Innsbruck and the Village
This is my third post of my trip to Europe. Click on the highlighted text to read about my first stop Munich and my second stop Lake Garda, Italy. When I made my travel plans I decided to break up the long train ride from Roverto, Italy to my village in northern Germany. My friend and I decided to stay in Innsbruck, Austria, for a few days before continuing our journey. We had planned to take the lift up the mountain and hike in the beautiful Tyrolean Alps surrounding Innsbruck. Well, the rainy weather changed our plans. The mountains would have been muddy, with no vistas and a cold rain.
So we decided to eat as many Austrian delicacies as possible. We started with a Sacher Torte in the Sacher Cafe next to the Hofburg (a castle for royalty) that we also visited.
Then came the apple strudel with vanilla sauce— nobody makes it as well as the Austrians. Kaiserschmarren (pancakes) with plum jam was my favorite Of course, let’s not forget clear broth with Griessnockerl (semolina dumpling soup). The first evening I had spinach dumplings that were to die for. One night at our hotel, after having tasted two desserts that afternoon, we had a small bowl of Hungarian goulash soup. It was the best goulash soup I have ever had.
A few facts about Innsbruck: it is the capital of the Tirol Province. Tirol is a popular tourist destination for Germans and lots of other Europeans. The landmark in Innsbruck is the Golden Roof in the middle of town. It was built in 1500 to commemorate the marriage of Emperor Maximilian I and Bianca Maria Sforza. The roof is not covered in gold, but in fire-gilded copper tiles .
The 500-year-old town is settled in a pleasant valley with Baroque churches, gabled houses, and narrow, twisting walkways. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants with the food of the region. After two days of indulging , we took the train to my village.
The apartment in my brother’s house (where I usually stay), has a family of three Ukrainian women from Kharkiv living in it. These three women fled without time to pack anything when they left their home. All they had was a purse and a small bag when they arrived. But my brother got them jobs, and the 14-year-old teenager is going to school. They needed a lot of help filling out forms and papers to get German health insurance and a monthly allowance. Everybody is trying to help. The Ukrainian mother and daughter baked two cakes for a Sunday afternoon coffee. They were delicious and my brother and I had several pieces.
My nephew’s tiny house is an Airbnb on our farm. It was a perfect place for me to stay. I loved every minute in it. It was the perfect retreat to reflect, relax, and enjoy my family. The days were long and I enjoyed visits with my grand nephews and friends. My nephew also took in a Ukrainian woman with two children and a cat. Now he has five teenagers living in his house. We went out for dinner and had coffee and cake with our extended Ukrainian family. Their English is limited, they speak very little German and none of us speaks Russian or Ukranian, which are their language. Sometimes, I just started to cry. Memories of my childhood with all the refugees from the old East Germany came welling up.
During my stay in the village, I prepared Matjes Herring with cream sauce and boiled potatoes for the family. Hopefully, I will post the recipe in the near future.
After ten wonderful days, it was time for me to leave and go north. Hamburg was my next destination. I stayed in the same hotel where I always stay, the
Westin above the Elbephilharmonie in the Hafencity. This time, I just needed a day to rest and see some old friends before continuing on to Copenhagen. The Elbepilharmonie, nicknamed Elphi, always amazes me. It is among the largest concert halls in the world. The glassy construction resembles a hoisted sail or wave built on an old brick warehouse. The view from my room was spectacular. If you visit Hamburg and have some time, don’t miss this part of town. There is so much to see. Read more about the Elphi in a previous post here. My friend from Hamburg and I had a beautiful dinner at Vlet. This was actually my first gourmet meal on this trip. The food was exquisite.
Before I knew it, I was in the Hamburg railroad station waiting for my Danish train to Copenhagen. Let me tell you, I do not like the Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (main railroad station).
It can be scary with the number of people and the constant construction going on. The station is on three separate levels with the trains departing on the lowest level. There have been times when the escalators didn’t work and I had to carry my suitcase down a long staircase. There are few elevators and they often don’t go the level you need to catch your train. I was lucky this time, and I used the escalator to get to the platform where my Danish train would arrive. I had a delightful conversation with a young man who was waiting for another train to go see his mother. I arrived in Copenhagen after a four hour scenic and interesting train ride .
My friend and I left Munich in the morning and embarked on a four-hour scenic train ride over the Alps to a small Italian town called Rovereto. It is located in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of northern Italy between Lake Garda and the Italian Alps.This was the easiest way to get from Munich to Malcesine on Lake Garda .
My nieces’s husband picked us up and drove us to our hotel in Malcesine. I could barely wait to hold my baby grand-niece in my arms.
My niece’s travel agent had found the perfect hotel for all seven of us in Malcesine. It was a simple hotel in a beautiful setting away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. We adults rented rooms and my niece and her husband rented an apartment. This was the perfect (and relatively inexpensive) spot for a family gathering. The breakfast was great, everything was clean and comfortable. The grounds were specular, with a vast olive grove surrounding the hotel and apartments. There was a beautiful landscaped pool and a playground for children. The San Carlo hotel is run by a nice Italian family, and it became our home for one week. My niece’s in-laws arrived from near Berlin and were happy to see their grandchild.
Our focus was around the baby, but we still managed to go on boat excursions, and visited different towns around the lake. We never missed an afternoon coffee followed by an Aperol spritz. One day, we four elders visited the town of Riva, where we had a delicious lunch and explored the town while the young people visited a friend nearby.
Another day, all seven of us crossed the lake by boat and visited Limone. Limone is the Italian word for lemon and this part of Lake Garda is renowned for growing lemons and other citrus. Limone is set along a backdrop of rocky cliffs with stunning lakeside scenery. For me, the town had too many tourists, even in May. We ended up having a delicious lunch in a gorgeous setting. I felt like I was in a movie.
Another day, we took a taxi ride to Lazise, which is located southeast of Lake Garda.The wall, by which you enter the pedestrian medieval village, was built in the 14th century.The 12th century church San Nicola has several medieval frescos.There is a a lovely harbor with a promenade lined with colorful houses, many of them restaurants. We had lunch in one of them and enjoyed the ambience of this beautiful setting.
We declared our last day in Malcesine as a chill day and enjoyed the gorgeous pool at our hotel. It was hard to say goodbye the next morning, as I will cherish this week forever .
It’s been a few weeks since I returned from Europe. Over five weeks, I visited five countries by train travel through Europe. There were some challenging moments, but overall I enjoyed this trip immensely. I was so fortunate to be able to do this. This is my first post of my trip , there are more to follow.
It took quite a bit of planning to put it all together, but I did it with some help from my niece and her husband. After making all the reservations, I packed light because I had to carry everything on and off trains, not relying on anyone to help me. Although, I did get a lot of help and met some interesting people.
I arrived In Munich in the early evening and checked into my hotel after a 100-Euro taxi ride from the airport—even though there is a train to downtown that is much cheaper. Munich is a wonderful city, for my first meal I treated myself to a beer and herring with cream sauce and fried potatoes—one of my standard meals when I arrive in Germany. It was a warm spring night and I was in heaven sitting outside enjoying my meal.
Thanks to jet lag, I was up early the next morning, exploring the town and visiting my favorite places. One of them is Dalmeyr an iconic store for food lovers. I bought some pastries for a late night snack.
Later in the afternoon, I picked up my friend from the train station. Her train had been delayed by three hours, as the German train system is not what it used to be.
In the evening , after walking around in Munich we had a typical Bavarian meal outside, surrounded by historic buildings in the center of town. We had fun, enjoying each other over some good beer and food.
The following day, we explored the English Garden on a warm sunny day. I missed it the last time I was in Munich (read here about my previous trip). Did you know that the English Garden is one of the largest inner-city parks in the world? It is larger than Central Park in New York. It has 78 kilometers of paths, which is why we rented a bike taxi.
Our driver dropped us off at the beer garden where we had a large beer and some Bavarian Krustenbraten, a pork roast where the skin is made into a crispy crust. I’s delicious, but rich. Keep the anti-acid tablets handy.
Before we knew it , our two days in Munich were over and we packed our bags for our next destination Lake Garda .
WELCOME TO SUNNY COVE CHEF
Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.