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  • Day7

    Rainy-day Rambling

    September 2, 2019 in Austria ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    We woke up to serious rain. Being in the mountains in the rain is an experience; while the clouds enshroud the peaks most of the time, every few minutes a corner lifts to show a rock face or mountain top. Plan A (hiking to an alpine hut) was changed to Plan B - some Innsbruck city sights and a quick train ride (9 minutes) to the medieval town of Hall in Tyrol.

    We began with the Hofkirche, which is more of a shrine to Emperor Maximillian I (1459-1519) than a church. The church was built in 1553 by Emperor Ferdinand I (1503–1564) as a memorial to his grandfather. The main nave of the church is filled with an ornate black marble cenotaph surrounded by 28 larger-than-life bronze statues of Grandpa Max’s family and friends. Very impressive! And a little weird given that old Max is buried somewhere else (except for his heart which was sent to Bruges).

    Our second stop was the Folkmuseum. Now, those of you who know us know that we do NOT spend much time in museums. Two reasons for going to this one: (a) it was included in the ticket for the Hofkirche; and (b) it is attached to the Hofkirche, meaning that we did not have to go out in the pouring rain. As museums go, it was ok - lots of examples of how Tyrolian (don’t call them Austrian) folks lived in the old days.

    After lunch, we headed for the Hauptbahnhof for the short ride to Hall in Tyrol, one of those amazingly cute medieval towns. From the 13th century, the salt mine at Absam in the Hall Valley north of the town formed the main industry of the town and its surroundings and made the town very wealthy. Salt has now been replaced with tourism. The town is still wealthy! The buildings of the old town have been beautifully restored.

    Tomorrow, we head into Switzerland, catching a train, three buses and a train to reach Samedan. The weather is supposed to improve for at least the next two days.
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