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Innsbruck 22nd May

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Another quiet day. Sort of. I contemplated getting up at 3am and murdering the cheerful German group who stomped in and wrestled their way up and down the stairs, shouting and laughing. I’m still not sleeping all that well, so a wake-up call at 3am has long-term consequences.

The idiot who stood outside our room singing in a monotone tenor, “Here is Room Four” took my vote. His voice was instantly recognizable at breakfast, but I resisted the urge to run over and knock him down. Extra restraint was required when he started boasting that he had woken up at 6am and gone for a walk. I too woke at 6am, for no reason that I knew of at the time, but I suspect a loud buffoon cartwheeling in the corridor helped.

There was actually a lot of noise last night. Drunks rolled home, singing, or lost and shouting, on a repeating loop, it seemed. There was no agro, it was all quite good-natured, but annoying.

That’s the only downside to Lindau that I saw. It’s under the tourist radar it seems, and mostly Germans go there, but it was great. Might be a rough night tonight, for a different reason. They don’t dick around with the church bells in Innsbruck, they bellow out on the hour. I’m expecting a few midnight “What the..!” jumps in my sleep.

From Lindau we have moved in one step to another magnificent old town: Innsbruck. Last time we were here we were in and out in a day. I know now we did that because we didn’t know what we were missing. We’ve changed plans this trip and now expect to be here for three days at least.

This afternoon was just travel and getting accommodation – another guesthouse, again in the old town section. Cheap and cheerful. We’ll have to move a few times during the stay.

But we found time to walk around a few times, visit the amazing St Jakob cathedral. No money saved on this beauty, although outside it looks like a poured-concrete bunker. Innsbruck also has the Goldenes Dachl, a five story building that happens to have been the home of an early Habsburg heavy-hitter, Maximilian. And is decorated with a polished, golden-tiled roof.

I sort-of know my way round Innsbruck, and as the sun was shining, I made Sylvia detour to see the Dachl while it was glowing in the sunlight. Hurts your eyes….and makes your heart ache, it is so pretty and such an essence of the long history of the town.

Dinner was at the Goldener Adler, a place whose famous guests goes back to the 14th century. Beer from a 1000 year old brewery. You get the idea….Innsbruck old-town is stunning. Being Sunday it was packed. Let’s hope they’ve gone home tomorrow. Lindau spoiled us, I hate sharing this with others.

Two things already noticed now that we are back in Austria proper.

The beggers are back. Oddly, there are none in Switzerland or Germany. But they make up a distinctive percentage of the street traffic, drunks, crazies, the deformed, junkies, beggars, mumblers, bin-scourers and so on in Austria.

And after great coffee everywhere so far, back in Austria the first lame coffee. I won’t keep harping on about it, but whoever said the Austrians and Viennese understand coffee is a liar.

The train trip out from Lindau wasn’t as enjoyable as I’d hoped. A crew of basically good-natured but hyperactive teenagers joined the train one stop after us, and just irritated everyone else for the whole time. Some old biddy tried to pin them onto me, and accused me of being their (presumably negligent) teacher. She gave up and moved carriages, but there were other groups joining as we progressed and there wasn’t much respite.

There wasn’t that much to see…as we moved inland the steep, glacier-scoured valley became tighter and tighter eventually with vertical walls on either side. We went through tunnels then, popping out each time we stopped at a town.

Interesting enough, but after 15 minutes you’ve pretty much seen the ride, and the trip continues for 3 hours.

I had another “mistaken-for-local” experience in the Laundromat, where I was trying to salvage my resin-stained shorts. An American asked me if I spoke English. Although I answered “Yes”, an (do I need to say “officious”?)  Englishwoman assumed I was local and just bored in over the top of me, giving the American instructions he couldn’t follow then leaving. I didn’t clarify things with her, and let her leave her sunglasses behind. After she’d gone I said “Press Start, here” and so on, and he realized I did speak English.

Very odd. I don’t think I look local. Certainly my clothes aren’t Austrian. But I was dirty and scruffy enough. Maybe he thought I was a trucked-in beggar….

Written by wurstofvienna2011

May 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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