Friday, January 25, 2013

Above the Clouds in Austria

We woke up in Innsbruck and didn't really have much planned for the day.
I've mentioned that this was a relaxed trip and we were probably remiss in our pre-trip planning.

Little did I know that THIS was what the day held in store for us!

I realize it's not a great picture.  But, I had to include it.
My eyes are closed because my smile is SO big.  I am bursting with joy.

On this day, we ventured up above the clouds and to the top of the world! 

With not much on the agenda, we wandered around the old city a bit
and followed a map to the base of the funicular that I had read about briefly.

We found this little station with an electronic ticket booth.
After trying to decipher the German we purchased two tickets to somewhere.

We really were just flying by the seat of our pants with not a clue what we were doing. 

We quickly realized that this was not your average ride up a hill.
The city of Innsbruck was soon spread out below us in all its beauty.
And up we went.

We got to the top and found another ticket booth.  This time for a gondola ride even further "up." 
I thought we'd gone far enough but TE quickly purchased tickets before I had time to consider what was in store.

I think I've mentioned my fear of heights.
And the fact that everyone else had on full ski gear, should have been a clue.

And UP we went!  Soon there was snow, lots and lots of snow.
And then it was foggy and cloudy. 

Up.  Up. UP!

And then suddenly, we were actually above the clouds and in the sun!

I get butterflies just thinking about it!  It was so fantastic and so unexpected!
And I was so amazed that I forgot I was afraid!

When we got to the top we hopped off and found ourselves at a full-on Ski Chalet at the top of a 
This was a mountain that from below we didn't even know was there because it was hidden in the clouds. 

There were tons of people taking off down the slopes.  TE took another ride up even higher!
I was content to stay at the chalet and be amazed with the sites (and visit the Ice Bar). 

What amazing views! I've never seen anything like it!
There we kids learning on the bunny slopes and
adventurers heading straight down the mountain on more adventurous trails.
(Innsbruck has hosted not one, but two Winter Olympics.)

Obviously, we weren't exactly dressed for a day on the slopes.
But we weren't the only ones in jeans with a camera who had just come for an explore. 

We had a beer at the chalet and spent some time people watching and taking everything in.
I wish the camera could capture the entire experience.  I just don't have the words.



We could not wipe the smiles off of our faces. 
What a fantastic surprise to stand above the clouds and see the world spread out before you.

After some time relishing the experience, 
we reluctantly decided to head back down to the real world. 
We hopped back on the the gondola basking in the joy of an amazing experience.  

Since the sun was starting to set, the gondola was packed with tired skiers in full gear.
There was the faint sent of cold, body odor filling the air.

About 3 minutes into the ride, I was awakened from my revery by my husband yelping "Owww!" very loudly!
And the sound of a man yelling "Oyyy!" and then fussing, vehemently in German. 

I looked at TE and he was pissed!

I followed his gaze down, down, down to see the red cheeks of a precocious toddler
looking up at TE with blatant challenge all over his face. 
 The three year old skier was apparently annoyed with the close proximity and
had just stomped on TE's foot with his full-metal toe ski boot!


TE was so not amused and scowled back at the little tyke accepting the challenge.
The parents apologized, tutted and scolded the little monster, glancing nervously at TE's not-amused face.  

I, of course, made the mistake of giggle-snorting which made TE even more angry!

The rest of the trip consisted of TE fuming,
the toddler twitching to stomp that big foot just once more, 
the parents trying desperately to convince him not to
and me trying not to wet myself laughing.

And once again, I forgot that I was afraid of heights.  

Best. Day. EVER!


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  1. Beautiful Selena! I live in Switzerland now and yet, even so, every time I take a trip up into the mountains, I feel spellbound. It is truly an amazing experience especially for a flatlander from Illinois.

  2. Beautiful Selena! I live in Switzerland now and yet, even so, every time I take a trip up into the mountains, I feel spellbound. It is truly an amazing experience especially for a flatlander from Illinois.

  3. WOW!!!! Goodness Selina, I'd have been blown away too!!! I love snow, I love mountains, and I love to be on top of the world, although like you I'd have been exploring in jeans, I'm no skier. Thank you so much for sharing these incredible images, and thank you too for the get well wishes, thankfully I'm on the mend :)

  4. Amazing photos! How cool to be above the clouds and sun, no wonder you forgot your fear. Glad you had the best day EVER. Those days when you have no expectations of what will happen and not much on the agenda are pretty incredible. As always, I am loving following along on your travels. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Oh my GOODNESS! What amazing photos and what serendipity!

  6. So beautiful, thanks for sharing. :)

  7. Wow, what a magical, incredible day!! I'm also terrified of heights, well I used to be. I haven't tested that since I jumped off a 100m tower free fall. I think I might like to visit Innsbruck!!

  8. Selena, these photos are absolutely breath taking, I have missed your blog so much, I've been busy with work and unpacking and I haven't been able to hop over as much as I would like... Do you mind sharing with me how you get the option at the top of your blog to click on "Home/About Me/Why Travel/A short Story/Macro Photos/Contact Me"... how do you set that up? I've always wondered that and I've never been able to figure that out on my blog, I've also wondered how you link up a "Pin it" and a "Face book"... I know you're busy, so just get b ack to me if you can... I'm in London again next month, It's just a short Spring Break visit, but I plan on enjoying every minute of my England trip ... and loving up on my Cockney!

  9. I love your face in the photo where you are gripping the pole! Classic. But really, that looks like an absolutely stunning day! How cool to be above the clouds! So glad you could enjoy it. x

  10. You may feel your camera and words were inadequate to capture the experience, but I felt as if I was right there with you!

    I've been above the clouds a couple times with where I live, but it's not the expanse of what you experienced -- or the thrill of getting up there!

  11. It really was one of my favorite days :D I'm so glad you felt my excitement, Cindi. 


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