Happy New Year! Our Innsbruck mountain adventure

January 1, 2011

Our New Year celebrations started by accident on December 30th.  We spent the night in Munich on our way to Innsbruck, Austria so that we could eat dinner in this beer hall we found last year and LOVED.  Its called the Augustiner and if you’re ever in Munich you must go there.  Last year, despite it’s popularity, we had no time being seated.  But this year the restaurant was unusually busy and we waited and waited and waited and waited.  The tables there are huge so we thought being 2 people we could be squeezed in somewhere but the people working there were just so busy and we couldn’t communicate with them in German.  Finally, a girl from a reserved table came over to us and told us they were still waiting for some people but that we could come sit with them for at least a beer.  We felt super awkward sitting in on their party but we obliged.  We ordered our beers and our food and slowly got to talking with them.  There were about 8 of them, one of them is actually a brewer at the Augustiner.  He gets little tickets for the restaurant throughout the year but instead of using them, he saves them so all 8 friends can come together every Dec 30th to drink on him.  Somehow a bit of conversation turned into them buying us round after round of beer and Schnapps.  I was blown away by their generosity! Its really people like this that make traveling so special.  I thought the experience and the people we met last Christmas at the Augustiner was amazing but this night took the cake.  If any of you that night end up finding and reading my blog, Thank You!!!!! You don’t know how much your friendliness means to us!  Here’s a little phone snapshot that one of the guys took of us.

The next morning we took a train to Innsbruck, Austria.  Our friends, Rachel and Thomas – youve seen them plenty before on the blog – now live in a small town outside of Innsbruck – Hall.  I can’t wait to show you pictures of this place.  Its really magical.  But for now I just want to share some pictures from our New Year’s adventure.  It started with a one and a half hour hike up a mountain, carrying sleds.  It was really nice breathing in all that fresh mountain air and looking at so many stars.  But the last stretch was really quite painful! Then, when we reached the top, we ate dinner at “hut” restaurant.  The food was delicious and we enjoyed the company of Thomas, Rachel and her lovely parents.  Although I have to say it made me a bit jealous – I miss hanging out with my family! At midnight, we all went out to view fireworks.  Since we were on a mountain, we had a view of all of the city and you could fireworks going off all over the place.  Plus people with us were setting of some their own.  Then, we sled down the mountain.  To wish a Happy New Year, the Austrians say, Have a good sled!  Now, normally I really love sledding.  But Im also a big fat weenie.  And the idea of sliding off the side of the mountain had me a nervous wreck.  But I finally made it down in one piece.  It as a great night!! What did yall do to bring in the New Year?

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