From Prague to Innsbruck

April 14, 2009 16:50 – 16:50

This is going to be an inverted posting. I’ll start with when we arrived where we are now, then where we went to dinner. Then I’ll describe the trip here.

We’re in Innsbruck, which is surrounded by snowy mountains. Out our balcony, this is what we see (when it’s not dark).

Okay, well, those require a lens. But, this one doesn’t.

Here’s a view of the side of our hotel building.

There’s a sign in the lobby pointing to the basement for “ski storage.” The 1964 and 1976 winter Olympics were held here because there are lots of facilities and because there’s a reliable supply of snow in the winter.

The town itself is very beautiful. I’ll try to take some pictures tomorrow before we head down to Italy.

Today is the 36th anniversary of our first date. So, we wanted a special dinner. Chateaubriand was what we wanted, but that’s hard to come by here. So, on the desk clerk’s recommendation, we decided to eat at a traditional Tyrolean restaurant called the Ottenburg. Karen had veal goulash, and I had Otto’s Pan. Both were delicious. Mine had beef and veal, smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce. It was served in the pan in which it was cooked, hence the name. Both came with spaetzle—a kind of noodle/dumpling. We’ve often had spaetzle in the PA Dutch restaurants. By itself, it’s bland. But, as a vehicle for a good sauce, it’s perfect. We both had the Tyrolean lager, as it looked better than the wines for complementing the hearty dishes.

The restaurant is part of what once was the Innsbruck castle. There was a small Italian family eating close to us, and their kids were really excited when it came time for dessert. My ears pricked up when one of them exclaimed “apple strudel!” I’m not quite sure why it registered, since they were speaking Italian. But, it did.

We don’t usually have dessert, but decided to tonight. Karen had the profiteroles, and I had apple strudel. Both were served warm and with whipped cream. Ummmm. I had some nice strong coffee with mine.

We left Prague at about 11 this morning, and set a course for Innsbruck. Along the way, we saw this interesting looking village, and I decided to get off the road to snap a few pictures. We also hoped to get lunch there.

Yeah. That’s what it was called. Anyway, we pulled into this little restaurant, but the woman there seemed to be yelling at her kid, and wasn’t in a very good mood. There were no other customers, so we decided to keep on going.

We tried another restaurant, but were told that they stopped serving at 2. They recommended a butcher & baker in the town center, so we went there. We got something that tasted like a cross between spam and hotdogs on Kaiser-ish rolls. They were okay, but the experience was more enjoyable than the food. Here’s where we ate.

Yes. A recycling center parking lot that was across from a cemetery. Can we pick a place to picnic, or what?

After that, we got back onto the road and eventually arrived in Innsbruck. The internet situation is a little strange here. Karen is using wired from inside the room—5€ for two hours. I’m using free wireless from the balcony, using my luggage and a drawer as a desk. Yeah. Top class office space. Of course, if it weren’t dark, I could see snowy Alps to my right. So, it’s not exactly shabby. It’s about 50 degrees right now, and dropping. I’m guessing it will reach the 30s before morning. It was about 72 when we rolled into town.

Anyway, since today was mostly driving, this is going to be a short entry. Tomorrow, we’re hoping to see some of the Dolomites (mountains in northern Italy) and some of the lake area. I sure hope this manages to publish… with the weird internet situation, it might not. We shall see.

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