|Innsbruck has been magical. Both Salzburg and Innsbruck are in a "bowl" surrounded by beautiful snow capped mountains. Austrian buildings are of varying colours - greens, blues, mustards, browns, pinks.....making the scenery very quaint. There is a newer area, but we are spending our time in the old city regions.
There are more cyclists - not in bike gear - but in street clothes and no helmets. There are many more smokers - and I am surprised that they are not all alcoholics as beer, wine and spirits are so cheap.
Today we went up a mountain (Seeburge) by cable car. Our first stop was the alpine zoo. We acquainted ourselves with brown bears, deer, elks, pigs, wolves, otters and many birds.
We then proceeded up the mountain , way too high for my comfort. The cable car ride was very smooth. Once up there - we found a bit of a party scene. People were skiing, and paragliding, and snow boarding. Others were sitting on one of the many sun deck chairs as though they were on the beach! Others were wining and dining outside. There was an igloo with a bar in it.
We sat and observed the activity for a while, taking many photos, enjoying the glorious views of the mountains and the valley of Innsbrcuk below, and wallking on the snow.
On our descent we stopped at a village for a late lunch. The kids had ham and cheese toasted sandwiches - an Austrian favourite - and Michael and I had a beautiful farmers salad with roasted potatoes and bacon. Again we sat and enjoyed the views.
We have been fortunate with the weather that we have eaten outside many nights. It adds to the experience. We are feeling pretty pleased that we are enjoying "summer-ish" weather at off-peak prices and no queues!
Last night we ate at an Italian restaurant. I tried to speak German when we ordered. Big mistake! We wanted a margarita pizza to share as a starter and then ordered individual pasta dishes. I thought a family size would equate to a large pizza - but it turned out to equate to the size of the table top! It was delicious - but we struggled with our pasta dishes. Michael managed to keep the jokes coming about our oversized pizza for way too long - and I think we made too much noise.
In fact, we feel like we make too much noise everywhere. With European children in school, and mainly older tourists - our kids are the only ones to be seen. Everyone else is having quiet conversations, and peace - and we seem to be laughing, or fighting ( in a playful way), or Josh is carrying on with some silliness. We are leaving our mark as the " noisy tourists".
Off to genoa tomorrow - 3 train changes. We are staying there just for one night, en route to Nice and the French riviera. That will conclude our train adventures and we then do some plane hopping to Rome, Paris and KL.