As soon as we rolled into the town on Innsbruck, I fell in love!
Travel from Interlaken to Innsbruck was a breeze, nothing to report here. Curt and I had packed a classic snackie lunch of bread, cheese, and sausage for the long train ride, and settled in for the journey. We pulled into the train station in Innsbruck in the afternoon. We tucked in to our little Airbnb flat near Old Town in Innsbruck. Hungry, we google map searched local restaurants.
Travel Tip: add local to your google search for restaurants, and the google will scan for any mention of the word local. You'll get places that are locally owned or reviewers say things like, "local favorite" or "locals go here". We like places that get tagged as "local" so you get a better sense of a place and its people. When you hang out at places that only attract tourists, you don't truly get to know the heart of the place.
We went to Gasthaus Anich. Big Statement Alert! This was the best meal we had in all of our travels through Europe. WOAH!
We went in embarrassingly early, because we had only snacked throughout the day and didn't have a real meal. We went in at like 5:30. Most of Europeans don't eat until at least 7pm (closer to 8 or 9 in France). Curt got a beer and I ordered an Aperol Spritz. We ordered soups to start, the most delicious, flavorful beef consomme with dumpling filled with spek (bacon). Then for dinner I had wienerschnitzel with Austrian potato salad (vinegary yet creamy) and Curt had roschti. It was one of those meals where literally every bite, we couldn't help but audibly "yumm". And this is how I fell in love with Austria!
We did some walking around in Old Town Innsbruck. We saw the Goldenes Dachl (the Golden Roof), which Emperor Maximilian 1 had made in 1500 for his wedding to Bianca Maria Sforza. We saw several ornate buildings and churches dating back to the 1500's and 1600's. Very cool.
Innsbruck was so neat with its colorful buildings along the Inn River. In the middle of Old Town was a main thoroughfare that was pedestrian traffic only. There were tons of restaurants that had outdoor seating down the middle and the sides of the main street. We would walk and work, then get a spritzer or snack at one of these outdoor spots. The people watching was awesome! Austrians have a punk-ish style to them, at least in Innsbruck. (There's also a University of Innsbruck so it could have been more liberal or have more young people than other places.) Almost everyone had tattoos. Lots of women had short hair cuts. There were plenty of facial piercings and cut off t-shirts. I mean, even moms pushing strollers had tattoos and dyed hair. I felt right at home here! I loved the independent, give-no-hucks style. And everyone was plenty nice!
Austria was the one place where we heard little English. Everyone greeted us in German, and we unfortunately, not knowing any German really, had to ask if English was okay. Which of course it was; almost everyone speaks English. But it was as cool to be in a place where English was secondary. We learned that when people greet you at a restaurant and ask what you'd like, they say "bitte", which literally means please. "Bitte" and "Entschuldigung" were our go to phrases: "please" and "apologies"!