singing Do Re Mi.

In 2007 I had the privilege of holidaying in Europe with my eldest granddaughter who was then SIXTEEN GOING ON SEVENTEEN and I have now relived that happy occasion.

BERGISEL SKI JUMP STADIUM and TYROLEAN EVENING (Innsbruck)

TUESDAY, 20th June

At 09:00 we were on our way to the Trolley Bus Stop where we would catch a No. 1 to BERGISAL, once again using our Innsbruck Card both for the transport and for entry to the Bergisel-Sprungstadion.  Once at the BERGISAL terminus for the trolley bus we had an up-hill walk to the entry to the stadium. It was good to be early as the tourist buses hadn’t arrived. Once again the weather was perfect. The 50m high ski jump tower with restaurant (an orange juice for us) and viewing platform has become one of the city’s new emblems.

The Architect, Zaha Hadid, is one of the leading Architects of our time, known for extreme avant-garde architecture with extra-ordinary visual effects.She was born in Baghdad, studied in London and has taught at Harvard, Yale and other Universities.

TYROLEAN FOLK SHOW (Tiroler Alpenbuhne Gundolf) Sandwirt Restaurant Innsbruck at 20:30 – pick up from Hotel Zach at 18.45 and back after the show at a cost of 5 Euros each.   WHAT AN AMAZING NIGHT!!!  – many months ago I had booked on-line. This booking could have been for 19:00 and included a set meal but I chose the ‘show only’ option as I thought we may have been out for the day. When we asked the girl at hotel reception to make a booking for ‘pick-up’ she encouraged us to take the 18:45 option which we did. The taxi was on time and collected others along the way to the Sandwirt Restaurant. On arrival we were seated at a table for the meal even though I had tried to explain that we were for ‘show only’. We decided to go with the flow and pay the extra when asked to do so. (I was feeling a little guilty). The meal was enjoyable – soup/salad/schnitzel/strudel. Everything here is done by the family, be it kitchen, serving, front of house or performing (or all) so old and young all have jobs to do. A young lass in traditional dress finally came to check my paperwork and asked us to report to her at the entry of the Concert Hall when we had finished our meal. On entry she introduced us to her mother who showed us to our seats (possibly the best in the house) – I felt like the Queen. This was in an auditorium holding approximately 500 people of all nationalities (many large Tour Groups).

The one and a half hours just flew by. It was a first class show that could only put a smile on one’s face as people from all around the world enjoyed the skillful performance of the family members brought in voice, dance, and music as they portrayed many aspects of their culture. The Gundolf family can rely on a long music tradition dating right back to the 19th century. TYROLEAN evenings have been organised since 1967.

When acknowledging countries present, Australia was called and we were two of only four to stand and be clapped and cheered as Waltzing Matilda was sung.

A MORNING ON NORDKETTE – JEWEL OF THE ALPS

MONDAY, 19th June

This morning we purchased the 48 hour Innsbruck Card. After using it today I have nothing but praise for the ease of use and value for money. It covers (free entry) to most attractions plus free transport throughout the city. Our first excursion was to the NORDKETTE, a range of montains just north of the city of Innsbruck in Tyrol, Austria.

Urban meets outdoors in Tyrol’s relaxed capital where Zaha Hadid’s space-age NORDKETTE Hungerburg funicular speeds from the centre to high alpine pastures in  just 8 minutes summer and winter. The awesome panoramic views of Innsbruck and the Inntal Valley from Seegrube at an elevation of 1,905 metres only get better as one gets higher. From Seegrube the cable car to Hafelekar (2,300 m) on such a beautiful morning as we experienced today gives some of the best views – A unique panorama of city and mountains.

The style and workings of the funicular are absolutely amazing and designed and built with such precision.

VIEWS FROM THE TOP –

ALPENZOO – Europe’s highest-lying zoo can be found at the foot of the NORDKETTE. It includes over 2,000 examples of Alpine wildlife (I think that many were sleeping when we were there as the temperature was above 30 degrees).

IMPERIAL GARDENS CITY PARK –

THE SIGHTSEER – HOP ON – HOP OFF (best tourist bus in the city) To complete our day we rode the complete route of the bus wearing our headphones to give us really great information about the city and surrounds interspersed with appropriate music. We had a 15 minute stop at a great place for panoramic photographs of the city of Innsbruck.      In all, a very busy day but one to remember.

INTO INNSBRUCK

SUNDAY, 18th June

Tonight we sleep in Innsbruck after departing Zurich this morning on a train to Bregenz where we had a stopover just long enough to enjoy a schnitzel lunch before boarding the train to Innsbruck. This was the route we needed to take as there is work being done on the line from Zurich to Innsbruck. It was most picturesque.

INNSBRUCK is the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria. The name translates as “INN BRIDGE”. The city is located in the broad valley between high mountains. Innsbruck is an internationally renowned winter sports centre.

Having arrived at our Hotel Zach mid afternoon we had an introduction to some architectural history of this area by walking through the Old Town.

 

Innsbruck’s Trademark is THE GOLDEN ROOF which is situated in the medieval Old Town. On the orders of Emperor Maximilian l, the splendid balcony with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles was added to Archduke Friedrich lV’s residence. The stone relief on the balcony shows Maximilian’s wives.