Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter in Austria!

Welcome to Austria!

So the funny thing we found out right before we left to go to Austria, our good friends Rob and Katherine were also in Innsbruck. Sadly we missed them by just one day, but the good news was that they gave us their "must do" list of things in Innsbruck.

On the walk to the piazza, or in Austrian - die platz

The Alps!

I fell in love with the architecture, with the Alps in the background.

I couldn't resist...

For the fam!

Ahhh Innsbruck...

We decided to go to Innsbruck because it's about 1 1/2-2 hrs. from Bolzano. Giancarlo and I had never been to Austria, and figured since we're so close, why not. As always, the train was cheap, and spending Easter in Austria was just too good to pass up. In researching a little bit before we left, we found out that they would be having an Easter market the same time that we'd be there. After experiencing the Frankfurt Christmas Market, Giancarlo and I were more than excited to check out the Austrian version during Easter.

Downtown Innsbruck

The main river which runs through the city.

This pretty much sums us up...


View across the river.

After we arrived in Austria, we immediately checked into our hotel and made our way down to the Easter Market in the Old Town area. Let me just say, when you first arrive in Innsbruck words and pictures can't even begin to describe the beauty of this place. When I talked to Italians about my vacation before leaving, they all said that they loved Innsbruck more than Bolzano. Shocking for me to hear an Italian loving a city in another country more than an Italian one, but when you get off the train and see those Alps staring right at you, you then understand why.

On our way to the Easter Market in the downtown area.

You know it's going to be a good time now...

The Easter Market!

The main clock tower in the piazza.

Within five minutes of our hotel, we were down in the main piazza walking around the Easter Market. Giancarlo's eyes locked in on an Austrian potato situation, and when in Austria one must try. The rest of the day we spent wandering around the city. Here's the thing, we budgeted spending about a day and a half to spend in the city. At first I thought that that wouldn't be enough time to see everything, it was actually more than enough time. You can pretty much cover everything in a half a day on your way to another city. Innsbruck is tiny, but very friendly. Another interesting thing - it was FULL of Italians. Austrian German is the first language, but everyone spoke Italian to us so we spoke Italian back.

Local Austrian musicians performing at the Easter Market.

The potato situation... and lunch.

So as we did in Germany, we basically decided to eat our way through the Easter Market, and walked it all off exploring the city. Especially since we saw the whole city in the first 30 minutes that we arrived.

Me, very excited to have coffee in a paper cup. I know - very "un-Italian," but I am American and miss having coffee to-go.

Back in the land of Strudel!

One of the places that was recommend to us from our friends was a beer garden called Stiftskeller in the center of the city. Randomly wandering around the city, we were drawn to this awesome outdoor bar with sheep skin rugs as seat cushions and we had to stop in for a drink. Needless to say, it was the restaurant that was recommended to us. Great minds.

When one sees a bar with furry seats.... must stop and have a drink, right?

After a quick refreshing drink, we were also told to go to the main park in Innsbruck, Hofgarten, which has a giant chess board and the locals go to challenge each other to a game. It also has some of the best views of the Alps.

Giancarlo relaxing in the park.

From the park we headed back down to the main part of town, stopping at the tourists shops to amuse ourselves with everything stereotypically "Austrian"

Giancarlo modelling the latest Austrian fashion.

Everyone needs to have one.

Be forewarned...

A quick reminder in case you forgot... I'm not going to name names or anything...

We worked up quite the hunger shopping (if you can believe that..), so we decided to head back to Stiftskeller for dinner. Nothing on the menu is in English, which I absolutely love. I hate going to a new city and either being offered a menu in English or seeing English automatically on the menu. It seems to defeat the purpose of being in a foreign country. So the first sign this place was going to be good, no English on the menu. We knew a few key words that wouldn't disappoint, and thats all we needed to know.

Key word #1- Dumplings

Key word #2- Goulash

Key word #3 &4- Wurst & Sauerkraut

Giancarlo and I always become Italian after a meal in a foreign country (outside of Italy) and must go for a passeggiata after eating. We decided to wander back down to the river to look at the Alps in the sunset.


The next day we packed up shop and decided to spend a little more time in the Old Town of Innsbruck before heading to the train station. We walked up to the top of the bell tower, then it was off for one last round of more eating, Austrian dancing, and music before heading back to Bologna.

The of Old Town from the top of the tower.


Adorable Austrian children getting ready to perform.

Doing a traditional Austrian dance.

Goodbye Austria!

For the rest of the photos, click here


Megan in Liguria said...

Looks beautiful, fun and delicious! :)

The Thomas Kidlets said...

The photos are GORGEOUS! You guys are too cute...and all the food looks delish!


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