Although I have enjoyed traveling alone, having done 5 out of 10 on my own (and completely alone), it was about time that I enjoy some good company and meet some friends around the neighborhood. Thus, for my sixth weekend trip, I decided to go to Munich, Germany to see some good old friends. I was looking forward to it, for though I have been to Munich in 2009, my recollection of the city was not so vivid because the rain was so heavy that day that all I could enjoy was anything indoors. Hence, I only managed to visit the Residence in the middle of the city, which was beautiful and what I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Munich for the first time, but not enough to really enjoy and appreciate the city. Thus, the second round was needed, and here it was.
BUT, having done 2 cities or more within one day EURail pass, I wasn’t prepared to be satisfied by visiting only ONE city for my 6th trip. Yet, at the same time, I had no idea how I could squeeze in another side trip or a detour along the way. I wanted to go to Munich early enough and stay all day to enjoy the city….but…well.
Without any expectation, I went to the train station as early as I could get after work on Friday evening. Maybe I will be lucky, I told myself…and sure enough I was. For I found out that there was train going to Innsbruck, Austria in the next 5 minutes and..yes, there is a train later from Innsbruck that I could take to go to Munich. I checked the schedule, it looked good. So without any hesitation, I ran to my train…to INNSBRUCK, Austria!
Yes, as you noticed, I’m becoming more adventures every time I make these trips. It’s so easy for me to be spontaneous on these trips because, since I was doing one day trips on my own, I don’t have heavy luggage like other tourists. It was nice to stroll along and enjoy the days in a foreign city while not looking too touristy. Plus, after doing 5 trips, I’ve also learned how to better “manage and enjoy” long train rides, including the overnight ones on the 2nd class seating carts. (I’ll write more detailed tips about this to future travelers in another post.)
Anyway, here I was now. At Innsbruck, Austria at 4 am on Saturday morning.
WOW, you may say. What can you even see at 4 am?! And how is one to figure out where to go to?
When I got off the station, I did get a little worrisome. Since this was a last-minute decision, I didn’t even have a chance to look up basic information about the city nor got a chance to look at the city map. The tourist office was closed, and I wasn’t sure if it would be light enough to see the city… But I had three hours before my train to Munich and I was not going to sit at the train station with these thoughts, so I went out to the closest bus stop and asked the bus driver where the city center was. He pointed and I started walking. I remember the city not being that big and had mountain views. So I figured, if I could find the Alps, I should be near the Old Town area where most people visit…and sure enough after walking for 20 minutes in the dark..I found the mountains, the Alps!!
WOW, I said to myself. So calm and so beautiful was this nature that I had to stand there at that spot and gaze at what I had just discovered ‘by accident.’ That was just the start of my morning discovery. Before I knew it, I was now walking toward the stream area that is in the middle of the city…and before I knew it I understood why people said Innsbruck was worth visiting..even this early in the morning this city was charming.
Furthermore, as I took each step closer and further inside the city, I could see the city waking up. I would see more people walking around, both drunk teens walking around and elderly starting their early morning walks. I could hear the birds chirping in the morning and the buses starting up. And as the sun started to rise and let its morning light hit the city, I almost felt like the city was yawning and saying hello. And so it continues. This amazing feeling of seeing a city waking up. It was simply amazing.
Luckily, though I was expected to leave at 7am, which is still pretty early, the sun was already rising at 5 am and by 6 am I started to get a better vision of the cities color..and I just couldn’t stop myself from being inspired by this beautifully colored buildings. I wonder how beautiful it might have been during the day time when there are more people on the streets. But for now, this was already good to make me smile. Just too good enough..
Time runs fast when you are enjoying it. My watch told me it was already 7:30 am. It was time to take my train to my actual destination – Munich, Germany. So with a little sigh I said farewell to this city that I came without planning. It was a good morning start.
By the way, that makes this trip theme: Trip #6: Sunrise in Innsbruck and Sunset in Munich.
(See part 2 for Munich story!)
(For those who want to learn more about Innsbruck here is a quick introduction of the city.) Innsbruck is one of the “must visit cities” within Austria. Due to its location being close to Salzburg and Munich, many who travel through that line would often make a 1-2 day pass here. Unlike other areas in Austria the mountainous scenery make Innsbruck quite unique. In fact, I even felt like I was at a small town in Switzerland. As the 5th largest city in Austria it was also the 8th city to host the 2008 European Football Championships. It has also hosted the Winter Olympics twice (1964 and 1976) and has become famous for having a large ski resort in the Alps. There are many sport activities one can enjoy in the city, but its old town and Gold Roof (Goldenes Dachl) built on behalf of the emperor Maximilian I is a famous tourist site. While the Gold Roof was under construction during my visit, they had kept an image of it outside to remind tourists its location. Among museums, the Swaroviski museum is few minutes via bus ride and is known to be quite unique and worth visiting. I wasn’t able to make that trip since it was too early in the morning, but I’ve noticed a lot of advertisements of it.
Luckily, I’ll be visiting here again in few weeks with my family. So I’m not too sad. See you soon Innsbruck.