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Trip Report 10 days in Austria - bling, oompah and fresh mountain air

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At the end of June and beginning of July, my brother, sister-in-law and I spent a few days in Vienna, then on to the hotel in the Tirol where they have stayed for summer walking for the last umpteen years.

Accommodation:
Vienna: Spiess & Spiess - B&B in several floors of converted apartments, very comfortable and tastefully decorated, and my attic room had air-conditioning, which was a real boon in the high temperatures in Vienna. Friendly reception and staff, excellent location in a quiet side-street, fairly close to the city centre, with an U-Bahn station within a few steps. There's a Greek restaurant over the road, and a nice neighbourhood Italian trattoria round the corner in a pedestrianised shopping passage (and plenty of other places to eat and shop in the neighbourhood).
http://www.spiess-vienna.at/

Tirol (Neustift im Stubaital): Alpenhotel Fernau: comfortable half-board hotel (and free cake in the afternoons) with plenty of facilities for winter ski-ers and summer walkers. Again, very friendly staff , and excellent value for money. The hotel is used by a British tour company, and there are also many guests from Germany and Italy (both within a few hours' drive).

The idea of half-board set dinners rather daunted me, but though it looks on paper like a rather old-fashioned and stuffy multi-course arrangement, there is plenty of choice on the menu, the portions are small and the cooking light. There are other cafés and restaurants in the village, but the food was so good (did I mention the free cake?) that we didn't venture out in the evenings. A bus stop has now been installed right outside the hotel, so it couldn't be easier to get to the cable cars up the mountains, or to neighbouring villages and down to Innsbruck.
http://www.hotel-fernau.at/en/28799/hotel_info_fernau
http://www.stubaital.at/s09.php?langue=2

Travel

For me, Easyjet Gatwick to Vienna, return from Innsbruck to Gatwick. No problems at all, but Innsbruck is a very small airport with next to nothing in the way of possible competition to Easyjet's onboard (and expensive, for what it is) catering; luckily my flight home was in mid-afternoon, so I didn't need to take more than the single pastry that was all that appealed in the airport café.

From Vienna airport I didn't take the direct City Airport Train, since I'd heard that the ticket didn't cover onward travel on VIenna's public transport system, whereas the (stopping) regional S7 train did, on the one (cheaper = €4.70 or thereabouts, I seem to recall) ticket. In Vienna we got three-day passes from the ticket machines in our nearest U-Bahn station - €11.70. From Vienna to Innsbruck, train (ticket pre-booked online: www.oebb.at) - comfortable, uneventful ride (though it takes nearly 5 hours).

In Stubaital, a weekly pass (5 days out of 7) costs €54, and that covers all cable cars, buses and the tram down from Fulpmes to Innsbruck (the bus is quicker - barely 30 minutes - but requires an add-on fare for the stretch from the Stubaital zone into Innsbruck)

What we did

Imperial bling in the Vienna Hofburg, oompah village bands in the Tirol - and some walking down the mountains.

Pictures and comments on what we saw and did at
http://autolycus-london.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Austria

Visiting the mountains can be as strenuous or not as you choose: it's perfectly possible to go up in the cable cars and just have lunch or a coffee in the lodge at the top, and take the cable car back again, or walk down to one of the intermediate ones. Even if they're described as an "Alm" or "Hütte", they are well-appointed café-restaurants, usually offering rooms as well for the long-distance walkers.

Apart from winter ski-ing and the like, in the summer, there's mountain biking, paragliding and tobogganing down one of the steepest tracks I've ever seen - if you should feel inclined.

We only had one really wet day, and one that looked unpromising, so we went into Innsbruck, where we saw the Grassmayr bell foundry/museum
http://www.tyrol.tl/en/highlights/museums-and-exhibitions/grassmayr-bells-museum.html
and the Wilten Basilica. Lunch at the Stiftskeller (big, popular, crowded, good value).

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