Happy February everyone!
After returning from Romania and having another match on Saturday, we had a rare occurance- 2 days off in a row! So last Sunday I woke up extra early and jumped on a train to Innsbruck, Austria to stay with my friend Ellie Blankenship. Thankfully, the 4 1/2 hour train ride went pretty quick.
I met up with Ellie and her friend Megan Schipper at the train station and we got directly on a bus that leads to a bobsled track! It just happened to be the last day of the first ever Youth Winter Olympics. I have never seen bobsled live before (I mean, have you?) And I could not believe how close to the track we could get. I could step right over the railing and into harms way if I wanted.
After watching two Latvian boys win the gold, we grabbed some delicious Italian food at Vapiano’s then walked around downtown Innsbruck. What an adorable little city! It apparently had snowed a ton the few days before I arrived, and lucky for me it had warmed up a bit and the sun decided to show itself!
In the Old Town area there is this watch tower which was apparently built in the 1400s and used to be a prison. Now, of course, it’s a tourist attraction. We paid a couple euros to climb 148 stairs and crouch through this bitty window onto a small balcony. The little trek gave us the most INCREDIBLE sights. You could see all of Innsbruck, and we managed to arrive at the perfect time of day with the sun breaking through some of the clouds and lighting up the entire view. It was so beautiful.
The next day, Ellie made us some delish french toast (minus the syrup, hard to find out here) and then we decided to take a gondola-thingy ride up the mountain. It wasn’t as sunny as it was the day before but we were still able to get some pretty awesome views of the city. We grabbed some hot chocolate at the top and checked out an unfortunately empty Igloo Bar. It would be a really cool place for drinks or dancing… if it wasn’t so cold and halfway up a mountain!
Afterwards, we headed back down, and did some more shopping around the city. Schnapps is the big thing in Austria. There was a store that made their own, along with liquors and other fun things, and would bottle them in different shapes and sizes right there for you! Plus, they gave free samples, what’s not to like?? We tried a couple of drinks and made a couple purchases. I actually bought one bottle that said ‘Innsbruck’ to use as a souvenir and vase. It’s currently warming up my apartment with purple and yellow flowers as I type 🙂 We also ran into the USA Men’s National Snowboarding team in that store too! It is the seriously the best thing ever running into other Americans.
Unfortunately, my length of time off was only 2 days, which meant I needed to get my booty back to Vienna to wake up for another morning workout. I left that afternoon and got back to my little apartment (cough dorm room cough) around 10. Just enough time to unpack and settle back in to start another long week. A GINORMOUS thanks to the lovely Ellie Blankenship for letting me come visit, crashing at her apartment, and showing me her city. Hopefully we’ll see each other in the second round of the Austrian Playoffs! 🙂
Next Post to come… Our trip to Russia!