Oktober 16, 2015 —
A recent Yelp reviewer, when describing the nightlife in Innsbruck, said, “Shame on you Innsbruck for not having any nightlife.”
The Innsbruckialites do tend to “shut ‘er down” rather early. At 1900, 7 p.m., all stores slam their doors in Swiss-watch precision. Frozen tumbleweeds blow through the streets and the faint sound of the last yodel from the tippy top of Nordkette can be heard.
Nordkette is a range of mountains above the Tryolean capital Innsbruck. I don’t believe they exist. The sky is constantly blocking the view of the mountains. The only time Innsbruck allows them to be seen is during a Winter Olympic hosting. The funicular will take you to the top but on days like these you might as well fog up the bathroom mirror, stand in a bucket of ice and open the window. You’ll get the same view and the same experience. The most stunning view of the alps is either en route to or from Innsbruck.
The restaurants are pretty good with typical Austrian fare including schnitzels, roast duck, sausages, dumplings, sauerkraut, etc. The only Chinese restaurant in town was closed for a private party. Why was Chinese food even on the radar? After eating every kind of schnitzel, sausage and dumpling three times over I needed a break.
I did find a kepab place that was awesome. Kepab is pronounced kay bahp. It’s basically a gyro either in a wrap or pita bread. Kepabs are very common in Europe and go by several different names; schwarma, gyro, kepab.
The Breakfast Club is a cozy (read cramped, uncomfortable, claustrophobia inducing) breakfast restaurant that was constantly busy. Upon entering you’ll see maybe one open table. As soon as you approach a waitress darts out to block your way “Ziss ist rezer veird.” And, sure enough, there are reserved signs on the table.
For the next day, I call to reserve a table. “Vee don’t accept rezerveerungs today. Just come by and vee find a schpot.”
The next morning I trudge to the restaurant and head towards the open table. “Nicht so schnell, Amerikahn,” the waitress says as she points to a reserved sign on the table there. “You can sitzen outside.” What the hell?
It’s 20 below outside. Icicles are forming on people’s noses. They’re eating their omelets like ice cream cones. “Vee have blankets for you,” she says while pointing to down comforters on each table. The benefit of eating outside is that if you want ice coffee you just have to order coffee. It’ll ice up on its own.
For evening beer consumption, my advice is to start in the morning. Maybe, you can order a beer slushy to go with your omletcicle at the Breakfast Club. After that, try the Irish pub called Limmerick Bill’s. Although they haven’t a clue in the proper pouring of a Guinness, at least they have it on tap. The place is a maze. With four levels and rooms that snake throughout, this place is pretty cool. Three pints of Guinness cost 12 Euros, about $15. This seems reasonable as there was talk of fancier places charging 14 Euros for a bottle of beer.
All in all, I found Innsbruck, Australia to be friendly, clean and reasonable. My only complaint is that I didn’t see any kangaroos.
Shame on you Innsbruck!