The day had come for us to cross the border from Germany into Austria. We woke up in a cosy, heated house and stepped out into (literally) freezing conditions. It was at that point that we realised we hadn’t quite prepared ourselves for how cold it was going to get so we went back inside, put on 17 more layers, said our goodbyes and headed on our way.
The drive from Rothenburg to Innsbruck was one of the longer journeys at three and a half hours but it was definitely the most scenic. Just before we arrived at the border crossing, the Alps came into view and towered over the roads, making everything around them seem so small and powerless. I’m pretty sure we made Jordan’s life hell shouting “wow, look at that” and “that looks amazing” when he didn’t dare take his eyes off of the road. If I wasn’t jealous of him doing all of the driving before, I definitely wasn’t now.
After making our way up the side of a mountain for what felt like forever, we eventually reached the hotel we had booked for our night in Innsbruck. We were shown to our amazing room and were blown away by how nice it was for the price that we paid. It was the largest hotel room we had stayed in so far and had a wooden balcony with an incredible mountain view. However, the main plus had to be finally having a kettle in our room. We had been carting around little German Pot Noodles for when we had a craving for food (which was always) and couldn’t afford to eat out or order room service. None of the other places we had stayed in had a kettle which is so strange to us English folk who are used to having one in every room. To say we were happy that we could finally have a midnight snack was an understatement!
Once we had messaged the family back home to let them know that we had arrived safely, we headed out to explore the surroundings. Being half way up a mountain meant that we had absolutely stunning views all around and it was hard not to stop every 30 seconds to admire them and take a quick photo.
We ended up being a 5 minute walk away from the Olympic Bobsleigh track which was pretty interesting to have a look around. Right next to that was a small ski slope. To be completely honest, I’ve never been interested in skiing and people seem to find this very amusing when I tell them that we’re moving to Austria.
After spending a couple of hours exploring and being WAY too amused when the wind blew snow off of the trees and straight on to our heads (OK, maybe that was just me…it’s a lot more fun than it sounds), we headed back to the hotel. Since the hotel had a wood-burner in the lobby, we decided to sit down there and “happily” accepted a free shot to warm us up. The reason I put “happily” in inverted commas is that I did “happily” accept the free shot but only because I misunderstood “would you like a free shot?” as “would you like a free sweet?” I guess that gives you a pretty good idea of the type of person I am…
For anyone planning on driving through Austria and have not done so before – you need something called a Vignette sticker on your car in order to drive on their Autobahns and other large roads. You can buy these in petrol stations and you have a choice of how long they last. We were given the option of buying one that lasted either 10 days, 2 months or 1 year. We ended up buying the 10 day sticker which was €15, just in case (touch wood) something happened that meant we had to leave Austria.