The Austria adventure begins with my flight from Cleveland to Newark, (which was delayed and almost made me miss my connecting flight) to Munich. I lucked out on the 8-hour flight by having an open seat next to me, therefore I was able lay down and sleep during the overnight flight.
We arrived in Munich at 7:00a (1:00a back home) with our tour guide, Andreas, waiting at the airport to pick us up and we drive four and a half hours south via FlixBus to Innsbruck, Austria. It was a phenomenal ride, through the snow peak mountains, with little towns bustling with hikers and skiing. We passed Walchensee Lake, a stunning lake that was so vast, you couldn’t tell the sky from the water and had a beautiful fog overtop of it.
We are met at the bus stop by Gregor, who helps us taxi over to our hotel where we leave our bags and walk around the corner over to a little Italian place for pasta as we were hungry after the long bus ride. We enjoy a quick bowl of spaghetti before walking back to the hotel to check in and freshen up.
Our hotel room is plush with two twin beds, desk, complete with towel warmers and bidet in the bathroom. But the best part, however, is the view! The Hafelekarspitze mountain peak towers over the city, with an elevation of 7,657’. Although grey and 30 degrees out, its a charming city!
We meet the group downstairs at 6:30p for our group orientation and a glass of prosecco. After introductions, we walked 15 minutes to Bierstindl for dinner. We enjoyed Tyrolean dishes such as braugulasch (goulash), Hausgemachte Kasespaztle (a hearty mac & cheese) and my favorite and choice for dinner – Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein. The meal was beyond fabulous, accompanied by the house lager, and we all laughed and chatted through dinner.
The walk back to the hotel was brisk, but darling as we walk the silent streets, still filled with glittering holiday lights and trees. Tomorrow begins an exciting day of winter snow activities.