Wednesday, 2 January 2013

In Innsbruck

My mother became pregnant with me, at around this time of the year, in Innsbruck where my father received part of his advanced medical training. A good enough reason, I thought, to go and have a look at the place and so, on the last Sunday of 2012, I boarded the Austrian railjet in Sargans and arrived two and a half hours later in the Tirolean capital.
I have been to Innsbruck before (I do not recall when but it was many, many years ago) yet the only thing I remembered was the golden roof in the old town. I was not the only one heading for it on the Maria-Theresien Strasse that leads to this famous landmark, in fact, the street was packed with tourists, mostly Italian and Austrian could be heard.
Although Innsbruck's population (as I learn from Wikipedia) is a mere 121,329 (1 January 2012), the feel you get when strolling around is that of a much bigger place. The wide avenues and impressive architecture that combine a variety of styles ("a classic Austrian hybrid of Gothic and Baroque", I read in a tourist brochure) seem to radiate a generosity of spirit not found in the cities of my native Switzerland. I'm of course not sure whether historians will agree on this yet that is surely what I sensed on this last Sunday afternoon of 2012.
Is there anything else to be mentioned about the Tirolean capital apart from the fact that I was conceived there? No idea really ... but it surely felt good being there.

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