Innsbruck…gave so much more than it took.  Actually, it did take a two-hour train ride over Bremmer Pass (5000ft) that wound through high mountain pastures and occasionally fell deep into river valleys as the architecture alternated from Transylvanian castles to Swiss chalets and from Catholic classicism to the mosque-like influences of the Middle East.  Definitely a highlight, even fighting the hangover from the second half-liter carafe and creamy pasta—sorry, never blame the pasta!  It was one of those hangovers that the more you lay there, the worse you feel…lost dreams, unfinished goals, past embarrassments; all flood the pre-conscious as it becomes the 9th Ward of the psyche…just get me outta here before I drown in self-loathing!


Talk about motivation.  I'd wanted to spend more time here (Innsbruck, not inner-demon-hell) but the booking snafu in Rome—when in Rome, beware conquering the North—created the perfect opportunity for an amazing afternoon.  I had to admit to an American sigh of relief (my belly concurred) when I saw a simple turkey and swiss sandwich on the dining car menu.  "Sorry, sir" as my stomach rumbled the testy conflict between alcohol sugars and cholesterol cravings "we only have the salami and brie panini."  My stomach clenched at the thought of more salt and processed meat but this was day#24 and time to man up.  Both me and my stomach (with a battalion of sparkling water) won the war as we entered the wonderment of this alpine oasis.

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

Arriving at the zugbahnhof, I realized I had become accustomed to the familiar signs and operations of the Italian trains and we're in Austria now bitches.  Um, which was a positive, everything was cleaner and more efficient.  There was no need to validate the tickets…when you buy it, it's valid, what a concept!?!  Of course, it still necessitated speaking with an incredibly efficient and helpful (and maybe a bit condescending) station attendant after a panicked search for the familiar red and green validation machines.  


Whereas the signs in an Italian stazione generally appeared in Italian and English, the signs here were in Italian and German.  It was like getting into the backcountry of King's Canyon and realizing you brought the topo map for Bryce Canyon…maybe if I follow this ridge…which is probably why the attendants seem so exceptionally helpful and didn't direct me to a "camp" train.  

Luckily, there was more meat and here I picked up Traveler Tip#3:  If you want to bring wild boar back through New York, don't claim it on your customs declaration and bring back a lot of drugs to get the dogs off the scent.  I wish I could tell you I followed my own tip…another entry for the Do as I Say, Not as I Do travel guide…but I have yet to savor that succulent flesh.  The real tip is to tear at the meat, right there in the store, like a jackal leaving only a thick blood stain on the countertop to show you were there as you bound off into the plains of the Serengeti.  Hands off my wildschein! (pronunciation key:  viled-shine)


I did actually make it out of the train station and walked like a Weight Watchers success story without the encumbrance of even my day pack.  The theaters and churches and parks all had an even more foreign feel to them (pic#3) but everywhere there were mountains as familiar as the Rockies (pic#4).  


The river here is called the Inn River, a tributary of the Danube.  Hmm, inn's brook — Inn River, I get it!

The final pic is a favorite of the trip and was taken from a footbridge over the river.


Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go to font for titles, paragraphs & more.