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EAST EU11 #3 Innsbruck,
July 1-2, 2011
All photos not
taken by me have a black border
Friday, July 1, 2011
I woke at 3:30, 6:00, 8:10 and at 9:00, I finally got up. I put on my
running gear again and headed on a new quest for my run today.
At 10:20 I began my run heading down the street called Im Tal toward the Isartor which you can see far off in
the photo above right. It is the last (of the four) remaining city towers that I had
not seen or photographed on our previous trips. As it turns out this is
probably the most impressive of all the gates. Here is how it looked from
the city side as I first approached it. Below is the normal view...
...and here is the wide
Here is the main clock tower from one side (below left) and then from the
opposite side (center.) On the right is an enlarged view of the base...
...and below left, a
full view of the mural of the Crucifixion. Here is the plaque on the tower
noting the renovations done in 2003.
The tower was originally erected in 1337. The long mural on the outside
a triumphal entrance of royalty into the city.
On this side of the gate, you can see a completely different aspect of the
structure. Below are two views of it.
Below is the mural on the front of the gate showing the procession of a king
(center) entering the city.
Having enough photos of the gate, at 10:50 I continued down Im
Tal or Tal and discovered another SFCC. It looked good but I wasn't ready for
sitting down yet.
street (above right) from the Isartor is the
near Pflugstraße which claims to be the oldest hotel in the heart of Munich.
It started out in 1490 and for the past 100 years it has been run by one family.
It is now run by
Andreas Kirchlechner and his son
Its history is very interesting and can be read by clicking on
the link above.
From the map above, you can see where I was
relation to the center of Altstadt Munich (dark red.) I walked down Tal a
little farther and came across the beautiful building nearby housing the
email@example.com,] another popular Munich beer hall. Right
click here to download a copy of their
menu in English. They are proud of their Schneider Weisse beers.
They have a very long history (below left) as well, going back to the 12th
Century. Their head chef is Josef Nagler (below right.)
As can be seen from the stock photos below, they have a lot of different rooms
where you can enjoy food (Speisen) und drink (Tranken.)
The founder of the brewery was Gerog Schneider and the present manager is Eduard
Fichtner (below left.) Here (below) are just three of their many brew
variations; Blonde Weissebier (left,) Eisboch (center,) and dark brew (right.)
I vowed that we would come and eat here on our next visit to Munich. I
then came across what I thought was an interesting little place on this side
street. The outdoor seating was nice (below left) and the interior looked
liked it might be a beer hall. Unfortunately, I didn't write down the name
of the place.
At 10:55 I
arrived at the edge of the Viktualienmarkt and took some
photos of Heilig Geist-Pfarrkirche, the Holy Ghost Church, which was built in
1392. The façade was added in 1885.
Very nearby is the church called Alte Peter. I photographed it while
waiting for the Mass to start at 11:00. I attended the Mass especially for my brother Gary.
After Mass, I took photos of the interior and exterior of the
church. Below left is the exterior of Alte Peter and on the right is the
beautifully ornate pulpit. from two angles.
Below are two different side altars.
What was most interesting is that the whole Mass was said with the priest
(below) facing the altar rather than toward the people. That was the way
it was always done prior to the changes of Vatican II by Pope John XXIII in the
1960s. Pope Benedict XVI recently ordered that this option was permitted again
in certain circumstances. I haven't seen this since I was in high school.
Below left is looking toward the altar and below right is looking toward the
back of the church and the organ.
The ceiling was a spectacular work of art.
The organ (below left) seemed in pristine condition.
I left the church and at 12:05 I stopped for a
cappuccino at a new place I happened upon called
Coffee [Rindermarkt 15,
They were very friendly but they give you a free WiFi code that only lasts for
They have coffee shops all over Germany (map below.) Their coffee (above)
wasn't bad and the place was comfortable (above) but with 30 minute WiFi limit
(card below right,) I won't be coming back.
I finally went into the Viktualienmarkt and took some shots of the interesting
displays for sale like the cheeses (left) and the pastries (right.)
Several places were upset that I took photos and I have no idea why.
As I walked back to the hotel on Pettenbeckstraße near Rindermarkt, I got this very good shot of the statues of the
cattle in the cattle fountain (Rinderbrunnen)
(below) built in 1964 that I discussed last year. This is the spot where
cattle were bought and sold.
At 12:50 I pulled more
Euros from VPBank at an ATM. I got back, packed up and brought all our bags
down by elevator to the lobby. At 1:15 we checked out of the hotel. Since we parked the Peugeot in this
little niche between the construction (below left)
in front of the hotel entrance for the entire two days, we saved about €40 ($55) in
parking fees. Marcia enjoyed her book in the lobby while I loaded all the
bags into the trunk. I am making sure she has it easier this trip.
used my Accor Favorite Guest vouchers to pay 85% of the hotel bill.
Another advantage of being an Accor member. The room
rate was €30 cheaper than what I had booked it for from home. I didn't
question it. I then asked
them to book us there for our return trip in October. That rate was twice
what we were paying now because of Oktoberfest. We were ready to start our
trip and at 1:30 PM, I drove the 104 miles southeast then southwest toward Innsbruck
(below.) As we were leaving Munich, I got this shot of these interesting
bridge columns and statuary (below left.)
into the trip, we had to stop and fill the tank at a Shell station. I
forgot to mention that this
car uses diesel gasoline which in the EU is always cheaper than regular (in US,
its more expensive.) This is the first time we have ever driven a
diesel engine car and our first fill-up. We didn't notice any difference or
any funny noises with the engine. The tank-full still cost us
€81 ($115.60) for 56.57 liters (14.94 gal) which comes out to $7.74/gal.
Diesel is usually colored black.
We arrived in Innsbruck at 4:15 and, with the GPS, easily found our hotel from Booking.com.
The Best Western Mondschein [6 Mariahilfstraße,
firstname.lastname@example.org] is right on the
street alongside the River Inn. It's the tallest, peach-colored building
second from the corner. It was a little chilly and Marcia was bundled up.
I had to pull the car up on the sidewalk and then unload our stuff. The
people here are very nice. Marcia went up to our room #48 (below right)
and she had me go park the car this time. That's when the deskman told me the
complexity of the parking and that he would be monitoring me on closed-circuit
TV from his desk.
At first I wondered why and then I found out. The problem here is that their parking garage is way up this side street (below) and they are VERY tight quarters in that second to the last building on the left
side of the street.
Of course, all the Booking.com website said about the parking was that it was free,
which I jumped on. I
drove into the garage and the first floor, with only six spaces, was completely
full. I was then told I had to drive the car into the elevator (below) and after
a half hour of maneuvering this large car, I finally got it in without scrapping
the paint off. Did I mention that you must BACK the car into the elevator?
Then you push the button to go down. When I came out
on the floor below, it was incredibly difficult to maneuver it, first out of the
elevator and then into one of the parking spots. The lot was almost full
when I arrived. It was the worst parking situation I have ever
encountered anywhere. I would never do it again!
I walked back to our room which was a little on the tight side as well but very comfortable. Two
side-by-side beds means no King bed here.
After getting back and unpacking, we decided to wander across the river to the
old town we have visited many times before.
Above is a shot of our hotel and street and the sign for the zoo they have here
and the Hungerburg Nordkettenbahn, the cable car up the mountain. Neither
of us was interested in taking it.
Here (above) is the River Inn and looking back at the hotel.
Above are photos of looking back from the old town to our side of the river. While walking around, at 7:50, I checked the price at the Goldenes Adler Hotel, where we
have stayed several times before and discovered it was twice
the price we were paying at the Mondschein. So, we saved some money there
At 8:00, we
strolled into a friendly place called
Gasthaus Elferhaus [Herzog-Friedrich Straße
and I had a glass of my very favorite beer, Zipfer Urtyp and
Marcia had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Zipfer, in my opinion is one of the
best beers brewed in the world and I was longing to get to Austria to enjoy one.
We sat at the end of the bar, right behind the taps (below left.) Believe it or not,
they didn't have Zipfer on tap so I had to have it in a bottle. The bar is
very cozy but the smoke may get to you after awhile. They have a back room
for dining (stock photos below.) Reviews I've read say the food is typical Austrian and pretty
As you can see (below,) they are just down the street from the famous Goldenes
Dachl (Golden Roof) which anyone can direct you to.
Below are stock photos of the front of the place and the entrance.
We had gotten some recommendations by the hotel staff for Italian food so at 9:15, we walked
our way back over the bridge, past our hotel and along the river, to
Trattoria da Peppino
It was a quaint little place with a small dining room (above right.) This
stock wide-angle makes it look bigger than it is.
is there menu. For some reason I was in the mood for two pasta dishes.
Their wine list (below) "Cantina Weinkeller" was not extensive but all Italian.
We both had a glass of Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) to start and then
shared a bottle of Vino Nobile di Multipulciano Poliziano '07 (Multipulciano
d'Abruzzo), along with tap water and we had to pay a coperto (service fee) for the both of us of
I started with a dish of spaghetti carbonara (below left) and Marcia had a bowl
of minestrone soup (below right.) They were both wonderful.
I then enjoyed this dish of
Tortellini di Casanova with cheese and speck (ham) (below left) and Marcia had
an entrée of Vitello (veal) Fettine Pizzaiola (below right.)
Its hard to believe but my blood sugar test two hours after eating this
pastalicious meal did not go above 100 (which is good.) I was beginning to think the
Metformin medication was really working. When we finished dinner,
Manuel (from Molise, Italy) gave us a complimentary nice cold glass of limoncello for me
and a glass of Sambuca for Marcia.
Manuel treated us very well
and we rated the dinner as excellent.
We walked back down along the river to our hotel and at 11:15, I went into
the hotel bar called the "Innside Pils Pub" while Marcia went upstairs.
Get it? The River Inn is outside, so it is the Inn-side Pub. There I
had the pleasure of meeting Charlie Ischia (red shirt,) whose mother Hilda is
the owner of the hotel. He recommended I try a new
Austrian beer I hadn't tried before called Zillertal pils. It was good. Johannes was the young
(19) bartender (below left; on the right.)
beer, I had a coke, bid them good night and went upstairs to bed at 1 AM.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Our 2011 tour really starts here since we have now entered
of the five countries we are here to explore. The satellite map (right)
shows how Austria straddles the Alps (snowy white.) The emblem of Austria
(left) comes from the old Hapsburg coat of arms.
The problem is, we have stopped in Innsbruck so many times on our trips from Munich
to Italy that it just feels so familiar to us. Therefore we will not stay
here longer than one day and this will be our only stop in the Tyrolean Austria;
that little finger that sticks out to the west. We will therefore miss the cities of
Bregenz, Lienz, Kufstein, Landeck and Feldkirch. There is a lot
about Innsbruck in the previous Diarios. Below is the Innsbruck flag
(left) and coat of arms (right.)
is the capital
of the federal state of Tyrol in western Austria. It is located in the Inn
Valley at the junction with the Wipptal (Sill) River, which provides access to
the Brenner Pass, some 18.6 miles (30 km) south of the city. Located in
this broad valley between high mountains, the Nordkette (Hafelekar) [7,657 ft
(2,334 m)] in the north, the Patscherkofel [7,369 ft (2,246 m)] and Serles
[8,917 ft (2,718 m)] in the south. Below are some stock photos showing
these impressive Alps.
Below left is the top of Mt. Patscherkofel.
The city is an internationally renowned winter sports center and it hosted both
the 1964 and 1976 International Winter Olympics.
The population of the city is 120,147 making it the fifth largest city in
Austria. Its elevation is 1,883 ft (574 m) and covers an area of 40.5 mi2
(105 Km.2) Below is a stock aerial photo of the city in the
Below is the famous covered walking bridge (left) over the Inn River and the
City Tower with the famous Golden Roof in the background to the left (right.)
Below is the famous German artist, Albrecht Dürer's
(1471 - 1528) "View of Innsbruck" the way it looked in 1495.
Innsbruck became the capital of all Tyrol in 1429
in the 15th Century the city became a center of European politics and culture as
Maximilian I (1459–1519) (left) resided here
the 1490s. The city benefited from his presence; for example,
the building of the
Hofkirche (1553–1563) by
a memorial to his grandfather. Maximilian was
buried in Weimar Neustadt, the place he requested but because his plan for his
own tomb was much too big to be built there, Ferdinand built it here (aerial
above right) but he was not moved here. Below
are many stock photos of this empty funeral monument called a Cento. Below
are stock photos of the Hofkirche from the front and the back.
many stock photos of the ornate memorial tomb and the many metal statues of
Tyrolean royalty, both male and female.
Below is a shot of the intricate ceiling and then side altars.
During the Napoleonic wars, Tyrol was ceded to Bavaria, which was an ally of
Andreas Hofer (1767–1810)
a Tyrolean peasant army to victory against the combined Bavarian and French
forces, and then made Innsbruck his capitol. The
French and Bavarian army later overran the Tyrolean militia army and, until 1814,
Innsbruck was part of Bavaria. After the
Vienna Congress, Austrian rule was restored here. Hofer was captured hiding
out in Italy after he was turned in by a neighbor. He was executed in
Mantua, Italy (below left;) his remains were returned to Innsbruck in 1823 and
(below center) in the Franciscan church
Napoleon had sent an order that
Hofer be given a "fair trial and then shot."
He later claimed Hofer was executed against his orders.
In 1818, his family was given a patent of nobility by the Emperor of Austria.
In 1823, Hofer's remains were moved from Mantua to Innsbruck, and in 1834, his
tomb was decorated with a marble statue (above center) with a relief plaque
below it depicting Hofer's victory (below.) In 1893, a bronze statue
of Hofer was erected in Bergisel (Innsbruck) (above right.)
Interestingly, the term "dollar" is derived from the Austrian "thaler," a silver coin first
struck in the city of Hall in Tyrol in 1486 during Maximilian's reign. On
a bleaker note, below is Hitler doing the same thing, triumphantly entering
Innsbruck during the Anschluss in March 1938, whereby Germany just annexed
interested in visiting Innsbruck, you may find this list of museums and other
places of interest worth copying and printing out as a reference:
Alpinist Association Museum,
from human preparations, to history of development and
old anatomical devices.
Bell Museum, Graßmayr,
The Bell foundry has existed for 400 years, and is lead
by the same family in 14 generations.
It was modified to rococo-style by order of the empress
undergoing renovation and is closed.
Maximilianeum Goldenes Dachl,
Information on the impressive life of emperor Maximilian
Rennweg. A Panorama of the Battle of Bergisel,
8/13/1809, over 1000 m2 in size. One of the
world’s last 24 panoramas.
(City Tower), Herzog-Friedrich-Straße.
Tiroler Landesmuseum: consists of
Scientific collection, Feldstraße
Museum im Zeughaus, Zeughausgasse
Late-gothic alcove balcony, with 2657 fire-gilded cupreous shingles. It
was built on behalf of emperor Maximilian I. The ONE thing
everyone HAS to photograph.
Annasäule (St. Anna Column),
Maria-Theresien-Straße. The column, which is made of Tyrolean marble,
was created in 1706, in memory of the drawback of Bavarian troops
Triumphpforte (Triumphal Arch),
Southen end of Maria-Theresien-Straße. It was built in 1765 to
mark the marriage of archduke Leopold and the spanish princess Maria
Ludovica. The north side displays mourning themes on the occasion of
Franz Stephan of Lothringen.
I woke at 7:30 and 9:20 and just got up right away
for some reason. At 9:30 I went down to the 2nd level (flower boxes,
below left) and decided to have breakfast at
the hotel. This is unusual for me but I was paying for it whether I ate it or not.
For 35 years I eat only one meal a day and do not snack during the day.
This was unusual. The breakfast layout was very nicely done (below right.)
I had some very good scrambled eggs with some ham and cheese as well as a
soft-boiled egg and two cappuccinos. I sat right in the corner table
looking out that window on the left. It was very nice and relaxing.
Marcia was also up and about early and at 9:35 she was buying contact lens solution at
Renate Hopffer [Riesengass 5]. [Hoffer with a "P" thrown in.] She
got back and we packed up our bags and at 11:20, we checked out of the hotel.
The elevator doors have beautiful brass embossments (below left.) We
finally got to meet Hilda (below,) the owner. She is a very nice lady; she
let us leave our bags in the reception area while I went out for my run and
Marcia went for lunch.
If you don't have a car, this is the place to stay, in my opinion. If I
come back with a car, I am going to call ahead and ask that someone park my car
and later get it back out for me. Outside, they have this most interesting
signage. The logo is because Mondschein means moon shine which of course
means something else in America.
At 12:00, Marcia had lunch at
Weinhaus Happ [Herzog Friedrich Straße 14,
Now that we are about to explore this delightful Tyrolean city, here is a map of
the central area. Our hotel is outside the map and we have to cross the
Innsbruck bridge (Innbrücke) to get to the major sites and the old downtown.
It was now
12:00, and 2.5 hours
since I had eaten that big breakfast, so I decided I could be able to do my run.
I started along the bank of the River Inn and came into this nice little park
(green in upper left of map above.)
As I got closer to the river, I had to take this shot of the angulated
pedestrian suspension bridge. It was quite futuristic architecture.
The park was a great place to do a run.
Before I got into the park I decided to take a left turn up the hill and take a
closer look at the church there. At 12:20 I took some photos
of the Pfarrkirche St. Nikolaus.
The statuary on the front looked brand new (below left.) The doors were
locked but I was able to take a photo through the glass of the door.
Notice the beautifully patterned columns.
Next door to the church was a cemetery. The first big memorial (below
left) had this inscription on it "Den Bomben-Opfern 1943-1945" which means "The
Bomb Victims of 1943-45."
It was a large and beautiful place. There was also a bronze military
statue with many plaques I could not read.
It was flowered, clean and well-kept. As I kept going back down on the
main street, I saw this building (below) across from St.
which was probably the
rectory. Then I come across this car advertising the exact car model we
had leased, a Peugeot 508. It was even the same color.
This street (below left) ran all along the river and I finally reached the park
I mentioned earlier. The architecture of this school (below right) was
worth a photograph.
I ran into Walther Park
(the park I mentioned earlier,) I saw that there were many statues and memorials
throughout such that I had to run in circles to photograph them. This one
Franz Thurner (1828-1879)
(left,) the founder of Innsbruck's volunteer fire
departments and gymnastic clubs and was a defense attorney for Tyrol.
The next monument was for the park's namesake,
Walther von der Vogelmeide
(1170–1230,) the most celebrated of the High German lyric poets of the Middle
His famous poem was "Unter den Linden."
the German Emperor, Frederick II, he finally received recognition for his
defense of the empire over Papal excesses, by receiving a small fief in
Franconia, though he complained that "it wasn't worth much." Around 1224,
he settled on his fief near Würzburg. He was active in urging the German
princes to take part in the crusade of 1228, and may have accompanied the
crusading army at least as far as his native Tirol. He died around 1230,
and was buried in Würzburg (right,) after leaving instructions that the birds
were to be fed at his tomb daily. His original gravestone has disappeared;
but in 1843 a new monument was erected over the spot in Lusamgärtchen (Lusam
garden), today sheltered by the two major churches of the city. We will be
in Würzburg in September.
Above left is a depiction of Walther and on the right is one of
his participation in a singing contest.
There was also this pediment in the park with an inscription which means "The
average height of the yearly atmospheric precipitation in Innsbruck is 31.5 in;
Medium 27.85 in, High 28.4 in, Low 27.2.
There was a statue of St. Joseph (below left) and a large crucifix (center,)
which you won't find in any American public park. I then left the park and
went down Höttinger Gasse (right) toward the bridge.
I went across the bridge to photograph this stone crucifix affixed at the
Now to give you a feel of the buildings and architecture here in the old part of
Most of the nicer buildings seem to have outdoor cafés.
Below right is the City Clock Tower which is near the pub we dropped into last
night. If you look carefully, you can see the archway which goes along
the entire street.
Below is what the archway looks like as you walk down it.
Just around the corner, you come to Innsbruck's main attraction, Der Goldenes
Dachl or Golden Roof built by Maximilian. Below left is the whole building and
below right is the artistry below the roof.
This is what everyone comes here to see and photograph, so I did also.
At the end of the street is the Goldenes Dachl hotel and restaurant that used to
be very good when we visited it in 1997 but we stopped when the last meal we
had there was pretty bad. Maybe its better now. Below right is the
street alongside it filled with tons of booths and stores selling tourist stuff.
Here is the street looking back up the other way. Notice the ubiquitous
"M" sign for McDonalds on the left. Several shops were selling classical
Now I am approaching the famous and beautiful Helbling House. Below right
and the next two are photos that Marcia took of it.
It is even more spectacular when you see it in person with the sun reflecting
off it. Here are 3 stock photos.
The main shopping street (below) is Maria-Theresien-Straße which is very wide
and full of people, mainly tourists in the summer.
It is named after the great Austrian Empress, Maria Theresa (1707-1780.)
The thaler coin below right became the most famous coin in the world.
I came across the Church of the former City Hospital Dedicated to the Holy
Spirit. Below are photos I took of the exterior and the interior.
The ceiling was quite impressive.
As you approach the center of this large plaza street you arrive at Mary's
The column is made of pink marble and the base has four statues on it. The
statue of Mary with a halo of stars is at the top.
Marcia got a coffee
and a snack at Konditerei Café Munding
+43-51- 258-4118] which is a very famous old place in the old town.
While she was there, I finally
the big shopping center (left) which is called the Kaufhof Tyrol. It is a large
modern spectacular place and they are very proud of it. Here is where I was told
I would find the Saturn store where I could buy some phone chips.
I went inside and was amazed at its size. At 1:40 I bought a travel bag
just for my running gear and also the perfect inflatable neck pillow at a place
called Maniolo's [31 Maria-Theresienstraße,
The girl in the store next to it was nice and let me have
an empty shoe box so we could store all our travel guide books behind the passenger
seat in the car. I finally found the Saturn store which was way up on the
I bought two new Austrian
phone chips for our phones for €51.78. They were the Bfree phone system. I also
bought a laser mouse and a 3-way
Euro plug. They had a map showing what countries they had Saturn stores
in. Looks like I'm good for Austria and Hungary but not the other 3
countries I'm going to.
I walked around looking to get a cappuccino and finally spotted one (below
At 2:30 I sat down
in their outside seating area and had a
cappuccino at their fancy Segafreda shop.
Certainly interesting to see two modes of transportation.
I finally made it back to the bridge.
Below is my photo of our hotel and a stock aerial photo of it from across the
Below left is a stock photo of the plaza and on the right one of the Triumphal
Arch which I showed in previous Diarios.
At 1:00 Marcia bought
an Austrian freeway
Innsbruck Information [Burggraben 2,
+43-5-125 -3560] for €7.5 for 10
days. We got away without one in 2009 but have been stopped in the past to
pay a €200 cash fine on the spot - not fun. She was also back at the
Renate Hopffer for more contact lens solution.
It was great fun getting the car out of their garage via elevator but I
accomplished it with Marcia's help this time. At 3:45 Marcia drove
the first 100 miles heading south to Italy and Sirmione. Below are shots of the built-in
GPS screen as we were leaving Innsbruck.
At 4:00 we had to pay the Brenner Pass toll
of €8. At 4:15 we stopped at a BP gas station and bought six diet cokes,
three waters and some gum. We continued on but after two hours Marcia had to stop and take a nap at
a Fini gas station pull off. At 7:00 we went inside and
bought a music CD and some chips. The jetlag is hitting us both pretty
bad. Soon we will be in Italy.
To -> NEXT DIARIO #4
Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD
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