I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Innsbruck, Austria to Zurich, Switzerland

Our train arrives into the station at Innsbruck

My view of the aisle from inside the train

Beautiful scenery from the train window
More scenery along the way

Entering Zurich on the train

Our room at the Radisson Blu

I've never seen a hotel TELL you how much they are liable for if there is theft from your hotel room safe. Wow!

This stone wall has the appearance of being woven. I didn't even see this door until Danny pointed it out to me

What I wish all chocolate milk tasted like....70% cocoa content chocolate melted in cold milk....miam, miam

The Bahnhofstrasse...the miracle mile of shopping in Zurich

Old Zurich along the riverside

Old Zurich along the riverside

Old Zurich with a McDonald's right in the middle

Our dinner restaurant, Swiss Chuchi in the Adler hotel

We ate the traditional fondue and a salad for supper. A perfect ending to our journey

Danny doing his best to enjoy the scenery despite the clouds of cigarette smoke

Our table neighbors were eating a typical swiss dish Raclette....kind of like having a hibachi at your table. They bring cheese, potatoes, tomatoes, and the meat that you choose and you cook it yourself. There is a little tray at the bottom to melt the cheese in. We didn't eat this on this trip, but maybe next time

Yet another Maserati

Old Zurich

We thought these sculptures made out of farm implements were really unique

Old Zurich

We thought this restaurant sign was funny....doesn't it just look like a fork with a vienna sausage?

Oh if only Laduree had been open!

Old Zurich in the background with more modern Zurich in the foreground

Zurich HB train station
We had a late morning train today so we slept an hour later than usual and took our time getting ready. We ate breakfast at the hotel and once again saw some very, very strange things on the buffet. There's a lot of food in this world I have never encountered and after what I have seen just on the breakfast buffet here, I'm not so sure that I want to. Our train to Zurich was delayed 20 minutes this morning which really wasn't much of a problem. Riding the train is so much easier than air travel because there is no security and you arrive for your train about 20 minutes before it departs so your wait isn't very long either. Of course I have Danny to lift the suitcases on and off the train, so you would have to ask him if he thinks it's easier or not. I thought that we would be eating lunch in the Zurich train station again, but I was mistaken. We wouldn't arrive in Zurich until after 4 so we snacked on nuts and chocolate until we got there. We are staying at the Radisson Blu Hotel at the train station. The station and the hotel are also connected to the airport so we never really have to leave the building tomorrow. After arriving in Zurich, we changed trains to a different train that would stop at the airport train station. We found the hotel in the station, dropped our bags in our room, and got right back on the train to go into the old town part of Zurich. The hotel gave us a recommendation for a restaurant that would serve authentic swiss food, but when we arrived, they said we needed a reservation to eat inside even though this was not an expensive restaurant. We knew that the smoking section was always outside, so we gritted our teeth, held our breath, and tried to choose a table outside that wasn't surrounded by smokers. The food was delicious and the fondue was better than what we ate in Luzern, but we weren't successful in avoiding the smokers and Danny left the table with a terrible sore throat. It's really a shame that sitting outside at a cafe in Europe, watching the world go by, used to be a really pleasant and fun thing to do. It's very irritating that non-smokers have to choose to sit inside where it's warm and stuffy or else suffer from respiratory irritation....grrrr. After dinner we walked through Old Zurich and walked down Bahnhofstrasse, the one mile shopping street which is very much like Michigan Avenue, aka the Magnificent Mile, in Chicago. We stopped at our favorite bakery, Sprungle, for one of those cold chocolate drinks we wished we had tried before and a dessert to eat back at the hotel. We will spend the evening packing and preparing for our trip back home tomorrow. It's been an incredible journey with family and each other. Our travel arrangements have been flawless thus far, which is a refreshing change of pace for me. I hope you have enjoyed following the blog as much as I have enjoyed recording the details and memories of my trip. Until next time....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A day in Innsbruck

Wide variety of fruits on the breakfast buffet

Someone please tell me what these things are and why oh why are they with the fruits???

I thought this was hashbrowns wrapped around cheese until I saw a little tail. Little tails mean little shrimp and this went uneaten on my plate.

Hmmmm...what kind of jam should I choose for my croissant?

Wide variety of meats and cheeses

Don't have a clue what these fishy things are and they certainly don't look very appetizing for breakfast!

Floral shops sell flowers and wreaths. I guess you would put a candle in them on the table?
View from the funicular on the way to the cable cars

Waiting to ride the cable car up the mountain

We saw this guy jump off the side of the mountain. He had such an audience, we think he might have been a little nervous and almost smashed into the side of the mountain below.

Danny enjoying the view
We hiked up to the top of this observation deck and then Danny went even further to the top of the mountain.

View of Innsbruck from the top of the mountain or at least as high as I was going to go

On the search for a quick lunch bite, not a 2 hour meal

Lunch with GIANT hot dogs

Not exactly sure why a giant tongue hanging out of a window would be considered art, but here it is!

A sign AND a lamp...lucky for me

Loved this Owl sign

Even McDonald's has an interesting sign

Amorino...the best gelato I've ever eaten!

My yummy gelato...note the beautiful flower shape. It's a trademark for this company

Danny's yummy gelato..He bought a size bigger cone and he got a baby cone on top WITH a spoon.

The River that runs through Innsbruck

The Golden Roof...a famous landmark here. Every Asian we saw was taking a picture of themselves in front of it. I think they knew more about it than we did.

Old Town Innsbruck

The churches here are just built in as part of a row of buildings instead of a stand alone structure

The Ottoburg...our dinner spot

Danny's Meal...GESCHMACKVOLLES...pan sauteed strips of chicken breasts with onions and other finely chopped vegetables, new potatoes, and baby corn
My meal...ZWIEBELROSTBRATEN...entrecote steak "Old Vienna Style" with a roasted potatoes, fried onion pieces and red wine sauce
Today was another beautiful day in Austria. We had a very interesting breakfast experience as you can see from the pictures. We have been amazed at the number of Asian tourists, both in Switzerland and here. This hotel provides not only a typical European breakfast, but also many Asian selections. It was a very varied buffet that was included in the price of the hotel room. The location for this hotel has been just perfect. It is located in the older part of Innsbruck which has made walking our main mode of transportation. We rode a funicular and a cable car up to the top of one of the mountains that surround Innsbruck. The scenery was beautiful and we walked up to the highest overlook point. Danny then hiked further up to the top of the peak. It was really neat to see Innsbruck from so high up in the air. We rode the cable car down to a point and decided to walk to the AlpenZoo which is exactly what it sounds like, a zoo with Alpine animals. We did not know that the completely downhill walk would be about 30 minutes long, but it was beautiful and shady through a wooded area. Had we rode a little further down in the cable car, the zoo would have been around the corner. The zoo was pretty neat and most of the animals were out. I enjoy zoos and I think that comes from my dad, who also loves to visit zoos. We came during dinner time so many of the animals were eating. As it was an Alpine Zoo and adapted to the terrain, we did a lot of walking uphill and then downhill. Needless to say, we had quite a walking workout today. We rode the funicular back down to the town and walked around the old city. It was about 2 o'clock and we were hungry, so we bought a “hot dog” with mustard from a stand in the old town. The meat was long and skinny, not at all like what we have at home, but very good. We walked back to the hotel to rest our weary legs for awhile. During the late afternoon, we walked back into town and really enjoyed looking at the beautiful signs located above many of the stores. They are very elaborate and made of iron. We ate gelato at Amorino, something I have wanted to try in Paris but haven't had a chance to, and it was incredible! The scoops are dipped into a flower shape. When I told the man behind the counter that I only wanted chocolate, he appeared to disapprove and told me it was a lot of chocolate and I should have other flavors with it. I relented and added Nutella ice cream, which I have to admit was very good with the chocolate. Danny had pistachio, chocolate, and coconut on his cone. It was all one scoop, but layered like a flower. Gelato as a work of art! Dinner tonight was at Ottoburg, a very old building that was once part of Innsbruck Castle. It also had a Tyrolean menu and was delicious. We almost went back to the same restaurant we went to last night because there were other things on the menu we wanted to try, but we are glad that we decided to try a different restaurant. Tomorrow we will board a train back to Zurich. We are actually looking forward to lunch and dessert in the train station in Zurich! Until then....