Laura Rennie

Innsbruck and Munich

Laura R.Comment
HEY-O, I’m finally re-capping the rest of my trip from two months ago! Better late than never, right? We started in Vienna, made our way to Salzburg, on to Innsbruck, and finally, Munich! I wrote about our first two stops here.

A few highlights from Innsbruck:

We had a beautiful train ride to the city center of Innsbruck, where a taxi picked us up and drove us across the river to our bed and breakfast. Our room had a lovely view of the city below. Unfortunately, we only got glimpses of the Alps because of the overcast skies. (Those glimpses were spectacular, though!) We went from staying in the Presidential Suite of our hotel in Salzburg to cozying up in a one room, cabin-like space, but I actually loved it!

On our first night we walked toward the city center in pursuit of dinner, and landed on a tucked-away restaurant called “Piano Bar.” The three of us shared a bowl of goulash, a potato cake topped with spinach and a fried egg, and wiener schnitzel that was served with a side of shredded potatoes and cooked cranberries. The restaurant’s walls were covered in art and there were candles glowing and flowers on every table. The manager came by and chatted with us for a long time and made us feel like family. I would have stayed inside the restaurant for hours gazing at all of the art, but there were markets to explore outside!

After dinner we walked through a few Christmas markets and saw more Krampus. (Here’s a video of them in Innsbruck.) They were doing some crazy drum circle dance thing and everyone was crowded around and taking videos. I was hoping I’d find a video from that night on YouTube, but just trust me that it was INSANE. It was also freezing, and we had to stop in a café for hot chocolate. You know how if you travel to Italy you have free pass to eat your weight in gelato? That’s how we felt about hot drinks in Austria.

The next day we went into town to buy tickets for the funicular, which takes you up the Nordkette mountain range. This is a MUST DO in Innsbruck! We stopped at Seegrube, where we were handed free sleds! Somebody pinch me. We kept saying we’re in the Alps! We had lunch (a cheese-filled hot dog for me, thank you very much) and then continued up the mountain. We stopped at a zoo on our way back down before going back to the city center to shop around and eat dinner. We couldn’t not go back to Piano Bar after our incredible meal there the night before. My family is in strong agreement over the idea of going to the same restaurant more than once on vacation. It makes you feel less like a tourist.

The next morning we had a few hours to kill before hopping on the train to Munich. We went back up the funicular as far as we could go (our passes ran out while we were there!) and got into a snowball fight. My sister hit me smack in the face! That’s what happens when you travel with someone for eleven days... just kidding! :)

The photo above was taken outside of the Seegrube Restaurant. Notice how foggy it is and how you can’t see any view (despite the fact that we were up in the Alps). If you have 15 seconds, click here and go to 1:45 to see what we were missing. CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT? We are going back, for sure!

A few highlights from Munich:

We dropped our bags off at our hotel and headed toward the pedestrian shopping area between Stachus and Marienplatz. After mostly cloudy weather, we were delighted to have sunshine and gorgeous blue skies. In most of my Austria pictures you can’t even really see sky... you just see white!

The best part of our first day in Munich was our dinner. We were browsing one of the many Christmas markets and decided to make a meal of two huge pieces of buttery, piping hot garlic bread (okay, we essentially ate an entire loaf), some type of pork on a skewer and a massive cup of french fries smothered in “special sauce.” Then Katie and I topped off our carb-a-licious dinner with a mug of weihnachtspunsch (hot booze), which held us over for a little while until we spotted a Kürtőskalács stand. (Hungarian chimney cake — sweet dough wrapped around a heated rod and rolled in various toppings.)

The next morning we walked back to the same area and had breakfast at Café Rischart. I declared I was going to stop eating SO MUCH BREAD and then my breakfast arrived with five pieces of bread. I ate four of them. :-/ I had ordered the “American” breakfast because it came with bacon and eggs. It also came with a stick of gum. ??? After breakfast we explored the Christmas market in front of the Rathaus (Town Hall) and viewed the famous Munich glockenspiel.

Our main purpose in visiting Munich was to visit an old friend of ours. Philipp came to the U.S. as a high school exchange student and stayed with a family in our neighborhood. We got to know him well and he’s stayed in touch over the years and has visited us every now and then. This was our first time meeting Philipp in his home country! He insisted we try traditional Bavarian fare for lunch at Hofbräuhaus, a three-story beer hall founded in 1589. I had sauerbraten, which sounded gross but was actually very tasty.

It was an absolutely amazing trip. The Christmas markets were magical!

Also, I ate goulash at least six times.

some more pics, if you’d like to see... most are on Facebook
my favorite meal of our trip - at Piano Bar
our first night at Piano Bar
sledders on the Alps

enjoying the view of the Alps at the highest viewpoint on Nordkette... :-/
the view from our room
Munich’s Rathaus, site of the glockenspiel
reunited with Philipp! 
heading to lunch at Hofbräuhaus