Monday 17th July – Innsbruck to Strass im Zillertal

A plethora of positive superlatives to describe the weather today – in other words, perfect biking weather. We headed out of town pretty early today as skipped breakfast due to the €29pp price tag. Reckon we could get a croissant and coffee for a lot cheaper than that.

We cruised by the famous gold roof in the centre of town which we have seen before and which continues to underwhelm us.

It was 20k of downhill biking along the Inn River to a place called Watten. This is where Swarovski crystal is manufactured along with their museum. How did we know this?? Courtesy of Di’s hairdresser back in Calgary who is married to an Austrian.

They had an Indian theme going on for some reason which didn’t do it for us. It was ultra expensive to go inside but pay we did. Inside the museum was pretty fruity. We couldn’t make head nor tail of the displays but we did enjoy the glistening of the crystals.

Swarovski make binoculars, telescopes, precision grinding equipment along with crystal trinkets and jewellery.

Besides the inside museum they had a large park area with a number of water features of which this rather hideous exhibit was one of them.

This one above was more pleasing and you might not be able to see it clearly but the pool is black. We would say the pool bottom has been painted black as when we put our hand in the water it didn’t come out dirty.

Di loved this crystal slipper. They had some amazing jewellery pieces – didn’t take any photos of these due to the reflection issue.

Di has been saving her big birthday present for this year for her trip here and she found just the piece. The crystal in the centre actually moves which makes light reflect off it even more. It will go with her spinning diamond ring that Fras got her from Ekati all those years ago. This makes it sound like she has a treasure trove of jewellery but in fact she only has a few select pieces as she is allergic to nickel.

We did the remaining 25k with a bit of an afternoon headwind but it was all along flat paved bike ways. It really was a very cruisie day. Di’s knee is holding together but does not like up hills in any shape or form so need to nurse it along a bit.

We lucked out on our accommodation again. We stayed in a Post Hotel which is a chain with an authentic Austrian theme about them. We have never been disappointed with them before and this one was no exception. It was such a lovely evening that we sat on the verandah to have a couple of “radlers” followed by a scrummy dinner. The hotel is actually on the corner of a four way with the train station across the road and farmers tootling past with bales of hay on their tractors. It certainly added to the rural feel of the place.

Tomorrow will be interesting as we head up to the top of the Zillertal valley then need to negotiate a substantial mountain pass (courtesy of a bus we hope) across to the next valley where Krimml is. A change of weather with rain predicted early afternoon – alas!!!






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