I started on the longest phase of my train travel by taking an early morning train from milan to innsbruck. I was travelling with this delightful 85 year great grandmom and she was telling me her story. She was born and brought up in Vienna where she continues to live till now. She was telling me her sons and grandsons all live together in the same house. Now joint families are dying out in India and I was pleasantly surprised to find it alive in europe. My stop soon arrived so I bid her goodbye and pleasant journey for her remaining leg to vienna.
Innsbruck has been an apt choice for two winter olympics, straddled right in between the alps with wonderful mountains looking down on the valley where innsbruck resides.
Once landing in Innsbruck, I set about searching for a place for the night. Apparently most of the hostels are open for reservations from 5-9 pm only, which was pretty inconvenient consider I was hauling a heavy backpack. Eventually I did come across one which was open and a short distance away from the centre which was made to look further away with the steep walks. Dumped my backpack and I headed back to the city center.
The center is pretty quaint, with one of the Hapsburg palaces in the city (of the Vienna fame) and can be covered in about half a day of walking. Headed back to the hostel to freshen up when I met an australian guy sharing the dorm.
Oh isnt it fun meeting the australians just after a test that India won. We were talking about various stuff when I steered the conversation to cricket and wondered if he followed the game - Not at the moment mate was the reply. Well I did let him have a few words on the future of the game and let him take solace that ponting will eventually overtake tendulkar's record.
I had heard about hiking trails around innsbruck and headed back up the mountain past the alpen zoo. An hour of hiking and came across a clearing where you could see the entire city of Innsbruck in all its glory and one of the most beautiful sights of the trip. If you do enjoy hiking I would recommend staying in innsbruck for another day and hike around the mountains (the trails go on forever).
Eventually headed back down on fading light and feel to sleep early due to exhaustion.