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Jimmy & Innsbruck

Innsbruck, Austria: Is it a bit ironic that I used a Jimmy Buffett song line as the title of my blog post the day he died? Yes, Dear Reader, if you have not heard, my favorite singer died last night. His family posted the news of his death about midnight NY time, so I saw it the first thing when I woke this morning in Austria. It was not unexpected as he has been ill for months and had suddenly gone-dark on social media, so I suspected he was not well. Still, the news knocked me over with sadness, and I had never met the man.

His music will forever play in my heart (and in my house), we will still celebrate his birthday on December 25th. I will continue to quote his music on this blog. A legend never dies. Thank you to everyone who has posted a comment, sent a text message, or email today - especially Lucile who facetimed with me this evening because she knew I would be sad.

Hotel Bristol, Salzburg
One last breakfast buffet in the Bristol Hotel morning room.

But we had another train to catch this morning, so were busy packing and organizing ourselves for another adventure in another city. We took a taxi to the Salzburg train station for a fast train to Innsbruck. Dave wanted a coffee, so we stopped inside a little café in the train station, before heading to our train. Standing on the platform, just minutes before our train was due to arrive, DT asked me where my luggage was. Huh? I had left the café, only carrying my tote, leaving my rolling carryon IN THE COFFEE SHOP! Guess my head was in other places today? Thank goodness it was still sitting in the jumble of other suitcases travelers had left near the door. What a numbskull: jewelry, laptop, and all trip info just sitting there for anyone who would like them. We made the train, found our seats, and then I could think for a while.

As soon as we arrived to our hotel in pretty Innsbruck, we changed into warmer clothing and headed out to catch the tram from the city center to the top of the mountains directly above. With senior discounts we paid only $32 each for the 3-section ride. First ride is on a tram/funicular that departs from a space-age terminal and shoots up the mountain, stopping at the Alpine Zoo for a moment and then continuing up to the second station where we caught a gondola more than half-way up the mountain.

Kyle: you have cured me of gondola fear!

Then, we transferred to the final gondola - just a short trip up to the TOP OF INNSBRUCK.

Top of Innsbruck
Top of Innsbruck
View of Innsbruck from the top of the mountain.

Of course, from the top of the gondola, there is a little trail to the tip-top of the mountain and My Mountain Man hauled me up there, my short legs scrambling up stairs built for giants, and traipsing over jagged chunks of boulders. Not fun, but rewarded with fantastic views. Snow capped peaks off in the distance and a crazy hang glider:

Rock climbers
We even saw a few rock climbers
Looking west

This is of course a skiing area, Halelekar, and boasts a 70% grade slope that is one of the steepest in Europe. Thank goodness it is summer, or My Mountain Man would have been strapping skis to my boots and pushing me off the hill! We hiked around for a long time, but you know what? We never needed our jackets! We had been warned the temperature at the top is often quite cold and it can be very windy. (Wind + Gondola = I'm not going.) No wind today. Barely a breeze. A perfect day to hike around on the top - and we even saw a mountain sheep... or was it a goat? Did not get close enough to photograph, but it wasn't very wild. It had a tag on one ear, and a tinkling bell around the neck. Later, we could hear several bells clanging, but could never find/see the herd. Where is Heidi when you need her?

Our plan was to finish exploring around the top, then stop at the restaurant terrace at the mountain top for a beer to toast Mr. Buffett. This did not happen. Every single table was full, and there were people waiting around for tables, so we reversed our route and quickly finished the two gondolas and the tram back to the flat lands. Relatively flat, but Innsbruck is at 1900 feet elevation, and we climbed to nearly 8,000 feet today.

Old Town Innsbruck

Our hotel is in Old Town, right near the Inn River. (The river in Salzburg runs into the Inn River and the Inn River runs into the Danube.) After dressing for dinner, we had a little stroll around Old Town and found a nice little spot for drinks. No margarita for toasting Jimmy tonight. We made due with a gin tonic and a negroni. After our drinks, and seeing all the fabulous food coming out of the kitchen, we decided to simply eat at the drinks place. Only one thing would suit this occasion:


A wedding party walked by during our meal. Someone was singing and announcing the couple and everyone from every restaurant were clapping and cheering. Is this a local custom or just a really good wedding?

Walking Wedding

Before the sun set, I snapped a photo looking up to where we hiked today:


A long and tough day. Tomorrow we have a really big adventure planned and it does not include climbing a mountain.

Until my next update, I remain, your "I'd rather die while I'm living, then live while I'm dead" correspondent.

Pedometer: 11,000. Not bad for a travel day.

4 thoughts

  1. Deepest condolences for your loss!
    Immediately thought of you when I heard the sad news!
    Watching the Ducks play a strong game against Portland State 64to 7 and
    It’s only the third quarter! Poor Puddles is exhausted
    The Austrian alps are definitely gorgeous

  2. Margaritaville state-of-mind.

    Terry, the local paper ran a wonderful story about being indoctrinated into being a “Parrothead” and Jimmy’s ability to get everyone onto that blissful state of mind. Upon hearing the news we instantly thought of you, and your wonderful ability to share that with all your blog readers. He will be missed, but we hope many will carry his vision forward in their hearts!

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