Majestic mountains, amazing hosts and a magical and memorable wedding – Innsbruck, Austria Part 3 -Road trip
Onwards to the 3rd part of this 3 week road trip after camping in France and five days in the Swiss Alps. We will be going to the first new country for us on this trip. We were also very excited about seeing friends from all over the world who were coming to celebrate the wedding of two very special people –Altamash and Marlene. The journey continues 🙂
In Europe you can expect to drive through three countries in less than half an hour
The drive from Zurich to Innsbruck takes only 3 hours, but we took a detour through Liechtenstein. We heard some random interesting facts about this country – that it is the richest (by measure of GDP per capita) country in the world and that the number of companies registered here is greater than the entire population. It is only 62 square miles, so needless to say we were in and out of here in no time. We stopped to take a picture of Schloss Vaduz and then we were on our way to the 3rd country that day.
Longest Road Tunnel in Austria and nicest Rest Stop!
We must have driven through more than a dozen tunnels including the Arlberg Road Tunnel which is 13,976 metres. It really felt like we were in it forever! In Austria to drive on the motorway, we had to buy a 10 day Vignette which cost €8.50. We took a break at this random road station which turned out to be the nicest rest stop ever – amazing play area, lovely restaurant and gorgeous views all around.
Picking fruits right outside our window, our wonderful stay in lovely Ampass
Upon arrival to Ampass, just outside Innsbruck, we were shown to where we were staying -Marlene’s Uncle’s house- which was the loveliest place ever surrounded by all kind of fruit trees -apricot, pear, damsel berries and apple trees. Our host, one of the most amazing woman we have ever met, had stocked up the house with all kinds of goodies, from organic pasta, sauce, biscuits, chocolates, to local honey from her own Apiary(she has 15+ beehives!!) to organic rice, lentils and Ayurvedic Ghee!! We are so lucky and cannot express how appreciative we are to have received such warm generous hospitality 🙂 The kids were delighted, had so much fun picking apricots and exploring the garden and neighbourhood.
The next day there was a tea party at the brides parents home and once again we were blown away by our host’s amazing garden where she grew all kinds of vegetables, fruits and flowers. They also had the coolest hammock and green room. Anyone who knows us knows how much Ashique and I love all things organic, home grown, garden, and the cakes she made were divine 🙂 It was lovely meeting all the Austrian family plus our own Bengali clan who had arrived from Bangladesh, America and England. I love intercultural marriages, this is the 2nd one we got to attend in one month, read about our Punjabi-English wedding here, great fun!
Castles, Churches, local history and a beautiful wedding
Innsbruck is one of those places where you are just awestruck by the sheer dramatic contrast of the majestic mountains all around the city at the bottom of the valley. It is the capital of Tyrol in western Austria, close to Salsburgh and the only city that had hosted the winter Olympics twice.
Two of the things we really enjoyed here were visiting the Castle Scholl Ambras and walking around the old town, where one can admire its famous landmarks like the Golden Dome, enjoy coffee and ice cream from the many cafes and restaurants around the old town. We had dinner at Stiftskeller, good food and beer, great environment. Most things quite expensive so happy to say all other meals were part of the wedding festivities and what we cooked at home 🙂
Thanks to the wedding and reception venues, we got to visit two very special places – the mediaval town of Hall which was very important for salt mining, has churches and castles going back to 13th century. Lot of history here! The Reception took place at Grünwalderhof Hotel in Patsch and the views from here were simply stunning.
The night finally ended at 4am with lot of singing, dancing and laughter, followed by a hangover day of home made bengali food (cooked by Ashique of course) -‘kichuri’ and ‘dim bhaji’, fire spinning and bangali austrian folk mingling and ‘adda’. Truly a very enjoyable and memorable wedding indeed 🙂
We set off for our next travel destination – Lake Bled, Slovenia – driving through one of the most scenic and famous drives in Europe, which leads to the highest mountain in Austria –Glossglockner Alpine Road. Blog on that next with some stunning images of glaciers, marmots, and the crazy winding roads we drove through to get to our next destination!