Opening my eyes to see Alpen mountains surrounding me is an experience I won’t soon forget. Phoebe and I took an overnight bus to Innsbruck, Austria and got in a few minutes after 7 am on Friday morning. Our necks were sore, not much was open, but waking up in a town shadowed by the Nordkette Mountain was breathtaking.
We spent most of Friday checking out museums, exploring the city, and eating Austrian cuisine (Wiener Schnitzel and Käsespätzle for lunch, coffee and cake in the afternoon). One of my favorite things we did was go through the Old Town in the morning before the tourists started to swarm in the afternoon. The alleys and main square were quiet, with only a delivery truck and people on their way to work passing through. We could admire the Baroque and Gothic architecture without the bustle of other tourists, making it a perfectly picturesque.
Phoebe and I rolled out of bed early Saturday morning to hit our favorite Austrian bakery chain, Baguette, before beginning our hike up the Nordkette. We had in mind that we wanted to make it as high up as possible, so we drew out a few potential routes. We ended up just starting our way up with the plan to read trail signs as we went. Although we did not make it as high up as we hoped, we got some incredible views on the way. As we wandered back down the mountain, we took a detour through the villages in the outskirts of Innsbruck. According to my FitBit, we ended the day having walked 38,031 steps, traveling a total of 16.35 miles and climbing up 231 floors. Needless to say, we were EXHAUSTED by the end of it all. We agreed, after making it as far as we did and then turning back, that we need to add “Summit an Alpen Mountain” to our bucket lists.
On Sunday, we had a leisurely morning and walked to the southeastern part of a city to visit the Schloss Ambras (Ambras Castle). The Renaissance-style castle was built in the mid-late 1500s and occupied by Archduke Ferdinand II (1529-1595). He ordered architects to design the main castle as well as a lower castle. The lower castle was the first building in the world that was built with the sole purpose of being a museum! It was designed to display his massive collection of weapons, armor, art, artifacts, and precious objects for the archduke’s wife, Phillippine Weiser. The collection is still on display today, so Phoebe and I spent a long time admiring the impressive array. The main castle was also interesting to walk through, especially to see the 300+ portraits of the Habsburg family.
The rest of the day we spent sitting in parks and grabbing coffee and cake before taking our bus home in the evening. It was a great first weekend trip of the semester and I am excited for my next one coming up in a few weeks!
More Blogs From This Author
<p>I am a rising junior at Connecticut College majoring in Architectural Studies. When I am not studying or constructing three-dimensional architecture models, I can be found playing ultimate frisbee or helping run the Womxn's Empowerment Initiative at Conn. After graduating from high school, I took a gap year to work as an au pair near Hamburg, Germany, so I could not be more excited to return to the country and share with you my adventures!</p>