by Martha Andrus
As you drive from Germany into Austria, you begin to see the outline of the Alps in the far distance. As you get closer to Austria, the Alps are more prevalent and are the absolute most awesome sight one can behold. The closer you get to these mountains, the more you begin to see their majestic height with their snow-capped peaks. Below the mountains are the gorgeous green valleys dotted with streams and lovely Austrian architecture. Every home in Austria has their brightly blooming flowers displayed in window boxes, with the Alps to be viewed from their windows.
We exited the freeway and began driving through the many resort communities and ski areas. Every few miles you will see the ‘Bed and Breakfast’ places and chalets nestled into the valleys of the Alps. The roads are two lane and wind and twist up into the mountains. In order to build access roads to these areas, the Austrians have built caves that go through the mountain and these are plentiful as you drive upwards. Most are supplied with lighting inside even on a sunny day, because some of these tunnels are very lengthy.We stopped at a small, quaint village for some lunch and dined outside on a sunny, beautiful day with a view of the Alps and the valley roaming with cattle and sheep, streams of water running over the large rocks and small, painted bridges leading to homes and hotels and the local church. Our server was dressed in the traditional Austrian way, with a plaid jumper with a full mid-length skirt. Our lunch consisted of a meat and cheese platter and was outstanding. We walked around the little village and strolled among the homes and views of the mountains and ski-lifts.
We spent the night in Innsbruck and visited the Old Town that evening. As you walk into this area, you enter a large, oval brick entrance and you feel as if you have gone back in time. The narrow, cobblestone roads are not for vehicle traffic and the streets are lined with hotels, restaurants and retail stores. Most of the buildings also have their window boxes full of flowers and the most beautiful, heavy, carved wooden doors. It is not uncommon to see ornate copper and steel accenting the windows and doors.
As we roamed through this area, there were street entertainers, such as musicians and jugglers and mimes. We heard music playing and made our way toward this beautiful sound and found ourselves in a courtyard witnessing a symphony orchestra playing the famous waltzes of Austria.
What a treat!
Innsbruck is surrounded by the Alps, so no matter where you are in the city, you can see the mighty Alps rising in the background. A beautiful city and one worth spending time exploring, for its architecture, culture, history and sheer beauty.