Friday, April 29, 2016

(Europe Sep 2015) Day 12: Visit Innsbruck (Austria) and Mittenwald (Germany),

Day 12 (14 Sep 2015): Visit Innsbruck (Austria) and Mittenwald (Germany). Stay at Munich

This day's schedule:
0845-1020 Walked around Innsbruck
1200 Check out of hotel
1238-1335 Innsbruck to Mittenwald via REX train (train delayed by about 8mins)
1340-1530 Visit Mittenwald
1536-1726 Mittenwald to Munich via train, with a short transfer at Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1730-1740 Walked to our hotel
1740-1830 Took a short break at our hotel room
1830-1900 Walked from our hotel to Augustiner-Keller
1900-2030 Dinner at Augustiner-Keller
2030-2100 Walked from Augustiner-Keller back to our hotel

Back in my school days, the Chalet School series (which consists of about 60+ titles) by authoress Elinor M Brent-Dyer was my favourite book series. 
Even though the series was already out-of-print and I could only purchase the books from secondhand book stores and ebay, but I was able to collect about 50+ books from this series (I'm only a few more titles short of completing my collection)   :)  
The story was based on a fictitious school in Austria and the students of the school often visited Innsbruck for school excursions.  

Therefore, for this Europe trip, I planned to do a short stopover at Innsbruck to visit the town where I've read so much about in the books. 

From our hotel just outside Innsbruck train station, it's a short walk (about 15mins I think) to the famous Golden Roof building in the middle of town.

McDonald's in the old town section of Innsbruck
 Since most shops were not opened yet (including the tourist information office), so I had to use the toilet at McDonald's instead since I couldn't really find any other public toilet that's available at this early hour since the tourist information office is not opened yet.

Golden Roof
 I've read about the Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl) at Innsbruck in the book series, therefore this is 1 place which I felt like I had to visit. 
The Golden Roof is located in the old town (Altstadt) section of Innsbruck and was supposedly completed in the year 1500. 

Cafe Sacher
 Cafe Sacher have a number of outlets and they are famous for their Sachertorte (Sacher cake) which is a kind of Chocolate cake made of apricot jam and dark chocolate icing and usually eaten with whipped cream.  

We bought Schnitzel burgers from a cafe before returning to the hotel. The burgers were good :)

While we were buying some souvenirs (we usually buy small magnets for our fridge during our travels abroad), the souvenir shop owner informed us that Germany temporarily imposed border control the previous night due to the influx of Syrian refugees. Therefore, I was pretty concerned as to whether we will be able to enter Germany today since we had already booked an afternoon train heading into Germany.
So we headed back to our hotel (since we still had a little time before having to check out) to use the hotel's wifi to look up information online regarding this situation.

Luckily, the affected route was more of from Vienna towards Munich, and since we are on a different route (Innsbruck towards Munich), so we are not affected by this. 

Our hotel (Hotel ibis) located just in front of Innsbruck train station (the "OBB" building).

Inside Innsbruck train station.
 From Innsbruck, it is just a short 1hr train ride to the village of Mittenwald at Germany.  This is also the same train route you'd take if you were to travel towards Munich.

My special order, plain Schnitzel burger.

We ate the burgers which we bought from the cafe at Innsbruck during this train ride.

The information panel onboard the train.  Very useful for foreign travellers.

Lockers at Mittenwald train station.  

Mittenwald train station.
Mittenwald is a town famous for the manufacture of violins, violas and cellos, as well as the intricately painted walls on the exterior of the buildings in the town. 
If you have some time to spare, and are travelling from Innsbruck to Munich (or vice versa), Mittenwald is a nice place to stopover for a few hours like what we did.  If you have more time, you could consider staying overnight at either Mittenwald or nearby Garmisch-Partenkirchen town that's just a few more stops away by train.

You can reach this main street where most of the shops/restaurants are located with just a 5mins walk away from Mittenwald train station.

Check out the low clouds at the background. 

Back at Mittenwald train station to catch our train to Munich

We used these machines to buy our train tickets to Munich

Check out the clouds 

Here are some random scenery taken from during our train ride towards Munich.

Finally arrived at Munich safely.  We were initially concerned about the situation at Munich train station after watching the news about the influx of Syrian refugees, but by the time we arrived at Munich, it seemed the police had the situation under control and we didn't encountered any problems making our way to our hotel.


The cordoned off area at Munich's train platform area for the refugees

We saw a number of police vans outside the train station.

It was business as usual at Munich train station, everything seemed normal to us.
After about 10mins walk from Munich train station, we finally arrived at our hotel.  There's no air-conditioning, and the toilet and shower room is shared. Oh well, since the hotel rates are so pricey (since it is near Oktober fest period) and that we will be checking out of the hotel early (like 4am) the next morning, so we didn't want to spend too much on accommodations for this short overnight stay. 

Since we have already visited the main town area at Munich during our previous trip (plus we were really hungry and tired after our long day today), so we decided to just head out to find a place for dinner before calling it a night.

For dinner, we visited Augustiner-Keller (about 10mins walk from Munich station, and about 20mins walk from our hotel since it is located on the opposite side of the train station) and we enjoyed the atmosphere and food (and of course the beer too). 
Of course, many first time travellers to Munich will probably want to visit Hofbrauhaus which is a famous place for beer, but after our previous visit back in 2007, we find that place a tad too touristy, and so I decided to go to Augustiner-Keller on this trip instead of Hofbrauhaus. 
Arriving at Augustiner-Keller

Inside Augustiner-Keller.

Our dinner consists of Pork Knuckle, Schnitzel, a beer, and a coke. 
Altogether, the dinner costs us about 38 Euros.

My husband had Pork Knuckles (it was good)
I had Schnitzel (I liked this too)
Something interesting happened after dinner when we were just about to leave the restaurant. 
 A couple (sorry, I forgot where they were from) noticed that my husband and I are Asians, and asked if we could speak Cantonese.  Because they were seated next to a guy from Hong Kong who was travelling alone and he looked like he could use some company for awhile. especially since everyone else in the restaurant seemed like they came with friends/companions.  
We gladly obliged and so we went over to his table and said hi to the guy and have a nice little chat with him in a mixture of English and Cantonese. 
It's always fun to chat with fellow travellers when we go abroad. :)  
The skies have already turned dark by the time we finished our dinner. 

After dinner, we just headed back to our hotel and had an early night since we had to wake up really early to catch the 1st train to Prague the next morning.

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