The cold and wet weather last week left me badly in need of a (warm & dry) rest period. I’d also picked up an injury to my left calf which needed to be given a break from the daily cycling routine, so it was a great relief to accept Warm Showers hosts Philip and Nici’s offer to recover at their flat in Innsbruck. The flat is on a hill above the train station and this is one of the views from their balcony!
To say I’ve been made comfortable is an understatement, as they have both looked after me really well and I’ve enjoyed their company so much I’ll be sad to leave. Philip works in the local bike shop and I was invited to drop in with ‘Sally’ and work on her at my leisure, fixing a few annoying problems which had developed (e.g. another pannier bolt had sheared) and clean up the drivetrain. I must have made an impression on the boss as on my final day I was asked to give a presentation on my ’round the world’ tour so far, which I hurriedly put together the previous night. It seemed to go down very well…
The town center is just down the hill and armed with directions to the tourist office I went to explore a little. The great thing about having a break like this is it gives me chance to do some ‘proper’ planning for the next stages of the trip, most importantly obtaining relevant paper maps and/or downloading them to the GPS. The tourist office was really helpful and I came away with a full map guide to the Inn Valley Way (Innradweg) which will take me all the way to Passau, where I’ll then pick up the Eurovelo 6.
I have to say the photos are a bit lacking as I’ve just been ‘chilling out/resting’ and not taking the camera round with me. The few I did take were mostly with my iPhone and the ceiling painting proved quite a challenge.
You can’t fail to be inspired by the mountains which form the backdrop to the town and what impressed me about Innsbruck is I’ve never seen so many people taking part in sporting activities, cycling, running or speed walking seeming to be the most popular.
When I did a bit of research for the Annasäule, the large column next to the town hall I discovered that it’s actually a Maria Column as it is the Virgin Mary on the top. The column was erected on St. Ann’s Day in July 1703 to commemorate the historic liberation of the region from Bavarian troops during the Spanish War of the Succession, hence the name given to it.
As I prepare to leave in the morning the weather is showing signs of changing from the clear blue skies of the last few days. Philip spotted this rainbow from his balcony, and indicated more cloud would follow and as I prepare to turn in for the night it’s raining now. However I’m well rested and recovered and ready to hit the trail again and can’t thank Nici and Philip enough for their hospitality – I’m pretty certain we’ll see each other again and best wishes for the wedding next month.
So I leave Innsbruck ready for the next challenge, stay tuned for more…