Things we did between Innsbruck and Neuschwanstein | In September last year we went for a trip to Southern Germany and parts of Austria. Our base camp was the Landhotel Huberhof in Schwangau. From there we visited
- Castle Neuschwanstein and the nearby city of Füssen
- “Alpentherme Ehrenberg” – a public pool in Reutte (Austria)
- Zugspitze – highest mountain in this part of the Alps: 2,962m/9,718ft
Actually, our tour also included Munich. But we won’t go into detail here. We dedicated a separate blog post to Munich. Take a look here if you want -> Things we did in Munich.
Let’s start with Innsbruck in Austria – a major tourist hub in summer and winter. The city had a great deal to offer. Of course a walk thru the old town was our first thing to do. We passed by a small Arc de Triomphe (yes, it was looking like that one from the Champs-Elysee in Paris). We took Maria-Thersien Street towards St. Anne’s Column and the Chapel of St. George. We also found a balcony with a golden roof. Telling from the crowd this was something special. Later, Google told us: the “Goldenes Dachl” (Golden Roof) is Innsbruck’s most famous landmark. It was constructed in the year 1500. All the fuzz is actually about one particular roof on top of a balcony on the second floor. And what appears to be gold is actually just fire-gilded copper tiles. Still it really looked expensive :)
For those of you interested shiny glass: Swarovski calls Innsbruck home. The company runs a flag ship store in the old town and a pretty impressive exhibition centre just outside of Innsbruck (“Swarovski-Kristallwelten”). When planning your visit to the Swarovski-Kristallwelten, make sure you got enough spending power in your wallet. A ticket costs whopping 19 Euros per person.
“A diamond for everyone” was Daniel Swarovski’s vision when he established his glass cutting factory in Wattens, near Innsbruck in 1895. Nowadays, the Swarovski Group includes four different branches. “Signity” is the branch dealing with natural and synthetic gemstones. That’s what the ladies have in mind when talking about Swarovski. But there is more. “Swareflex” produces reflective and luminous road markings, “Swarovski Optics” produces binoculars and rifle scopes, “Tyrolit” makes abrasive and cutting tools.
Almost 200 years after a dude called Josef Naus climbed the Zugspitze, it was our turn. We choose to take the Tyrolean Cable Car instead of walking all the way up like Josef did. But every day, some people indeed do this. It takes between seven to ten hours. Since 2000, there is even an annual Zugspitze Extreme Mountain Run. During one of these runs in 2008 there were repercussions in the regional mass media when two participants died of exhaustion and hypothermia.
Alpentherme Ehrenberg in Reutte
We think, the thermal spa “Alpentherme Ehrenberg” in Reutte is an amazing place to relax. As mentioned earlier, we did tackle this region in Mid September. The outside temperatures were quite chilly already. When arriving in Reutte, the local weather was dry but windy at approx. 15 degrees celsius (59 Fahrenheit). That’s why it felt extra good to swim in the warm outdoor pool! We spent time in several different saunas and an ice bath. It was wonderful.
One day we spent in and near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We got a lot of mountain, some countryside and a bit of city. Garmisch-Partenkirchen was the site of the 1936 Winter Olympics. The city was small enough to give us that “Bavarian feel” we were looking for. Sooorry, we are just tourists :D Nevertheless it had enough restaurants and shops. Apart from that we were happy to skip the stress of trying to find parking, since it was free in most places. The one thing that really wowed us that day was our hike thru a nearby gorge: Partnachklamm – incised by an impressive mountain stream. The gorge is only 702 metres (2,303 ft) long but in some places, over 80 metres (260 ft) deep. Our advise for you: bring backup shoes and clothes! You might have to change your gear after visiting Partnachklamm. No matter which time of the year you go there: it will be wet and cold!
Where to stay between Innsbruck and Neuschwanstein
The Landhotel Huberhof in Schwangau was our home base for a solid week. We paid approx. $100 per day for a classic double room with country style decor and a balcony. Some happy cows and horses were grazing right in front of the restaurant. We did walk from the hotel to Castle Neuschwanstein within 1 hour. Perfect!
In case you prefer Innsbruck as your base, check out the following properties:
Things we did between Innsbruck and Neuschwanstein. By Chili & Chirp | © International Destinations | Read more about Germany here -> German Gems.