Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Innsbruck, Austria: A Sightseeing Stroll

Maria-Theresien Strasse looking north
Having recounted some of the Innsbruck attractions in earlier posts, (see: Panorama and Hofkirche), and to break up the long line of troops marching off the painting desk, time to explore the beauty of Innsbruck, itself.

The Maria-Theresien Strasse is a major pedestrian area with shops lining both sides of the town square.  Our hotel was situated on this square near the church on the left.  The column seen in the photo is that of St. Anne commemorating the liberation of the Tirol from Bavaria in 1703.  On the top of the column is a statue to St Mary. 
Maria-Theresien Strasse looking south
Maximilian I's Golden Roof
Clock Tower
Nancy posing for a photo op
Triumphal Arch

River Inn
With high mountains dominating the Innsbruck skyline and easy access via public transportation, we opted to spend a few hours making the excursion to the top of Hafelekarspitze using a combination of tram and two gondolas.
Schematic showing routes up the mountain
Once up on top of the mountain and enjoying partly sunny skies, the Innsbruck Valley below unfolds.  Looking south, the winding River Inn is seen with the Brenner Pass in the center background.  Even from this height and distance, the Olympic ski jump at Bergisel can be seen in the center background.  The Bergisel ski jump is only a stone's throw from the Tirol Panorama featured in an earlier blog post. 
Innsbruck Valley with Brenner Pass in back center
Zoomed: Bergisel ski jump is seen in upper center
The views of the Innsbruck Valley below are spectacular as is the high mountain scenery on top.  The rough, jagged rock outcroppings are plentiful and still capped with snow in May.
Innsbruck Valley looking east
From the upper gondola station, the Hafelekarspitze juts out from the mountaintop.  With a well-maintained and worn trail winding its way to the top, it is obvious that the hike to the top is a popular activity.   
Hafelekarspitze 
Hafelekarspitze 
Small warming hut above Gondola station
Upper gondola station with valley below
Having spotted the Bergisel ski jump and gotten our bearings, we descended back into town to catch a bus to Bergisel.  Bergisel was the site of the ski jumping competition in both the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic Games.  Once at Bergisel, we took the tram up to the top of the ski jump.  At the top of the tram line, a short walk around the building is required to find the elevator to the top of the jump.  From the top of the jump, Innsbruck unfolds splendidly below.  The steepness of the jump is deceiving and seems not so intimidating.  I might try this!
Bergisel ski jump with Innsbruck as a beautiful backdrop
Steeper than it looks!
Landing area
Olympic cauldrons
With the Kaiserjager Museum nearby and to add a bit of military history or wargaming content to this post, below is a photo taken in the museum of an early jager uniform from the Kaiserjager Regiment. 

30 comments:

  1. Jonathan, it just suddenly struck me that Sean Manning of Book & Sword fame is resident in Innsbruck for at least part of the year. If you ever go back, I'm sure he would be an interesting fellow to try to meet for a chat!

    https://bookandsword.com/author/bookandsword/

    Cheers,
    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Has Sean finished up his PhD and is he still attending university there?

      Not sure when I will make it back but that is something to keep in mind.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Innsbruck is a scenic place to visit. We would like to return for a longer stay.

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  3. The views are fantastic. Wan't that the ski jump for the "agony of defeat" scene from the old ABC Sports montage?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the views are fantastic.

      A quick search shows the "The Agony of Defeat" did not happen at Innsbruck but at Oberstdorf, Germany in 1970.

      Delete
    2. I probably should have looked that up in our internet age. I just had visions of your 21st Redux of the iconic jump and could not resist.

      Delete
    3. Had I been allowed to attempt such a stunt, I likely would have experienced the same result.

      Delete
    4. If you'd prefer we could play the theme song for truly bad dice rolls?

      Delete
    5. Hah! If we did that, the theme would be playing in a constant cycle.

      Delete
  4. Nice mountain view,I look forward to seeing you come down the slope!
    Best Iain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily, the jump was not open and no snow on the ground. I saved my self from possible harm and certain embarrassment.

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  5. Just lovely--I'll have one of whatever you were having that made you believe that ski jump was tame!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ed, I am ever the optimist and my eyesight is not so good.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. It sure is!

      Welcome Dave!

      I received the latest move from my opponent in GMT's 1914: OaO. How is your work on TitE progressing?

      Delete
    2. Coming along, thanks. I'm working through Tannenberg. The more I play, the more I like the game.

      Delete
    3. The series really is produces a game like I have not played before. Requires a whole different mind shift for me.

      Delete
  7. A great place to visit, we were there in August. A very good museum but the cemetery at the end of the ski jump is a bit worrying.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Innsbruck is a great place to visit.

      My wife and I wondered about the placement of the ski jump with the cemetery at its base. A bit unnerving to have the cemetery in your sights during the entire free fall.

      Delete
  8. Great pictures of a lovely place Jonathan. I am trying to convince her indoors that Austria and the Italian Alps would make a nice trip. These images might help. Looking forward to seeing the video of your jump.

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    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed the photos, Mark! The Austrian or Swiss alps would be terrific destination. No ski jumping for me.

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  9. Ye Gods that ski jump looked pretty vertiginous - how the hell anyone could willingly go down that is beyond me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Going down is not the problem. The sudden stop at the bottom is what concerns me.

      Delete
  10. Great photos; I recall how much snow as on the upper mountains in Switzerland in May as well. Having had the occasion to ride down the Olympic bobsled track at Lake Placid nearly 40 years ago, I would recommend that over the ski jump any day (and going down the bobsled run in person was a lot scarier than it looks on TV!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed the photos, Peter! The snow in Switzerland in May 2017 was much greater than in Austria in May 2018. The elevation was higher at Shilthorn than her on the peaks surrounding Innsbruck.

      Bobsledding sounds like great fun. Something I have not tried since a young lad.

      Delete

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