A crystal world in the Alps, fun on a zip line, and Baroque splendor.
Innsbruck Travel Blog› entry 2 of 15 › view all entries
I was very tired after my very long day so, I slept in. This is a common theme for me, for those of you donâ€™t know me. This sleep would help me adjust to my trip a bit better.
I got up had a leisurely breakfast in my room. I could see through the window that the sun was shining brightly. There were some clouds but they were just around to enjoy the view of the Alps. The sun was â€¦â€¦ powerful, a strength that we donâ€™t see in winter in Nederlands. I miss this!
So, once I was prepared for the day. I crossed the street from my gastof and the beautiful River Inn sparkled brilliantly as the sunâ€™s rays bounced off itâ€™s bubbling surface. I made my way out onto the bridge, taking many pics. I stopped halfway and turned to take a pic down river and the true enormity of the mountains shocked me.
In the middle of the bridge on the up river side, is a sculpture of the crucifixion. Today the sky made it a dramatic subject. Take a look at the picâ€¦..very interesting composition, if I say so, myself.
I continued on, making my through the Altstadt. Many people were out enjoying the wonderful day, tourists and locals alike.
My main focus today was going to be the Kristallwelten, Swarovskiâ€™s museum/gallery that sits next to its factory in gorgeous Wattens, Austria.
I found the location of the pick-up and shortly the bus arrived.
The journey took us past many picturesque Austrian villages, as if they would be any other way???!!!
There was one lone little church that was on an island of a small hill surrounded by a forest below and the snow covered Alps tower behindâ€¦â€¦quite a contrast.
The 25 minute ride was filled with distractions but, we had finally arrived. I could see the eyes of the Swarovski head in the distance.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Swarovski business, the Crystal Worlds Experience was created in 1995. Innovative creations by famous artists along with different rooms with unique experiences take you on a crystal voyage of your wildest dreams.
Youâ€™ll experience walls of crystals, a horse in a garment of crystals, art created using crystals by such famous people as Dali and Warhol.
There is a crystal room where you are, in essence, inside of a crystal. There is mystical music playing as colors alternate blue, green, red, and white.
Thereâ€™s even a crystal Christmas tree designed by Alexander McQueen. Also, there is a special exhibition area with a history of jewelry using Swarovski crystals. The gift shop had the items that you could find in any showroom but also, crystal sculptures priced up to 20,000 euro (30,000 dollars).
After leaving the museum/gallery, I walked the grounds and found a lookout point.
Walking back down the hill to the entrance, I saw two swing set looking thingsâ€¦â€¦but they were colored with orange and yellow decorations. As I got closer, I was thinking that it would be interesting if there was a zip line between them. After thinking thatâ€¦..I saw the line resting halfway between them. COOL! I had to do it. So, while trying to take a pictureâ€¦â€¦.I zipped from the upper tower to the lower. It went at a pretty brisk pace. I hit the stop at the bottom and it rubber-banded back to almost the halfway point. This was fun! I proceeded to do it 5 or 6 more times, videotaping , trying at least! It was a lot of fun!
I continued down the hill and exited to the parking lot. The bus would be here soon.
The bus was on time and I made the return journey talking with the guy I met from Hanover, Germany.
As we exited the bus, I wished him a good journey and he did the same to me. It was getting late and I needed to get moving to make my other museum for the day, Grassmayerâ€™s bell museum. They are the oldest bell foundry in Austria, founded in 1599. The same family still runs it.
I crossed the horse shoe shaped Altstadt to the Innerstadt to get to Maria Teresien Strasse, which runs the length of the city form the river to the ski jump on the opposing mountains.
I walked and walked and walked.
After a good 20 minute walkâ€¦.at my crazy pace, and I was there but, the two churches were in sight, as well. I was concerned that the light my have faded by the time I exited so, I continued on to the churches. They are both of Baroque splendorâ€¦.I canâ€™t resist!
The first, Stift Wilten, founded around 1138, was a small timber structure with surrounding huts. The church was rebuilt in the 1300â€™s in an early Gothic style. In 1651, the Baroque church that we currently see, was begun. Of particular importance is the late Gothic crucifix, with real hair (around 1510) had remained intact when the church collapsed in 1644, so it enjoyed great respect among the people.The altarpiece behind the cross shows Mount Cavalry and the city of Jerusalem.
Then quickly I crossed the street to the other, Basilika Mariae Empfangnis in Wilten, the most famous Rococo church in Tyrol. It is classic in its extreme decoration. It is colorful and expressive. These are some of the reasons that I have a fascination with Rococo. It shows so much emotion.
The sun is setting, I race back to the bell museum, the gate is locked. I think I missed my chance so, I walked into Grassmayerâ€™s shop and was looking around. The attendant greeted me and asked if I wanted to see the museum. I asked if I had enough timeâ€¦.she said that she would stay open until I finished. SOâ€¦.I got to see it. That was so nice of her.
The museum (5 euro) is actually a combination of museum, foundry, and sound room.
The Grassmayr family has been casting bells for the whole world for 14 generations. It has 400 years of experience, history and tradition to build upon. In the casting hall, bell forms of loam are modelled in accord with the age-old customs of traditional craftsmanship.
In the shop I bought a small grassmayer bell, very nicely made but, I would expect nothing less. The sound it createsâ€¦â€¦reverberates for quite a length of timeâ€¦.quality.
Back out into the coldâ€¦now colder as the sun had set.
On my walk back to the Innerstadt, I was checking out different food options as I was quite hungry.
I stopped at a little cafĂ© near the Golden Daschl. I had a fantastic potatoe soup with brown bread, a piece of apple strudel, and a glass of Austrian while wine. It was a delicious meal and the atmosphere was casual and warmâ€¦.very nice, CafĂ© Mieze Schindler.
Full stomach, I was ready for continuous warmth. I needed to pack and get to sleep early. Tomorrow, country # 60, would be Liechtenstein.
But, first I stopped on the bridge and with the clear sky, I was able to get a fantastic picture of the houses lit along the river and the station lit high up on the Alps. Wow!
Back in the roomâ€¦.a bit of blog and an episode of True Blood and I called it a night.