We had a long drive to Salzburg and back to our cabin in Garmisch, so we decided to stay a little closer to our home base the next day. Innsbruck was only an hour from Garmisch. It was also Judy and Bryan’s last day with us and they were hoping to get home a little earlier to do some laundry and pack since they were leaving for Switzerland and continuing south to Florence, Rome and finally to Sicily to visit our friends Jim and Gin.
It was a beautiful and thrilling drive to Innsbruck as we followed the road up and down the Alps. Judy (always thinking ahead) brought a pair of walkie-talkies so that both cars could stay in contact with each other. It made the long drives a lot of fun. We pointed out interesting things alongside the road (including a guy riding a bike down a 12 % grade, we thought his tires were going to fall off!), or funny German oompa music radio stations. We also gave each other radio call names like “Applestreudel” and “Rigadizzle” and our favorite “Rigermortis (ha. ha.)” Bryan enjoyed sharing Katelyn’s “I’m sick of being in this carseat” moments with us- every once in a while we would hear her cries over the radio.
We enjoyed another beautiful bright sunny fall day in Innsbruck, in fact a few of us (okay, me) got a little too much sun. Innsbruck is known for its amazing skiing and has hosted the 1964 and 1976 Olympic Ski Jumping. For my Dad, an avid skier, this was especially interesting. I was hoping that he could have enjoyed a little skiing while he was here (we heard that at some places you can ski year round) but we couldn’t make it happen. I think he was still satisfied just seeing how magnificent the Alps are.
I’ve posted pictures and facts about the key sights in Innsbruck (with a little help from Rick Steve’s Germany, Austria & Switzerland 2003 Edition). Innsbruck was the Hapsburgs capitol of Tirol. The Goldenes Dachs, or Golden Roof (below) was built in 1494 by Emperor Maximillian is found in the center of the medieval marketplace, now a popular tourist spot.
The photo above was taken looking back at the Goldenes Dachs (the building with the brown roof at the end of the street). We are walking up Maria-Theresa Strasse (street), named after the Empress Maria Theresa or “The Grandmother of Europe (1740-1780)” towards the Olympic ski jump which is behind me.
In the center of the old market place on Maria- Theresa Strasse is St Anne’s Column a tribute to Anne of Austria.
At the far end of the street is the Triumphal Arch, a gate which Maria Theresa built to celebrate the marriage of her son Leopold II King of Bohemia 1790-1792.
For a small fee you can climb to the top city tower called the Heblinghaus. The pictures below are views of the city from the top. Judy and Bryan and I climbed the steep steps to the top. It was such a clear day you could see for miles.
Every city I visit in Europe has it’s own unique feel and flavor. I really enjoyed Innsbruck’s beautiful sights and rich history, but my favorite part of the day was looking at the amazing mountains that circle the entire city.