Innsbruck, Austria

Day 44
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Just when I thought I was done with travel fails. Everything was going so well in Vienna. I planned a week-end in Innsbruck to go in the mountains, but for some reason I couldn’t buy any train tickets online. Everytime I tried it said that the transaction had failed, and so I started to freak out there was a problem with my credit card and I went to the station to buy my tickets live. Of course that cost me double. Plus side? My card’s in top shape.

Then in the train, I couldn’t find my wagon, number 34. It started with 20, went all the way to 30, then down again to 29, 28, 27 … only to abruptly stop at number 32.

“/$@%?

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A message informed of the wagon mistakes, but in German, and, like, really quick, so I didn’t get that much even connsidering my three weeks of courses, which made me feel like outstanding crap. Fortunately, a very nice Austrian girl translated to me and told me where to go. (Thanks again, Chiara!)

I arrived when it was pitchblack, so I was really excited for the next day when I could finally see the mountains circling Innsbruck. The girls in my dorm were telling me about their hike and how nice it had been, so I planned to do the same one the next day.

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But no.

I was one day too late. When I asked the way at the Tourist Office, I was “politely” told that hikers were no longer allowed up the mountain, due to snow.

Me: So there’s no way to hike at least to the half?
Guy: No.
Me: And there’s no way to hike, like, anywhere else?
Guy (with a sigh): Well, there’s this mountain over there, but it’s not as impressive.
Me: Considering my options, not-as-impressive sounds like a freaking paradise right now. How long is the hike?
Guy: Oh, just one hour or two.

So I decided to do that hike in the afternoon, and went to the Alpine Zoo in the morning. I don’t know what I thought. That it wouldn’t be a regular zoo since it was alpine? That the animals would be wandering all around the mountains, yodeling?

Wrong.

They were crammed into small cages, and they were all lying, looking sad, totally pissed at having kids pointing at them all day. I felt incredibly depressed. Except when I saw that little guy trying to catch a butterfly.

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So I did a photoshoot with the Wild Cat and went back to the hostel, vowing to never ever pay a zoo to encourage such non-sense again. Then at the reception I asked the way to that mountain I had in mind. Just to be sure, I asked if it really took one to two hours. Guy is like: Wha-whaat? Two hours? Make it five.
And I’m like: WHAT?

So yeah. No mountains for me that day. But then I meet this really great girl from Australia who knows–from her Lonely Planet book–about a free guided hike that should take place the next morning, so I obviously hook myself to that beautiful plan. The next day we pack our lunches and make our way to the meeting point. Guess what? It’s on!

The guide is there and he lends us hiking boots and we get on their bus and they lead us to the mountain and do a great hike and stop to eat in a rustic restaurant up there and we go down and another bus brings us back in town and, except the restaurant, ALL THAT IS FOR FREE?

I still can’t believe it.

They even gave us a badge. My life was complete.

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The restaurant
The Way Down
The Way Down

Fail Count: 7
Total: 67

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