Enjoying the outdoors in Obergurgl

During our visit to Innsbruck, our friends Melba and Cez took us to a beautiful, quaint village in the alps called Obergurgl.  This village is mainly a tourist spot with only 400 permanent inhabitants.  In winter, it is a very popular ski spot and in summer a very popular hiking spot.

Photo courtesy of Cezary Kaliszyk
Photo courtesy of Cezary Kaliszyk

We chose a very easy route that is convenient for pregnant women and small children.  Moving away from the village and onto the trail, these were the sights we saw.

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Some of the lifts were still open for those who wish  to view the sights from up above.  I decided against going on one because of my current state and my fear of heights.

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Our guys led the way with my little boy tagging along.  Melba and I followed slowly behind.  Both of us are pregnant and the decreasing oxygen was quite taxing for our lungs.  Besides, it was also a great time to chat and catch up.

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As they ascended higher, we decided to stay behind at a shaded, comfortable spot.

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While waiting, we amused ourselves by watching other serious hikers conquer more difficult trails.

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Meanwhile, our boys had a grand time in their trail.   My husband was so proud of our little boy for walking all the way through the almost 3km loop with around 2500 ft elevation.

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And here they are, posing for posterity.

Photo courtesy of Cezary Kaliszyk
Photo courtesy of Cezary Kaliszyk

On the way back, we all stopped by a nearby restaurant as we were already famished.

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Yes, I almost ate that whole serving of pizza.  Since it was very close to Italy, they do make great pizzas.

Although this wasn’t a very serious hike, it is one of the greatest one I’ve had in a long time and will definitely be one of my best memories.

Thank you Melbs and Cez for taking us there!

 

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Impressive Innsbruck

As mentioned in a previous post, our main goal for last weekend’s trip was to visit  friends in Innsbruck, Austria.

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Melba is one of my closest friends from the university.  Since we had the same bachelor’s degree and lived in the same dormitory, it was only natural for us to be in the same group of friends.  All through our college years, we have shared endless discussions about our families and life goals.  Together with a few other girls, we were like a family- lending an ear and supporting each other.

After obtaining our degrees, we parted ways to follow our dreams.  While I was pursuing an ambitious goal in a manufacturing industry in the States, she went to Japan to obtain her Phd and go after her scientific pursuits.  It was during this time when we met our husbands – both Central Europeans (mine Czech, hers Polish).  Little did we know that we would end up in the same continent to raise our families.

I’m glad that we made this trip out to see them.  It was a great time for our families to bond and for both of us to catch up.

Their place is situated in a suburban location close to the mountains and not too far from the university where her husband Cez teaches.

That Saturday morning, we started our day with a full breakfast on their balcony.  It was very refreshing to be just around nature and inhale its beauty.

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We were lucky that the powers-that-be gave us good weather during our stay there.  There was nothing but sunshine which allowed us to go for a short hike and tour the downtown.

I will do a separate post on the hike because it was a pretty interesting one.

Meanwhile, here are photos of this beautiful city.

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The inner streets of the city is full of impressive buildings with a typical European feel.

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The succeeding picture is a view of the Old City watchtower, which is a popular landmark.

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Going further into town, there lies a more modern square normally used for social events.

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Innsbruck’s public transport system is very well-developed and accessible.  Trains, trams and buses can be seen moving in and around the city.

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Being in the highlands doesn’t mean it’s short of fun.   During our stroll, I was lucky to snap a quick photo of these youngsters parading the streets.

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Although, if you live in a place like this, it would be crazy not to go on a hike.  The alps are just breathtaking.

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When Melba told me that they were thinking of giving up a great opportunity in a major city in exchange for a quiet life in Innsbruck, I didn’t fully understand why.  But after experiencing this beautiful city, I now understand.

I was very impressed with this amazing city and wished it was closer so we can do more frequent visits.  But most of all, we had a great time in the company of great friends.

If you would like to learn more about Innsbruck, you can check out this page.