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.
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.
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!