Innsbruck: Capital of The Alps.

Innsbruck, one of Austria‘s oldest cities, is probably every woman’s dream of old age; the only thing that gives away its 900 years is its charm.

Right out of the train station, I’m awed by the towering presence of the Alps. People are going about their daily affairs – eating, strolling, chatting, catching a bus, cycling – as though the Alps are invisible, as though they’ve discovered how to look away from the gripping beauty of their snow covered peaks, as though there’s nothing extraordinary about living in a city surrounded by one of the most endearing mountain ranges in the world.

Innsbruck, Austria, Alps

Innsbruck, Austria, Alps, Europe

My eyes fixated on the big brother in the backdrop, I just about survive crossing the busy roads to my Gasthof (the German term for anything homely, in this case my guest house). The owner tells me that the family-run Gasthof is half the age of the city, four hundred and ninety five to be precise, and seeing me surprised, assures me that it won’t collapse!

Innsbruck river, Austria, Alps, Europe

I step out of the little lane hiding the Gasthof, and find myself as mesmerized by the Alps as when I first entered the city. I never get used to their omnipresence in Innsbruck up until the hour I leave.

I make my way to Innsbruck’s cobbled old town, and I’m yet to see anything more chic in Europe. Its quaint cafes and bars are the heartbeat of the city, quietly tucked away in the narrow lanes behind the Innsbruck river. Their ambiance is always at war with the harshness of the tongue spoken by the regulars, the way it sounds to a native English speaker like me. And the contradictions just begin here. I keep trying to fathom how life can move at the pace of a city with such a scenic backdrop. So untouched and so developed. So natural and so manmade. So isolated and so inhabited. So charming.

Innsbruck, old town, Austria

Something about Austria reminds me of Singapore. Its progressive stance when compared to its neighbors. Political references that are made only in hushed undertones. Borrowed language, food & culture, and a lack of something distinctively Austrian. Maybe the last one is because I haven’t an artistic head to venture out the old town into the artsy alleys to discover Mozart. But all I need to do is tilt my head upward to break away from these thoughts. No comparison could do justice to the natural aura of this city, despite its complex history.

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  1. midaevalmaiden says:

    Lovely. If I could go there I would probably get so inspired I could paint a dozen paintings and not grow weary.

    1. 🙂 The whole city is like one big beautiful painting that you can never get weary of looking at.

  2. Hi Shivya!

    Tahnk you for stopping by my blog and the nice comment you left. I really like what I read so far on your blog as well, and will be following you in the future. ( It seems we have somewhat similiar blogging styles)

    Take care 🙂

    1. Thanks William & welcome to The Shooting Star! I’m rolling you 🙂 Hope to see you around here often.

  3. I see that I need to add Austria to my list opf places to visit. Thanks for the honest descriptions and reactions.

  4. Patti, you definitely do 🙂 I’m sure the beauty will evoke similar reactions in you!

  5. Thanks for sharing beautiful views of alps soaked in beautiful deatil and describtion of yours!

  6. I didn’t get a chance to visit Innsbruck, but I visited Hopfgarten in the Tyrols where we did mountain biking and paragliding. Was probably one of the best days of my life.

    And I completely agree with you, I often wonder feeling surprised by the non-reaction of the locals (in Alps, Himalayas) at the beautiful majestic mountains all around. If I lived there, I would probably be dazed and smiling by all the beauty around me!

  7. Wow, Hopfgarten sounds beautiful. There’s so much more to see in Austria 🙂 I’m with you on being dazed by the majestic beauty, even if it was a daily thing. That’s what I’m envisioning for my stay in Spiti!

  8. Pingback: 704 Tourism | 10 travel tips for your first EUROTRIP
  9. Mountains are my happy place! I live in the US and go to the Rocky Mountain areas as much as possible ( I live in Texas where it is more flat). As a social studies teacher, I have always wanted to go to Europe, and the Alps are at the top of my bucket list. I love your description of Innsbruck and have put in on my “draft plan”!

  10. James Bond says:

    Is it Mozart or Beethoven in Innsbruck? Please enlighten.

  11. I have traveled half of the Europe. Now i am planning to explore more countries of europe. these pictures and your given journey description made me curious about Innsbruck. Now, i will add Innsbruck in my next tour to Europe. thanx Shivya.

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