Innsbruck, Austria (Tyrol)
Sunday, June 27, 2010
This would be the perfect first stop on a European vacation.  Great food, great people, great trains, great views, great parks, lots of things to see.  Innsbruck is small enough where you can wander around, and never get lost. We had booked very few things in advance for our trip, really, just our first and last nights hotel, and a flight from Vienna to Rome mid trip.  We loved Innsbruck so much, we decided to reschedule our flight to give us two extra days here in Innsbruck.  
I love taking pictures of store windows!
This is the view from one of the stops on the Funicular (cable car).  This was the coolest train ever, it climbs a very steep mountain, and also runs flat as it crosses the river below.  The passenger compartments pivot to always maintain a level floor.
Now this is just showing off. The train stations are made from 1/2” thick curved glass.  How they were able to curve the glass and get the puzzle pieces to fit so precisely is pretty neat.
Austrian food was so good!  Most of the dishes are meat and potatoes, probably because of the cold winters.  The best meal we had was at a restaurant at the top of the Hungerburg. Basically meat with potato dumplings in browned butter.   I saw a meal being served at a table next to us, it looked really good, and I asked the waiter where it was on the menu.  It wasn’t on the menu, it was for locals only because it takes so long to cook.  Of course I ordered it, and it was really tasty, it’s the picture on the bottom left; veal encrusted with a pumpkin seed crust and covered with chanterelles (a type of mushroom), served with potato spinach dumplings, cranberry sauce and beets.
Here are some of the sites from the top of the Hungerburg, 2256 meters (7400 feet).  
The views from the train are like this throughout Austria.  
This city was very easy to navigate around, the tourist info at the train station gave us a great map, and within 20 minutes we were checked in a hotel and walking around the parks.  
Innsbruck is very much a college town, with lots of active beautiful people jogging, biking and roller blading.   There are lots of parks, an olympic ski jump, a zoo, mountains, rivers, and great food!