Innsbruck was one of those cities that I had heard about but had never given much thought. Since our vacation was going to take us through Austria we decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to stop into the town that we had heard so much about.
Innsbruck is the capital of the Tyrol region of Austria and is located between the German and Italian borders and they are famous for their winter sports but most of all their Christmas markets.
The first thing we noticed was how much cooler it was in Innsbruck compared to Italy. We immediately had to change into warmer clothes before heading out to see the sights. It is impressive how views of the alps from almost any point in the city.
Our hotel was right downtown so we were able to walk down and see the sights and enjoy a beautiful afternoon in Innsbruck. We saw the Arch de Triomphe and headed down to see the Golden Roof! The walk down the main road from the Arch to the Golden Roof is filled with amazing shops and filled with terraces and coffee shops and restaurants. It is almost as much fun to enjoy the walk than getting to the final destination.
We made our way to the Imperial Gardens and let Nathan run out some steam. There was no playground for him to play with but we did find a giant chess game going on, which was pretty fascinating all on it's own. We also found an entire family of ducks which were very friendly and very accustomed to being fed.
Since Nathan is obsessed with horses we took a horse and carriage ride through the city center. It was nice since it had started raining and we were in a nice covered carriage, but the tour was 100% in German - which we don't speak. We didn't have a clue as to what we were looking at or what the girl was saying but Nathan was having a great time just being so close to the horses, so it was a win-win.
The area of Tyrol is known for it's hams and sausages - of which Nathan is a connoisseur. He loves anything having to do with ham so when we would pass the Speckerias (stores that served nothing like ham) he was in heaven. For dinner - there was no doubt that we would be eating at one of these lovely restaurants. The ham was truly delicious and more than I thought we could have ever eaten! It is definitely a must try in Tryol! I know you are not supposed to eat this kind of meats while pregnant, but I'm a firm believer of everything in moderation.
I couldn't have visited Innsbruck without stopping into one of their Christmas stores - since it is what they are known for. The store was amazing filled with room after room of Christmas and Easter decorations. I wanted to bring them all home with me and set up my Christmas tree in August! They are most known for these eggshell ornaments which are all handcrafted and hand painted. There were hundreds of different kinds and all so beautiful. I couldn't resist the urge and bought a gorgeous egg that will adorn our tree this year.
We also discovered that the Swarovski Crystals are mined right outside of Innsbruck and you can tour the World of Swarovski! What girl doesn't love sparkly things? And so, on our way out of town we decided to take a small detour!
The place was unbelievable and it is incredible to see the things that they have created using these gems (are they gems?). The museum was fun, but not very baby friendly with lots of stairs and dark rooms. Since Nathan was such a trooper and didn't complain about the tour we decided to let him run around on the playground that they had there. This playground was definitely the one with the most amazing view of all. I was happy because Cornel bought me a small surprise for my birthday while at the store! And what girl doesn't want a Swarovski straight from the factory?