Jennifer and I got stranded at Ambras Castle after we missed our Sightseer bus. We had a choice of waiting an hour for the next bus to arrive and pay another 3 euro for the ride, or we could walk back into town, taking in gorgeous views and landscape on the way. Needless to say, we opted for the latter, and we walked out of the castle gate, and started down the hill.
After only a few steps, a lovely view came into sight. From our vantage point at the top of a hill, we could see the Austrian Alps in the distance, towering over the town of Innsbruck. They surrounded the town as silent and enormous sentinels, providing a stark contrast from the phenomenal blue sky. The town of Innsbruk looked magnificent at the bottom of the Alps, with its lovely Tyrolean architecture, reminding me that I was thousands of miles from home.
We continued down the hill, and following the map from the city guide in my pocket, we headed in the general direction of downtown. We were quite a way out however, and this was made evident by the natural scenery all around us. Ther was a lovely flowing river weaving it's way through a flourishing green ravine, with tall alpine trees standing tall at it's banks. We got a great view of the river while we crossed a large bridge, and the photos came out great, with the Austrian Alps visible in the distance.
We soon arrived at the fringe of the town, and the first large building we came about, was the large stadium which is to be the home of the Youth Olympic Games in January 2012. Innsbruck is not new to the Olympics, as they hosted the winter games before in the Austrian Alps. It was great to see that sports are promoted in the town, as it gives the youths something to stay busy with, rather than getting into trouble.
Speaking about sports, there were many cyclists in the streets as traffic was almost nonexistent. They were of all ages and sizes, and while some appeared to be professionals, most of the cyclists were simply families going out for a ride together. If my backyard was as beautiful as theirs, I would be cycling every chance I had too!
We got deeper and deeper into the town, using the map as our guide, and we started seeing lots of churches. They were absolutely beautiful, and all were built in Tyrolean style with rounded walls and pointed roof tops. The colours were bright and attractive, and the churches had dark tiled roofs and towers topped with spires.
Along the streets, there were trams transporting locals to different sections of Innsbruck. At this point, we could have cut our walk short, and hopped on a tram to complete our journey to the train station. However, we were having a great time getting by on our own two feet, so we continued on. We passed hotels, guesthouses, stores, restuarants and cafes, until we came to a supermarket. We were pretty thirsty at this point, so we bought a couple of snacks and two large bottles of water. Our bill came up to less than 5 euros, once again proving Innsbruck to be relatively easy on the wallet.
Before we knew it, we had arrived in the train station area. We went back to our hotel, Pension Stoi to grab our bags and headed to the train station. Our walk from Ambras Castle to the Innsbruck train station took us over an hour, but it was worth it! Innsbruck is a charming town, set amidst breaktaking terrain, and as my train pulled out of the station heading towards Switzerland, I knew that I would return one day.