This is Part Five in a multi-post series about the first roadtrip Nicole and I took together. We’ll be heading out for a Southwest roadtrip this fall, and will be chronicling our adventures from the road!
When we last left you, Nic and I were stranded in Jungholz, Austria, by a freak blizzard, trapped in a deserted guesthouse occupied only by the innkeeper and his family. Despite the circumstances, our host (who eerily resembled Dexter) could not would not feed us, leaving us to subsist on leftovers from our day’s meager lunch and one Mars bar (for which he later charged us). Needless to say, we were ready to hit the road.
The next morning, Dexter kindly helped dig our car out of the 2+ feet of snow, and off we went, slowly coasting down the mountain and out of Jungholz, a place that, while undoubtedly lovely under the right conditions, I hope to never see again.
Almost as soon as we were off the mountain, we both breathed a sigh of relief. Thanks to Nicole’s intrepid New England driving skills, we were no longer at risk for plummeting to our deaths. In fact, we could now take a good look around at the snowfall—and it was glorious!
I’m not a winter person, and most definitely not a snow person. Tropical weather is more my speed. But even I have to admit: This snowfall was breathtaking. Even growing up in a small Connecticut village, I’d never seen anything like it. The bright white flakes glistening in the sun, coating fir trees, hills, and barns—it was magical.
On our way to Innsbruck, we pulled into a rest stop and found ourselves facing picture-postcard views from almost every angle. We even got some great shots of the Ehrenberg ruins in Reutte, which the blizzard had also crossed off our sightseeing list. It was almost—almost—worth missing Neuschwanstein.
As we continued our drive through Austria, the freshly fallen snow faded away, replaced with rolling green hills and farmland. But we were still in the Alps, and the mountains towered above us, a reminder of nature’s power the previous day.
And maybe that’s why, after checking into our Innsbruck hotel, we set out again to… ascend the top of yet another mountain! We’ve already written about our experience on the Nordkette, but it bears repeating: If you’re in Innsbruck, you can’t miss this cable car trip to the top of the Hafelekar, a 7,600+-foot peak that provides a stunning view of the city—and all the way to the Italian alps.
After a walk around what is a very clean, fun, and livable city, we capped our day in Innsbruck with a fancy sit-down dinner of wiener schnitzel, spaetzle, chocolate mousse, and plenty of white wine. It was a stark—and welcome—contrast to the previous day’s Mars bar meal!
One day in Innsbruck was not nearly enough for me. It’s a university town, with a great selection of museums, restaurants, and bars. I actually found it a bit like Edinburgh, but with fewer crowds—and bigger mountains! I’ll definitely be back.