Day 9 was hectic from the moment we woke up. Well, it wasn’t any different to the other days except during the earlier 8 days, we travelled over thousands of kilometres between four different countries (England, France, Switzerland and Italy). And on day 9 alone we would be travelling through three (3) different countries with:
- 🇮🇹 breakfast in Venice, Italy
- 🇦🇹 lunch in Innsbruck, Austria
- 🇩🇪 dinner in Munich, Germany
All in a day’s travel! How about that?! That right there is the beauty of Europe. Anyhow, the drive on Day 9 started early as usual, with Matt and Zoltan keen to avoid traffic in all three countries. However it was not to be, due to inclement weather along the way, it slowed us down- didn’t stop our tour in anyway. As we travelled further away from Venice and closer to the the Austrian border, the weather, landscape and chalets/buildings started changing; it was getting cooler and started raining too.
In the Austrian alpines, specifically Gries am Brenner (Brenner Pass), it started to snow. What a welcome into Austria! Everywhere was a sea of white; everything – both man-made and natural – was covered in snow! Picture a Christmas glass snowball; felt like we were in one – with snow falling all around us. An actual winter wonderland, it was mesmerising, spectacular and amazing to watch. Especially for us, being from the tropics and never experienced snowfall like this 🙂.
Driving through snow is not easy and is tricky, especially with lots of traffic: there were cars, coaches, trucks, etc of different sizes and shapes. Although the snowfall slowed them down, it did not stop them, especially the bigger ones. The snow definitely did not stop Zoltan our driver, just made him drive slower and more carefully as he manoeuvred the coach skilfully up and then down the pass into Innsbruck.
Never mind that our travel was delayed and the tour schedule thrown for remainder of the day, that snow experience was one-in-a-million, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
It stopped snowing before we left the alpines; and was just raining as we made our way into Innsbruck:
Innsbruck, capital of Austria’s western state of Tyrol, is a city in the Alps that’s long been a destination for winter sports. Innsbruck is also known for its Imperial and modern architecture. The Nordkette funicular, with futuristic stations designed by architect Zaha Hadid, climbs up to 2,256m from the city center for skiing in winter and hiking or mountaineering in warmer months.Google
Like all other European cities, its full of history, art, food and jewellery shops! And it’s beautiful too. We didn’t get to see most of that but we got to taste authentic Austrian food and also visited the Swarovski store in town for some window shopping 😅. Further, while lunching, we saw a Christmas tree been planted in the town square – how cute 🥰
That short lunch stop in Innsbruck was just to sample Austria, and what a sweet one it was….I fell in love with Austria more – I’m a mad fan of Sound of Music, so yeah! I guess, we just didn’t see enough of Austria to knock Switzerland & Venice off the top of my list of favorite places whilst on tour 🤔 and as much as I would’ve loved to stay on, we had to continue on🙂. So by 3pm we were back on the coach, off to our next stop, Munich Germany. Auf wiedersen Austria!
In the coach, much to our delight, Matt our tour leader was all set and dressed up in his German wear. That set the pace for the rest of the afternoon on the coach. At some point we were singing and dancing; I couldn’t find the videos or I would have posted some 😆. Due to delays earlier in the day – getting into Munich in late afternoon traffic proved tough, but we got there by 6pm.
Guteng Tag, Munich! Another beautiful European city:
Munich, Bavaria’s capital, is home to centuries-old buildings and numerous museums. The city is known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and its beer halls, including the famed Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1589. In the Altstadt (Old Town), central Marienplatz square contains landmarks such as Neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall), with a popular glockenspiel show that chimes and reenacts stories from the 16th century.Google
In Munich, we walked to Marienplatz “(en: Mary’s Square, i.e. St. Mary, Our Lady’s Square) is a central square in the city center of Munich, Germany. It has been the city’s main square since 1158…” – Wikipedia
There was an optional tour however we opted out and decided to do our own – which basically consisted of window shopping and buying more souvenirs, as most of the shops were still open. After an hour or so we all met up again at the central square for dinner, which wasn’t to far from there, a German beerhall/theatre! Iberl Buhne looked like a favorite place with locals and tourists, as there was a line to get inside. For a midweek night, the place was crowded, however as our booking had been done in advance, we didn’t have to wait long for our dinner, which was typical German food – sausages, sauerkraut, potato, chicken and so on – it was lovely. I enjoyed the food.
After dinner, we boarded the coach for the trip to our transit accommodation, Azzimut Hotel, for some much needed rest after an eventful day. Day 9, what a whirlwind of a day it was 🇮🇹🇦🇹🇩🇪