Monday, March 6, 2017

Innsbruck, Austria - Countdown to Christmas!

 Blue skies in Innsbruck... we drop our bags and head ... up!

The Innsbruck Card... by far the best VALUE of any card we have tried so far!
And... they had mailed it to us... 
so with card in hand and the sun in the sky we headed to the tram

the first part goes along the ground and then you reach a sweet little town, they had a little Christmas Market going on... we decided to check that out on the way down 
and hopped on the tram that took us up and away!

Amazing View and Great Beer!
Today we celebrated our 31st Anniversary!
Can't ask for a better table than this!

We watched the sun set over these beautiful mountains and then headed back down to town.

We walked along the river and came upon a sweet Christmas Market that was impossible to miss. 
Swarovski crystal - made in this area - with shops all over town - creates this amazing tree!
It was at this market I found the sweetest little wooden decorations - 
my one true "Christmas Market" buy of the trip!

There are different markets set up in a few areas of town... all walking distance from one another.
These storybook decorations are found all around the old part of Innsbruck.

Know for their sweets.... best grilled ham and cheese... EVER!
The building was all dressed up as an advent calendar. So pretty.

We walked back down the main street - such a festive market - Yummy Rum Something Wonderful
that I may have gone back every night for... yep... very possible.

 A wonderful way to mark year 31 - thank you Innsbruck for a great day!

Above was our view from the Shower Room!  
I stood here and painted this one afternoon.... a wonderful wide window sil.

A room with a View
 - many wonderful -

You are sleeping
in the same 
enjoyed by 
many historic

Mozart also looked out these windows!

In the hallways are signs that tell who stayed in which rooms. 
Mozart and Us.
Love it!

 And if you peeked down from our shower room wonderful window... you could see Pinocchio.

The Hotel Goldener sits on the same street as the Golden Roof... our hotel is this first on the right and  you can see the Golden Roof down a bit and just to the left.
Location cannot be better!
And the breakfast every morning was amazing!
Coffee made to your liking... and this morning the sweetest boy at 
the table next to us proclaimed he was going home to Scotland
"the grandest land of all"
well.... it's on my list... but now that I know its the grandest land... I'll have to move it up!

So today.... lets wander down this street and see what we find.

 Looking back down the street to our hotel
I know we stopped into the museum at the Golden Roof... 
I just have no picture... it was a good stop
so check it out.

Just down a bit and to the left you can enjoy this space.

 A hanging wreath with the candles in the colors for Advent.

we continued on 

 On the map... these two look like a long walk... 
and in reality its all just a half block away.
 Everything is very walkable.

Cue - Sunbeam - Sweet


We enjoy a wander around town and come upon a stop for the "hop on hop off" and bonus... it is included in the Innsbruck Card.  We travel all around on it and decided to hop off at the 

yep... amazing and a sweet little cafe. 
We were ready for some food and drink. 

We also visited the Tirol Panorama and loved it.

We hop back on and head out to find the arch...again which we didn't find the first night.  Well we found it and I really can't figure out how we missed it the first time.

 A nice walk back to the room... we picked up sausages and such.  A orange rum drink or two. And headed to the room.  Staying in the old downtown area... 
a simple walk back to the room is a feast for the eyes.

We have a "planned" day tomorrow.
Thanks to Paul on trip advisor
we are off to three small towns in northern Italy
to experience their Christmas Markets.
Italy... tomorrow I will be in ITALY!!!

So you can see the extent of my plan... three amazing towns... general time distance and the hours their Christmas Markets are open. Then I screen shot the maps to each market - not knowing if we would have wifi... this way you just pull up a picture and you are good to go.

This is a sweet little town and as you can see - the weather was amazing!

 The chocolates were something to see! Sweet Christmas Market!

And my first coffee in ITALY!!!
un ottimo caffe!

We enjoyed a nice long visit over coffee and then headed back to the train to go onto our next call.
We had 3 maybes on our list today... and we were not going to rush it.... so we may or may not make them all.  We purchased a ticket round trip from Innsbruck to our next stop... if we have time we can just purchase the ticket for the third town... so lets go on...

Next stop - Bressanone/Brixen

 This area set up right in the middle of the old town and the sweetest little ice skating rink!

Just across this bridge there is a very nice museum.  Wonderful layered works and an exhibit of nativities.  It was worth a visit for sure.  This is the courtyard inside the complex

And my first pizza in ITALY!

 It was such a great day to sit outside and just enjoy being here!

We have a nice stroll through the Christmas Market and make our way back to the train depot. We decide we have plenty of time to swing down to the last town - so we grab another ticket and are on our way.

A red carpet greets you at Bolzano/Bozen
Really - a red carpet runs from just across the street from the train station right along... all the way to the Christmas Market!  It was fantastic and such a great idea!

 We grabbed some meats and cheeses and walked all around.  The crowds were out and it was fun to experience some "hustle and bustle".

The decorations on the buildings! Festive!
We make our way back along the red carpet and board our train heading home to Austria.
Sugar plums and chocolate violins played in our heads.  Such a great day!
Thank you Paul from Trip Advisor... I would have missed this without 
your great tips!  Planning a trip for me always includes the "forum" section
of trip advisor... you learn so much from other travelers.

Christmas Eve
Our last day in Innsbruck

Our only plan today is the amazing Christmas Eve Dinner at our hotel... 
book this months in advance - it was amazing!!!

 So we passed this way each day.... the sweetest little sparkles in the window
and on this Christmas Eve.... he just walked right in and bought me one!
 I enjoy a special Austrian Sparkle on my finger.
Such a lovely memory of such a lovely trip!

Your choices are a little limited on Christmas Eve... most of the markets have packed up.  We knew the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum was open... so we saved it for today.

These layered pictures just stop me in my tracks!  I could study them for hours.

Many treasures to see here... it is a beautiful space with multiple floors to explore.

Back outside we just take a last walk about... 

 Now that the market is closed it is a little easier to see all of the buildings

With the streets less crowded I head out to sketch for a bit.

I find the perfect time to soak up this view... and paint it!
A couple hours of pure bliss.

We spent a little time "packing up" for our journey in the morning before
we headed downstairs for the 5 course Christmas Eve Dinner....

It was Delicious!

Christmas Day!
We enjoy our last breakfast and yummy coffee.
One last look down our sweet street and we are on our way.

We are traveling South to an island of canals.... 
last stop