Salzburg to Innsbruck

DSC_1160 We took the A-10 to Innsbruck and it was such a gorgeous drive. I have about 35 more photos that Scott took out of the window of our speeding vehicle, but I'm sure as you can imagine you can't truly capture the beauty of your surroundings when traveling at 100 mph. It was so fun to drive through many small towns as it was May 1st, or May Day. People were all gathering (lederhosen and all!!) and May poles were set up with a large evergreen tree attached to the top. Also, given the fact that we were surrounded by traditional Austrian architecture and fields brimming with dandelions, the whole thing felt like it was out of a movie.

photo-058

photo-057

I had read that a "must-see" stop along the A-10 is the Werfen Ice Caves. I did not realize what a production it was to check them out.  It was all well worth it. You walk for 30 minutes up the mountain, take a cable car (cue me realizing I need to get over my fear of heights. Stat.), walk up another 30 minutes and then you are about to enter an hour tour through the cavernous dark and chilly ice caves. Cameras are not allowed, but the caves are pretty ridiculous. Each group is given a lantern and you climb stairs and boardwalks throughout the super dark and spooky caves. Very cool, Mother Nature.

DSC_1202

IMG_6688

IMG_6695

DSC_1223

One 30 minute hike and cable car ride down and you can eat lunch at this pit stop. As it was May Day the restaurant was busy with tourists, locals, bikers, hikers and families just hanging out.

DSC_1215

DSC_1219

Obviously all that hiking and walking made us hungry for this hot dog soup.

photo-012

We also stopped in Kitzbuhel for a snack. Very cool ski town, I can only imagine how bumpin' it must be during the season.

DSC_1258

DSC_1271

DSC_1274

We finally made it to Innsbruck and spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the town.

DSC_1277

DSC_1276

DSC_1280

DSC_1283

The next morning we got up early and rented bikes. We took the cable car up the mountain and followed the mountain trails to Hall in Tirol where we grabbed lunch. The whole day was perfect. It was so nice to remove ourselves from the city center and see the countryside. We felt very removed from the hustle and bustle and felt like we got to see a more authentic view of everyday life.

DSC_1284

DSC_1303

DSC_1307

DSC_1308

DSC_1313 DSC_1323

DSC_1339

Hall in Tirol

DSC_1340

photo-055

A well deserved dinner after our long bike trip!

photo-056

We grabbed drinks at Bar 360, which is all glass and provides awesome views of Innsbruck and beyond.

Next, we're on to Lucerne.

Salzburg

DSC_1039 One of our best moves in Salzburg might have been driving directly to the Modern Art Museum for lunch. The M32 restaurant looks over the city which is split by the Salzach River and also has great views the infamous Hohensalzburg Castle. It was also a good move because we could get light salads- as opposed to the authentic cuisine of various cheese and meats we had been consuming for the last 4 days. The weather was gorgeous, we were able to sit outside and it was a perfect way to kick off our time in Salzburg.

DSC_1046DSC_1065

DSC_1071 DSC_1079

DSC_1081

DSC_1082

DSC_1084

IMG_6651

After we checked out Hohensalzburg Castle, one of the best parts was walking back through the paths in the recreational area of the Monchsberg mountain. It was so lush and green and there were a ton of cool homes and wild gardens along the way.

DSC_1098

We stayed at the Bristol Hotel and it was very convenient to walking to all the sites. It was also on the right bank, which I liked because it was less touristy and busy. The lobby was a cool and dramatic combination of crystal chandeliers, mandarin orange walls and large scale paintings.

DSC_1097

The view from our room

DSC_1101

DSC_1102

DSC_1108

DSC_1113

DSC_1114

DSC_1124

DSC_1125

DSC_1127

DSC_1132

DSC_1136 photo-004

photo-003

photo-059

For dinner and drinks we walked down the cobblestone street, Steingasse and stumbled upon some tucked away restaurants and bars. Fridrich was our favorite as it had an intimate cave-bomb shelter-esque feel. It could probably only seat 20 people. The lighting was cool, a great selection of wines and the fact that they were playing Motown on the record player sealed the deal.

photo-008

photo-052

The next morning the beautiful church that was outside our window started enthusiastically ringing their bells at about 6:30 am, so we got up and decided to hit the road. There was something very soothing about enjoying the early morning breeze, bells and silence of the city.

DSC_1152

photo-011

Couldn't leave without an early morning look at the Mirabell Palace- which was surprisingly still bustling with activity. Then on the road to Innsbruck...