The Austrian city of Innsbruck was as beautiful as always, full of history and picturesque coloured buildings, bisected by the lovely Inn River and surrounded by majestic mountains.
The approach to the airport is worth mentioning: a stunning vista of snow-capped peaks either side of the aircraft for a good 15 minutes before landing.
On the second day we took a short train trip to Rattenberg, passing pretty Tyrolean villages dotting the hillside before reaching the smallest town in Austria, with about 400 inhabitants. It remains almost untouched from medieval times, was once the centre of copper and silver mining but when that ended centuries ago it ‘fell asleep’ therefore preserving the town just as it was.
The next day we visited the Swarovski Museum in Wattens, you definitely don’t need to be a devotee of Swarovski jewellery to marvel at the exhibits.
There are rooms upon rooms of exquisite, fascinating installations from a huge crystal dome that you stand inside for an 'other worldly’ experience complete with changing coloured lighting and specially composed music, to coloured crystal ‘forests’, shimmering floor-to-ceiling chandeliers, solid crystal walls, fashion items and also artworks by Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.
Outside in the grounds are more installations including beautiful crystal ‘clouds’ poised above water and sparkling in the sunlight.
Back in Innsbruck we sampled the varied cuisines of the many restaurants, lingered in cafes and just enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and scenery of this wonderful place.
Till next time…