Sunday, June 3, 2012

We're Headed for Our Last Stop, Innsbruck

06/03, SundayToday we catch our train to Innsbruck at 12:10. This will be our last stop before heading back to Milan to catch the plane to Chicago. We have counted the number of times until we finally can stop hauling our two big bags in Glen Ellyn...out & into hotels, trains, air terminals, cabs...I came up with 20 times. Next time we will travel light.

Our JetRail train whisks us to Innsbruck in 1-3/4 hours through pretty countryside spotted here and there with villages, church steeples, cows in the pasture, and rivers with rushing water off the mountains. This is a beautiful country, lots of green and trees like New Hampshire or Vermont.

The ever present mountains, several with snow, are really pretty. People here in Austria seem to have an excellent life style. Far more emphasis on quality leisure time rather than work and making money.

We had just checked-in at the front desk of our hotel, The Alt Pradl. While checking our email, we got a Skype message that Yuko and John were going to video call us. What a great surprise and fun! It is Sunday night there. Nicky and Emma had just finished brushing their teeth and Yuko is showering...she came on a little later. The girls have a day off on Monday, so everyone is going to the zoo.

We ventured into the old Innsbruck getting off the track twice even though it is only a 15 minute walk. One of the big features, The Golden Roof, is covered over for repairs. Ferdinand I used to sit beneath the roof on his balcony to watch the crowds in the square (platz). It's not really gold...just bronze.

Our trails lead us into the Imperial Garden, a very nice park, that let's out on the Inn BrĂ¼che (Brook or River). The current is fast and strong in this narrow river (100 feet wide). There's a guy on a surf board tethered to the bridge riding the current...maybe a new extreme sport!

We hear some music and come upon a street fair and sit and watch. Lots of dancing and fun people watching. We take part in a dance and a beer before crossing over the bridge to find the restaurant the people at our hotel told us about. Mountains literally surround Innsbruck and a rushing river goes through the town.

We share a dinner of three different kinds of dumplings and three kinds of sausage at the Stiftskeller with local beers, of course, and a chocolate cake for dessert. It's still early...about we start walking back to our hotel.

We noticed a theater across the street advertising a production of Frida Kahlo. So we stopped in to see what was going on. A local dance company, TanzCompany or Martha Graham Company, is performing an original production "Frida Kahlo - Passion for Life".

The box office says it is sold out, only one seat available. But we wait around until 7:30 hoping there will be a no-show or two. Just at the last call, the theater director tells us we can have the one seat and he gives us a free second seat. Can you believe our luck...right place, right time. The dancing was marvelous and it was just for one evening. Certainly was a nice welcome to Innsbruck. Frida Kahlo had a very troubled, rather complex life and the dance depiction was great. We had seen an exhibit of her paintings in Chicago, so knew quite a bit about her.
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