June 18: Innsbruck, to the Achensee

We were awakened to another beautiful day by the sound of the cuckoo - not a cuckoo clock but a real cuckoo. On the first day in Imst, Brenda heard it and wondered which of the distant houses had a cuckoo clock. Then we realized that we were in the land of the real cuckoo. We have heard them quite often since.

The snow-covered mountains have a particular charm early in the morning and late in the afternoon. When everything else is black, they seem almost to glow. We noted this most spectacularly in Lauterbrunnen but it has also been very striking in Imst.

We broke camp at Imst and drove to Innsbruck. There was quite a striking difference from the foggy, soggy, rain-soaked town we saw a few days ago. The sun was shining brightly and we could see the range of mountains to the north, the view which has made Innsbruck so popular with the tourists. We again walked down Maria-Teresian Strasse and got quite a different view. We took a look at the "Golden Roof" and strolled through the Hofgarten (court garden) before heading out to the east.

The Inn valley east of Innsbruck is very nice indeed. Schwaz was the nicest looking town through which we passed.

We crossed the river at Strasse and began the climb up the mountain road toward the Achensee. At one point on the road there is a restaurant and a place where you can look out over the valley. There were terrific views of the Inn Valley and the beginning of the Zillertal.

It being Sunday, there were crowds of Austrian people about, many in their native costumes. Some of the men had the "knicker" type trowsers which tie at the knees; they wore socks up to their knees. Others wore the short "lederhosen" or leather britches. One I saw was very dressed up with hat and ornately decorated lederhosen. The women wear very colorful jumper-type dresses with white, lace-trimmed blouses and aprons.

We drove on to the Achensee, a very green sheet of water set in the mountains. There were a lot of people out on Sunday afternoon and the lake was very active. There were a lot of sailboats, many rowboats and the regular lake steamer on the lake. Many folks were sunbathing or picnicing along the bank. We drove along the east bank sas far as we could and then along the west bank to Pertisau. Pertisau was the center of activity, it being something of a tourist trap, and it was seething with people. We parked and had a very pleasant walk around the village.

We have kept up our practice of making a rather comprehensive survey of the local pastries. None of those in Austria have measured up to the standard of Zermatt, but there are many decicious pastries. Whereas in Switzerland you could get drunk from eating chocolates, in Austria you could get drunk from eating pastries. Most of the Swiss chocolates had liquor centers. Most of the Austrian creme pastries are flavored with brandy or something - sometimes with liberal amounts.

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