Tuesday, October 02, 2012

And On We Go

We left Schaffhausen and headed through the Swiss Alps and ended up in Innsbruck,
Austria.  We saw some awesome mountains!  I know that the Colorado Rockies are higher, but the Alps are steeper!  And even though I’ve been in the Rockies (some, not a lot), it’s a totally different feel in Switzerland and in Austria. 

After a lot (LOT) of mountains, we arrived in Innsbruck.  We found the hotel, thanks to our faithful Sammy (Dad got hooked on my tablet’s ability to navigate ... once I plugged in our destination in the morning - if we had wireless, we were able to arrive safely and securely at our evening hotel even if we took alternate routes).  Of course, Frankfurt would have been easier to navigate if we had plugged Sammy in to the hotel, but I had wanted to find the cemetery and had no wireless to continue on.  More about wireless later.

I had read reviews of our “Pension” - pronounced Pen-shi-on - and they weren’t too hot.  But I was impressed with the manager and the room.  It was clean (all of them were, by the way), on the main floor, so no steps for us oldies, and very comfortable.  I had a slight difficulty with wireless but the manager smoothed it out easily.  He also told us where to have lunch (we got there about noon) and where to go to get to the “old” part of town.

We ran into a glitch, money-wise.  In Steinbach in Linde, we went to an ATM.  The name for ATM is “Bankomat” but we never figured this out so had to talk about money machines.  Anyway, we found one and Dad put his debit card in to get money and it didn’t work.  So I got some out with my credit card for him.  But in Austria and Bavaria, neither of us could get money out of an ATM.  We went, in Innsbruck, to a couple of banks, but they couldn’t give us money because our cards didn’t have some kind of stamp on them.  Why we needed that, we never found out!  Oh!  What I wouldn’t have given to be even semi-fluent in German!

But we never had trouble using our debit cards or my credit card to purchase items or eat at a restaurant or pay for hotels!  Puzzling.  We even went so far as to Skype Jody and have her call Mom and have Mom ask the bank what was going on.  But Dad’s bank couldn’t answer that.  And my banker had no control over my credit card because it wasn’t a bank one!

However, going out of sync, here, we finally got money when we got to Rothenburg.  Guess Austria and Bavaria just didn’t like our cards!

Anyway, to get back to the story: we walked down to the “old” part of town and took in the sights.  When in the center of town, we could see mountains everywhere, if the buildings weren’t too tall.  The main street had mountains on both ends.  And there was a square that allowed you to see the mountains.  Breathtaking!

About that time I realized that I was going through batteries like gang-busters!  So, when we were at a shop, I would pull out a dead battery and ask where I could get more.  Eventually, as we moved down the street, the directions got a little bit clearer and I finally found a store that was very much like an old Woolworth’s or Ben Franklins ... a lot of stuff in one place - but not in a Wal-Mart feeling, if you get my meaning.  There were all kinds of things in two stories.  I went down an escalator to the bottom - and found batteries and all kinds of wonderful kitchen-ware ... I was tempted but got away with just two sets of coffee cups / saucers (for Jody).

We walked back to the hotel and got ready for the dinner / show that Dad had planned for us. I did not get any good pictures but this link http://www.tiroler-abend.com/de/fotogalerie.html will show you a lot of what we saw.  We had a wonderful taxi driver who had lived in the US for a while so was very fluent in English and told us about his life there in Innsbruck.  He skis nearly every weekend of the winter - cross-country rather than down hill.  He liked being in the US but loves being back home in Innsbruck.  We had a lovely meal and then were seated for the show, which was funny and marvelous.

After catching a taxi to our hotel, we collapsed for the night.  This hotel was the only one that didn’t have a breakfast in the morning, so the next day we walked to the little café that we had eaten lunch in the day before.

So, now is time for the pictures. 
We will now take a break for about a week.  Norm and I are heading to Albert Lea for the Big Island Educational Rendezvous tomorrow and won’t be home until Monday evening.  It sounds like it will be a beautiful week.  It was a beautiful day today - you have a beautiful day and a beautiful week.


Switzerland to Austria



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