Monday, May 23, 2011

GAP - Three Countries in One Day

Today we set forth to see Innsbruck, which is in Austria. To drive in Austria one must first pay 7.9 euro for a windshield sticker. OK, I can live with that. But no, that's not enough. When you depart Innsbruck on the way to Italy, there is an 8 euro toll for the mountain segment; and you pay it on the way back as well. So that was about $32 in tolls today, depending on the exchange rate. But hey, happy to help with the economy.
This was taken in the old town of Innsbruck. We didn't like it that much, the city has a frantic feel to it, and after about half an hour I was pretty jangly.

However, there was a lovely little church to be visited.

They had the inner gate closed and locked, so I had to take these with the camera stuck between the grates; so they're not as good as I would have liked. It's a pretty church, very small, but very pretty.

Detail of the far wall seen above.

The magnificent ceiling painting.

After a stroll through the market hall and lunch we hit the road. Jim wanted to see Brenner pass so we drove there. After the Rockies it was anticlimactic. We pressed on into Italy which was just on the other side of the pass. This is this little town of Colie Isarco. Everything is signed in Italian and German. I tried my horrific Italian on the tourist center lady, who did not understand me. There should be a universal phrase for where is the toilet.
Doesn't this look Swiss?

The road builders in the EU do not mess around when it comes to the building of tunnels and bridges. This is a big bridge and it's only one of many. About 2k from our hotel they are blasting to put in a 4.5k tunnel through an alp.

And look! Another church in the town.

This one had the glass doors closed and locked so I had to put the camera lens right up against the glass to try to escape the glare.
This is the far away wall.

A close up of Mary's statue.

The other side of the church.

I love the painted churches. They've been so pretty on this trip. I find the big cathedrals with the stained glass to not be nearly as fun to look at.
There is a memorial to their dead from WWI and WWII on the side of the church. They list the fallen mens' names and where they died. Sad, so many broken hearts.

Then it was time to return to GAP. We saw this while getting gas. Those are not live people in the windows.

We saw this somewhere along the highway. There was no signage to indicate who had built it.

The road about 5k out of Partenkirchen hits an astonishing 16% grade for a long time. They have run away truck turn outs about every 100 feet or so on the downhill side. The trucks do not let their speed pick up on the section. There were a few brave souls out riding it, mainly on mountain bikes. We saw one couple touring and towing a Bob trailer, unfortunately I did not get my camera out the window in time.
This is the hotel, the Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl. It's old. We've enjoyed our stay here, except for the occasional scalding in the shower. There is a herd of dairy cows right across the street, they all are wearing the cow bells people take to bicycle races. The cows come home every night about 5.

Tomorrow we head out for Stuttgart where we will overnight on the way to our ultimate destination which is Trier. We have an extended stay in Trier and hope to see many things from that vantage point.

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