Thursday, August 12, 2010


Innsbruck was a quick stop and we were both sad that we hadn’t allotted more time for this beautiful city in the Alps. Little did we realize the awesome beauty we would find. We had to start our triptay with a trip to the top of the mountains – 3,000 plus meters up! They have built an extremely interesting tram system to take you up the hill – pretty much to the top portion of the “living” section of the city. The tram starts at the bottom of the hill, near the old town part of the city. The cars were very small, about 2m square, with 4 or 5 of them grouped together in a grey “shell”. It seemed a funny way to make the cars, and certainly limited the number of passengers but…we got on. 

As we started up the hill, we quickly learned why the cars were designed that way. Each car was free of the neighboring car and the ascent was so steep, if it were one car we would have been seriously slanted for the ride up. The cars, however, simply rose up, each car successfully higher than the one below. We headed across the river and up the slope, stopping first at the Alpenzoo (the highest zoo in all of Europe) and then the top level of the city. From here we transferred over to a more traditional cable car that took us up one level – a 15 minute ride! The next cable car was much shorter but took us to the top of the mountain.

The view of the alps was absolutely stunning. We could look down over the mountain and into the valley where Innsbruck sprawled below us. It was interesting to watch the clouds forming below us, drifting up and towards the mountain. The other side afforded us a view of the alps. Spectacular views of unbelievable country. Right up there, up on top of the mountain, there was a wedding party, complete with food, wine and pictures being snapped with the alps in the background. What a memory it will be.
We would have really liked to have been able to hike down, this time it wasn’t quite so downhill as the last time. It will sadly have to wait for another trip, we had far too little time in Innsbruck to take advantage of the opportunity.
On our way down we stopped at the zoo to take a cruise through. The zoo is built right into the hill, the paths winding up and down between stunning scenery and animal enclosures. All of the animals here are ones that are native to the European environment. This little guy was a real hit as he roamed through the enclosure, trying to get mom to give him more milk.

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