Last weekend I went on a weekend trip to Innsbruck. I had always considered visiting Austria because it is a bordering country to Italy and I love Austria, it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. This trip was eventually encouraged my best friend was going on a road trip around Austria. They were stopping in Innsbruck and I knew that there was a train from Bologna to Munich, stopping in Innsbruck, perfetto! They had lots of places to go and subsequently wanted to spend one day in Innsbruck. However, I had the whole weekend free so decided to make a weekend of it. In the end I left my house at 7:30 am and arrived in Innsbruck at 12:30- not bad considering in England this is just a little over the time it takes me to get from my home in Essex to my University in Durham. As soon as i alighted to the train, I was greeted in German asking if I spoke German. I looked up at the man before me, and for some reason in Italian, “no, ma io parlo inglese”. I should probably be happy that Italian came to me first, but he was probably slightly confused. English was fine, as expected with Germans.
First thing to on the list: lunch. I was ravenous and so decided to eat in the station, my eye was instantly drawn to a little Italian cafe and I had a classic margherita… Okay, so maybe I have become a little Italian! With a full tummy, I set off to explore my new surroundings, with a bit of shopping.
I wandered over to a shopping centre which was close to the train station. Here on the centre’s map I have never been so happy to find the word ‘Primark’ written. I went in, relishing in the familiarity of the crowds, messy clothes and cheap as chips prices. With the knowledge that I was flying home with only a 20kg suitcase, I had to choose wisely. I opted for a gym vest and gym socks for my newly found, but quickly waning commitment to the gym. Turns out a gorgeous blue vest isn’t the way to improve prowess at the gym… Who knew? In addition to my trip to Primark I visited C&A, a popular store that can be found in some European countries. There I bought a gorgeous checked scarf and hat. When I packed my suitcase for my year abroad, I clearly did not think about the weather or the length of period I would be gone, with nothing prepared for the winter weather. I suppose that serves me right for packing the day before. I certainly wasn’t complaining. Having bought the essentials to see me through my last 5 weeks in Italy, I decided to stop shopping. Some may think this was willpower. In actuality it was my desire to go and lay down for a while. So, I left the warmth of the shopping centre with Google maps in one hand and my shopping bags in the other. Classic tourist.
I headed for the centre to have a look around while there was still light and to find my B’n’B. On my arrival, I was met by a lovely tranquil building, I let myself into my room and fell onto my double bed. Unfortunately after my long journey and shopping trip I was frankly feeling pretty disgusting, so I opted for a shower with my gorgeous smelling lush products and then relaxed with a little TV. After an hour or so, it was about time to start thinking about dinner. I was on my own and a little nervous about striding into a restaurant on my own. On the other hand I knew I couldn’t just go and get a McDonald’s while in a foreign country with their own culinary traditions. So with a bit of British stiff upper lip I put my new hat and scarf on ready to face this new challenge. Now don’t get me wrong, I like being by myself and I can easily be my myself, shopping, relaxing or eating. On the other hand I was nervous about eating in a busy restaurant by myself. I ended up walking past a modern, busy burger restaurant. I hovered outside for a while wondering if I should eat a burger when I could be eating traditional Austrian cuisine. Then, I realised I could do whatever I wanted. Sometimes I have these voices of guilt but ultimately, people are not that judgemental, and those who are frankly aren’t worth listening to. More to the point my burger was bloody amazing.
Sunday in Austria is quiet. Very quiet. After 3 months in Italy, I was able to notice the lack of loud voices and general loud ambience. It was B E A UTIFULLLLL. It was mainly quiet because there were no shops open. This to me, is a strange concept. Ever since my living memory, shops have been open on Sunday, albeit with shorter opening hours. Generally I loved working in retail on Sundays perhaps with the exception of working after a particularly heavy Saturday night “on the town”. I had a few hours to kill before my gal arrived, so I walked around the old town and the edges of the Christmas market. Then my beautiful friend arrived with her new friends and we walked around the Christmas market. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed by the Christmas market in Innsbruck. Perhaps I was mistaken, but I expected to have lovely sausages sizzling all over the place, but they mostly sold sweet things or Gluhwein etc. I am not too disappointed though because Verona (one of my favourite Italian cities), is hosting the Nuremberg German market. Nuremberg is the only German city I have visited, but I really enjoyed my time there. So my favourite Italian city and my current favourite German town put together sounds like a recipe for close perfection!
Please find below a little album of Innsbruck.