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 .
8/10/2022 07:49:13 am
What a fabulous trip! Love hearing about it, and thanks for sharing all those terrific pictures.
8/10/2022 02:08:26 pm
I am glad I went in the springtime, right now they are having a heatwave and there is no air conditioning in most of Europe.
8/14/2022 06:42:21 am
I’ve always wanted to visit Innsbruck — and have come close twice! After seeing your photos and reading your description, I really want to go! Thanks for sharing!
8/14/2022 08:23:13 pm
Innsbruck was a nice town, I enjoyed the visit and all the food. I would have loved to done some hiking in the mountains but the weather was bad.
9/16/2022 01:26:17 pm
When we were in Mitttenwald just over the border, we were so lucky - a major heat spell had just broken and we were able to do some nice walking in the woods and up the mountain.
8/21/2022 07:40:38 pm
This weekend I tried to make the bread dumplings I had in Innsbruck, a total disaster.
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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.