Friday, March 10, 2017

A Few Days in Innsbruck

Mike's winter break started the day he left for Kyrgystan.  Unlike last year where we did a four week non-stop trip, this year, we broke it up a bit.  It didn't make sense for me to go to Kyrgystan and hang out in a yurt all day while the guys were skiing, so Mike came back to Berlin for a couple of days to do laundry, get reorganized and pick me up before we hopped in the car and drove down south (all while saying a little prayer that our car would make it) to Innsbruck.  We stopped at the airport in Munich to pick up our friends, Melissa and Ryan, (Melissa is the scholar in Rabat, Morocco and Ryan is her husband) and headed on our way to Innsbruck.  We checked in to our hotel and met up with another scholar, Claire, and a friend of hers for dinner at an Italian restaurant before calling it a night. 

The next day, the rest of the gang hit the slopes for skiing while I hung back in town. I enjoyed a few hours at the hotel, lounging around before working out.  Then, I ventured out to explore Innsbruck, which is a super cute mountain town. 

There is a palace and a cathedral which are the main sight seeing highlights. I didn't go in either, but they both have received phenomenal reviews.  After spending a couple of hours, it was time for a nap, so I headed back to the hotel to nap and wait for the skiers to return. 

After showers and a little rest, we all headed out for dinner and trivia at a local Irish pub (we manage to find an Irish pub in every town we go!).  Despite our lackluster performance, it was a blast.  We laughed at the fact that most rounds we got less than half of the questions right, while the team next to us were semi-professionals, wore head lamps to see the questions better, studied in between rounds and rarely missed more than two questions. To each their own...

The next day was a skiing bust.  After much debate over whether to drive to the further slopes which were better or to stay closer.  They decided to drive to the further ones, only to find out the weather conditions were pretty terrible, so they ended up not skiing that day.   They were back at the hotel by two, so Mike and I went out for a late lunch while everyone else rested.  We went to this sushi restaurant where I had the best vegetarian sushi to date.  Mango, avocado, and cucumber make the perfect vegetarian roll. After lunch, we met up with Melissa and Ryan for a stroll around the town before stopping for a snack at a burger joint.  Ryan had a burger and we all devoured macaroni and cheese.  We ended day two at this awesome beer bar that had delicious pizza.  Basically, it was a successful day of eating and drinking, even if there wasn't any skiing involved.

Wednesday we headed to Liechtenstein and I'm going to do a whole separate post on that, but we ended the day back at the burger joint for dinner where we enjoyed more macaroni and cheese, burgers and I had a milkshake while everyone else got beer.  I wasn't jealous because that milkshake was life changing.  They should be jealous.
Still dreaming of this milkshake

Thursday was a day that was always up in the air.  Melissa and Ryan eventually needed to make it to Munich because their flight left at some ungodly hour Friday morning.  In planning this trip, Mike and I decided that it'd make sense for us to just stay in Munich Thursday night to help break up the drive back to Berlin since we were going to be dropping the Dombrocks off there anyways.  The question was, what to do all day on Thursday.    

Wednesday, we tossed around the idea of them skiing in Innsbruck, as well as skiing in Garmisch, which is kind of on the way to Munich.  No one really seemed dead set on skiing, so we decided to head to Garmisch for the day and do some sight seeing.  If the ski reports were amazing, people could spend the afternoon skiing, too.    Ultimately, everyone decided against skiing and instead, we took the lift up to the top of the mountain for lunch and to say we have been to the highest peak in Germany.  Ryan and Melissa try to hike up to the highest peak in various places, but it was not possible in the winter here, so on the ski lift we went!

Mike and Melissa with the Olmsted coin at the top!

Me, Mike and Maximus
Couldn't resist taking a selfie!

We walked around for a bit, ran into some Coca Cola polar bears and stopped for lunch.  Warm soup never tasted so good!

Little did we know when we were planning this trip that another Olmsted family, the Stevens who are in Kiel, Germany, were planning a week at Garmisch. Luckily, they had the afternoon free to meet up with us for some drinks and a snack after our venture to the top of the mountain. I always love meeting up with other scholars and hearing about their adventure.  The Stevens put our travel to shame! Man oh man! Anyways, after a couple of hours of catching up, we had to hit the road, so we said farewell and headed on our way to Munich. 

Ryan Stevens (Kiel, Germany), Melissa Dombrock (Rabat, Morocco) and Mike (Izmir/Berlin).  Three Olmsted scholars!

We made it to Munich around nine, ordered Indian food and hung out at the Dombrocks' hotel before saying goodbye.  It's gotten to the point in our Olmsted adventure where we know that we might not see each other for a little bit longer since our adventure is coming to an end, so it's always a little sad to say goodbye, but I think the greatest gift of this Olmsted experience is the friendships.  Moving abroad isn't easy and knowing that there are 17 other families who are going through the same thing definitely forges a bond like no other.  So, until next time Dombrocks! Can't wait to see you stateside!

We ended our trip with a stop at the Commissary on the drive home to stock up for some post-baby rations and treats. Mike ended up getting food poisoning from the hotel continental breakfast, so the drive back was less than delightful, but we made it back in one piece and were glad to be home after a fun week away.

This was my last trip pre-baby since I'm not allowed to travel after TODAY!!! Mike is currently at a wedding in South Africa, but once he returns in a week, we'll both just be hunkering down in Berlin until Baby Maximus makes his debut!

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