I love Innsbruck, Austria!! Everything was amazing…the view of the Alps, the food, the city, the people; the list goes on and on. On our way we stopped at Riedel Glass, which is a well-known company that makes wine glasses and decanters. We got to see the factory and how the glassmakers make the wine glasses and decanters. It was truly amazing how quickly they can make one product and all the work that goes into it. The workers could make a wine glass in less than two minutes, and it was so cool to see how precise and exact each product was despite all being handmade by different people. The factory had to be over 100 degrees from the viewing area and even hotter on the actual floor. The furnace was over 2000 degrees. How these workers do what they do on a daily basis is truly amazing. While at Riedel, we got to go in the store and look at all the different products they have.
When we arrived in Innsbruck, we had a site visit with the tourism board. They talked to us about the city’s tourism and then at the end they talked about all the different activities we could do on our day off in the city. People could go bungee jumping, paragliding, white water rating, canyoning, and bike riding. The next day we had a site visit at Swarovski. In addition to hearing about the history and background of the company, we got to go to Crystal World, which is the second most visited attraction in Austria. It was so cool to see all the different kinds of products that use Swarovski elements. We even got see what a crystal looks like from the inside. As a group, we got to shop around in the store and get some Swarovski jewelry or products. All its products were absolutely amazing!
Innsbruck is not too big and very easy to navigate, so we got to do a lot off sightseeing, shopping, and walking around town without getting lost. During our free time we would usually walk around town and shop. We even saw a few gypsies wandering around. One day my three friends and I were walking around town and found this small little hole in the wall restaurant for lunch. I decided to try something new here and got Tyrollean ravioli. I honestly had no idea what to expect, but to my surprise it was delicious! I would definitely recommend it. During our stay in Innsbruck, we saw a few bachelor and bachelorette parties going on. They had a tradition somewhat different than the typical bachelor/bachelorette party in the States. The groom or bride were all dressed up and would be on the street trying to sell all types of little gadgets such as, Hawaiian leis, crazy sunglasses, little toy trucks, squirt water bottles, etc. My friends and I were walking around and saw a groom on the street so we talked to him and ended up giving him like 50 cents in euros and got a Hawaiian lei. I thought this tradition was so cool and exciting. I wish we had something like this in the US! We found out that there was the World Championship Rock Climbing/Boulder Climbing competition was going on in Innsbruck, so a few of us went to go watch some of it. It was incredible how these athletes climbed, swung, and hung from the boulders in an attempt to reach the top. We stayed after and saw the award ceremony, where a German placed first for the men and women. The winners got a bottle of champagne and shook it up and sprayed it all over the crowd. On our second to last night we all went on Tyrollean lantern hike. We hiked up the mountain to a small village where we got some food and listened to live German music. The view from the village was absolutely gorgeous. A few of us were selected to do some dancing too (and yes, I was one of the selected ones). We did the chicken dance and some others where we spun in circles (I don’t know the name though). Needless to say it was so much fun and we had a blast!!
On our last day in Austria we had a free day to do whatever we wanted, and do the activities that we signed up for the first day. I signed up to do paragliding and canyoning! I’m a little scared of heights, but I figured it was once in a lifetime opportunity so I was excited to do it. However, when we woke up that morning we learned that we couldn’t go paragliding because it was too windy. My friend and I were really disappointed, but thankfully we still got to go canyoning in the Alps. On our way to the site we saw wild horses and sheep wandering through the mountains. We climbed over rocks, hiked through the mountains, jumped off cliffs, propelled down bridges and cliffs, and slid down small waterfalls! It was definitely an amazing experience. Even though we had wet suits on, the water was still cold and I couldn’t feel my hands and fingers by the end of it, but it was totally worth it!! The next day though we all felt it…our bodies were tired and sore. It was without question an experience I will never forget!
Innsbruck, Austria is such an amazing city and I definitely would love to go back in the future! So with our stay in Innsbruck coming to a close, we say goodbye to the beautiful state of Austria and make our way to Italy! First stop in Italy… Verona!!