With only a few days left of break, Janet and I decided to travel to Innsbruck, Austria. Leo inspired the idea because he travels to Kühtai every year, due to the fact that he is a ski instructor at one of the local schools. I have some limited experience snowboarding so I was already excited about the idea but Janet and her friend had never been snowboarding/skiing so we had to capitalize on the opportunity.
The day started extremely early because we had to travel six hours to Munich. The layover in Munich was only a few hours so we went to a nearby Lidl to buy some groceries and then just walked around the city. From Munich to Innsbruck, it only took two hours and once we arrived, all the stores were closed and the location of our hostel was unknown. It was my responsibility to get us to the hostel because I am the one that made the booking and I am the man with the portal worldwide map. I wasn’t able to get the location because on the way to Innsbruck, I couldn’t connect to the Wi-fi so the moral of the story is to do your research beforehand! Luckily, I was able to type in the address and Pocket Earth was able to locate the place, which saved me from a tongue slashing from Janet.
The following day, we planned to walk around the city and luckily, Innsbruck is a small town so we would have enough time to cover a substantial amount of the area. First, we decided to get some breakfast in the city center and we found this place that has a very original name, the Breakfast Club. The prices were reasonable and the portions were of good size. The restaurant was located in the well-known street of Maria Theresien. The street is not only well known for it’s shopping and restaurants but it holds a historically significant past. From there, we went to the Innsbruck Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St. James, which holds two important treasures: the painting of Maria Hilf and the tomb of Archduke Maxamilian III of Austria. Unfortunately, we were not able to enter the cathedral because it was closed to visitors during that particular hour so we just hung around the courtyard. Later in the day, we stopped by the Ambras Castle that was closely located to our hostel. The castle was beautiful and we only got to see the outer part of it because the inside closes at 18:00. We didn’t stick around for too long but we found a nice area that had a perfect view of the city and the snowy covered mountains. The day was coming to an end and I practically spent the entire night studying for my exam. I tried to go to sleep at a reasonable time because we had to travel to the mountain of Kühtai but we also had to go pick up our gear at a local rental store.
In the early hours of the following day (6:30 a.m. to be exact), we made our way to the city center by tram and rented our snowboarding gear near the street of Maria Theresien. The bus to Kühtai had several pickup stops around the city center and luckily, one of the bus stops was next to the Hilton Hotel, which was across the street from the rental store. I think it is important to note that the bus we were trying to take was free and all that was necessary to hop on was a pass from your hotel/hostel that they provide free-of-charge; you just have to ask for a pass that can take you to any of the mountains. It was pity though, all of us (Janet, Vivian, and I) forgot our free passes at the rental store so I had to run back to retrieve the passes and arrive before the bus left. That was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to do – run with snowboarding boots on but either way, we didn’t manage to catch the bus because my roommate wasn’t able to locate the bus stop. An hour later, we took another bus to Kühtai but we had to pay 7€. It’s okay though, after a long morning, we finally arrived to Kühtai and it was well worth it! The mountain looked astonishing and I couldn’t wait to fall down the mountain! We were going to buy the ski lift tickets but we wanted to wait because the price went down for every 30 minutes that passed by. While we waited, we went to the “kiddy slope” so Janet and Vivian could learn how to ride on the board before hitting the big mountain slopes; the kiddy slope didn’t require a ski lift ticket.
We spent a considerable amount of time in the kiddy slope and as much as I love my roommate, I had to ditch her before the mountain closed. Leo found us while we were training and afterwards, we both took the ski lift to the top of the mountain. I wish I could have taken a picture but at the top, it was way to snowy and barely visible for the camera to capture a shot. Snowboarding/rolling down the mountain was fun and we took a small break near the midpoint of the track. Leo then asked me, “Do you wanna be nice or a dick?” Naturally, I replied by saying, “Nice but elaborate on your question.” So here it goes:
Nice: Go back to the bottom of the mountain and meet-up with Janet and Vivian.
Dick: Go to the mountain hut (restaurant in the mountain) and grab something to eat.
I changed my answer. We went to the restaurant and relaxed for a little bit. Finally, we went back to the bottom of the mountain and found Janet and Vivian. It appears that they got tired of snowboarding so they went to a nearby café and enjoy some hot chocolate. Thus, everybody was happy and we were able to catch the free bus back to Innsbruck and prepare our return journey to Mannheim.
The journey back home was 9 hours but I resourcefully used that time to study because my exam was the next day! Innsbruck was awesome but I was happy to home. Even though I don’t travel as much as my other international counterparts, I had a huge sense of relief to finally going back to “reality” and being comfortable at home.