Saturday, March 17, 2012

Around the World Innsbruck

March 17, 1992

Just before the Italian - Austrian border with a little over an hour left in the trip to Innsbruck, an empty couchette becomes available.  I pull out the seats and get some sleep in between several ticket and passport checks.  When I wake up, I discover that I have overslept Austria all together.  I'm in Munich.

Luckily, a train is departing for Milan through Innsbruck shortly.  I jump on and finally arrive in Innsbruck.  Tourist information is of no help.  Instead, I am given directions to go down the street and around a corner to find a map.  Realizing that these are directions to become completely disoriented, I head back to the train station where I find someone who knows where the youth hostel is, how much it costs and gives me a very basic map of Innsbruck with just barely enough information to find it.

At the hostel, the room is cheaper than it was quoted at the train station, so I opt to call this place home for the next two nights.  Tired, but curious, I head out to explore the town.  The old part of the city is really close to the hostel and so very old world Bavaria.  It's very quiet wandering through the cobblestone streets with a stunning view of the Alps on the horizon. 

Innsbruck, the old city
Photo courtesy American Greetings

Groceries include wine, crackers, chocolate and juice.  Tried to call home, but the phone ate my 10 schillings and cut me off even though I called collect.  I try to fight off the fatigue with some knoedel soup, dumplings in a thin broth.  Very delicious, but only makes me more sleepy.

Innsbruck and the Alps.
Photo courtesty

It's not long until sundown when I wake from a two hour nap and decide to address some laundry fermenting in my knapsack.  My room has a sink so I gather up my socks and a skirt that smell strangely of fish.  After rinsing the clothes three times, I lather up some hand soap and scrub my socks and skirt before rinsing everything clean.  The rungs from the top bunk bed serve as a convenient clothesline to dry everything overnight.  The hostel has a laundry service, but after rinsing out my skirt, I realize that had I chosen that option, everything I own would now be stained purple.  I also would have missed the sock stalactite art I've created out of the adjacent bunk bed.

It's almost 8pm and I can keep my eyes open no longer.

• ¤ •

"Our way is not soft grass. It's a mountain path with lots of rocks. 
But it goes upward, forward, toward the sun."
~ Ruth Westheimer

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