50 Hours of Family in Innsbruck


After days of schooling, relaxing, and taking life one day at a time, we took a quick 50 hour visit to Innsbruck to meet my mom’s cousin, his wife, and his kids, with whom we are as close to as if we were cousins. We stayed in my great-aunts’s apartment, with whom we went hiking Monte Rosa with, and who is also Jacob’s mom. Apart from visiting and spending time with our family, we also saw some things recommended by them.
Kristallwelten: Swarovski, the world-wide crystal and optiks company, is based and has all of its factories here. We drove in and the first thing we saw was a row of tour buses, their monstrous fronts spitting tourists out onto the cement. After this daunting sight we skeptically stomped into the first room, occupied, as you can imagine, by a lot of crystals. While we had imagined the “crystal world” as a lot of glitzy, cheesy crystal galleries meant to trap tourists into buying, it was surprisingly beautifully done. Apart from creative takes on crystals, they had rooms exhibiting modern artists who played with mechanics, light, reflections, and of course, crystals.

If we were inside a crystal!

Poseidon's puzzle

The theatrical room; a dancing sun and a moon

Hall in Tirol: This is where my grandma is buried and we visit every time we come to Europe. There’s a beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains which loom over the landscape, seeming close enough to touch. Apart from putting a little candle on the grave, we visited the beautiful church where I was baptized and the Rathaus, where my parents married. It’s a village that has a lot of meaning for us, but where we never stay long.

The Rathaus balcony

12 Years and Counting

Afterwards, we got together with the family and went swimming in an indoor pool. I jumped off the 3 meter board, which didn’t happen so willingly on my part. We had a great time and had dinner together in their house overlooking Innsbruck and the mountains. There must be something about seeing them every day, so close to you. Over the Inn, the other mountains seemed to be at a distance where they were surreal, staring you in the face majestically, as if you were below them in some sort of rank and they are so much higher.
Das Tirol Panorama: The next day we went out to the museum housing the famous panorama painting called Die Schlacht. The museum explained the revolution of France, Napoleon’s reign, and how that affected the people of Tirol. They fought against  Napoleon’s army and won! Apart from the circular painting completely encasing you in the fight, they’re were also a lot of other artifacts describing the life back then.
After the museum we got to the Christkindl Markt, where we walked down the Märchengasse, a less crowded road decorated permanently with fairy tale characters. There’s something really great about being the type of family where something just clicks. When, even if you haven’t seen each other in years, you just run downstairs and play together from the first minute to the last. You can go away and know that next time, it’ll be the same. Innsbruck was great, but mainly so because of our time together with family. Next up is Berlin!


10 responses »

  1. Love your report, Lillian. So many of our memories came back when we read about Hall, Innsbruck, Swaroski. etc. It all sounds grand. A lovely advent time to all of you. Hugs and kisses, Oma/Opa. Much love.

  2. Lillian: You are an excellent story-teller, and I am enjoying your tales very much, especially of my favorite city, Innsbruck! It is delightful to see it over again thru the eyes of a young person.
    Thank you for your “world” stories – it is a brave and adventurous thing your family is doing for you all! Barb

    • Thank you! I enjoy writing very much, especially of foreign places I will not always have the luxury to explore. Lillian

  3. Wowwwwwww. That is so amazing! You must really be having fun, Lillian. All those places sound so great and I wish i could see them for myself. I miss you x10.
    p.s- u should kno who i am lilly billy! ilyaaf!

  4. Tell me why tour buses are daunting? I think you can be a tourist and be ‘off the beaten track’ at the same time. It’s just a matter of being comfortable with yourself. And Swarovski is worldwide renown- sure, things can be tacky, but also remember this is the first impression for lots of people, so tons of crystal everywhere you turn is meant to impress one with the different ways one can manipulate a crystal.
    Did your parents renew their vows!? That would have been super cool, as well as your sisters getting baptized, where you got baptized. (Greta was not baptized at the same church where the boys were baptized.) Do you remember that day?
    Love how it snows on your webpage! I heard the Alps are not getting the snow they have been used to. Hopefully there is more snow for a winter before your head to Asia. Be careful of all the huge bugs!!! Can you get mosquito netting at that huge warehouse you went to?!

    • I think we thought it was daunting because we expected it to be very crowded. They didn’t renew their vows, but we always go to that same balcony where they came out married. I thought the snow would be funny – a special trick from WordPress. There is a little snow here, but not much. The girls are all wishing for a White Christmas, as always. We will be careful of the big bugs (and probably decline from eating them) Lillian

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