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Friday, November 07, 2008

Lunch in Innsbruck

We left Munich via train heading to Verona, Italy, for the next leg of our trip. It is about a five and a half hour passage that chugs up the Alps, through the Brenner Pass and glides back down the other side, with some of the most picturesque scenery you could expect from a rail journey.

We wanted to break the trip up a bit, so we left the train in Innsbruck, Austria, for a few hours. Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol, hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic Games. Looking out from the city in one direction you see amazing mountain peaks. The other direction you look up at the Olympic ski jump.

It was a pretty warm day for Innsbruck in November and the nearby mountains did not have the snow that I had expected to see, although some of the other Alps we passed on the train journey already were covered. Innsbruck is a beautiful, compact city that is a good walking town. There was quite a bit of construction going on in the core of the city, but we navigated around to stop into several shops, take in a few of the sites -- including the Golden Roof in the old town section of the city-- and enjoy a meal.

We stopped for lunch at the Goldenes Dachl Gasthaus, which is right off the main square. We were seated quickly and soon had beverages and food in front of us. I had a steak with fried onions and spatzel, Sandy had a traditional Tyrolian dish of hunks of ham and potatoes with a fried egg on top, while Brhea repeated her meal from the Spatenhaus with pumpkin soup and wiener schnitzel.

My beer choice was a half liter of Zillertal Zwicklbier. This "fresh" beer is traditionally non-filtered and is often the "house" beer of the brewery, meant to be consumed quickly. The Zillertal Zwicklbier I tried was bright gold and had a nice effervescence. It was on the hoppy side of a pilsner and really went nice with lunch.

After we toured a little longer is was back on the train to head to Italy. We all agreed that Innsbruck certainly deserved more time, but we were glad we decided to make the time to at least get a first taste on this visit.

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