Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA, is a beautiful city, and it’s particularly charming during Christmastime with its Christkindlmärkte Altstadt. Here’s a photographic essay from my Christmas 2009 visit.


Our tour guide advised that we couldn’t get lost in the Altstadt as long as we had the Stadtturm (Town Tower) in view. That’s it behind her, beyond the McDonald’s.


Another glimpse of the Stadtturm. Part of the holiday tradition, nursery rhyme figures decorate the second stories. Notice that the Egger family has resided in the building on the right since 1631.


The scary wolf in the grandmother cap gives away the meaning of Rotkäppchen. That’s her entering the bed chamber with the flowers.


They’re charming in any language: Austrians call them Erkerfensters; we might say bay, bow or oriel windows.


Innsbruck architecture is artful year-around, but it takes on special attraction with Christmas market stalls offering food, beverages, confections and gifts.


A giant Tannenbaum is festooned with lights.

What about a White Christmas? Innsbruck was crisp and cold, but with no snow. Plenty of it wasn’t far away, though. This Austrian visit also took me to Hochgurgl, a ski resort about a 65-mile drive from Innsbruck. It’s actually less than 30 miles as the crow flies, but this Krähe would have to fly over some substantial mountain peaks.


The Top Hotel Hochgurgl  is the highest in the world of the Relais & Château chain.

Innsbruck is at an elevation of 1883 ft. Hochgurgl is at 7054 ft. and well into the snow level. In fact, the nearby Timmelsjoch Pass into Italy was closed because of an avalanche.


Just for fun, I had opportunity to drive a few kilometers of plowed Timmelsjoch Pass in a very capable Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Wagon.

Wishing you a good Christmastime as well. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2012


  1. George Kent
    December 23, 2012

    Spent last 6 months of WWII there. Nothing seems to have changed except the Mercedes.

  2. Bill Urban
    December 23, 2012

    Merry Christmas Dennis, to you and yours. Thanks for all your good works on SimanaitisSays . . . Looking forward to 2013s’ 365.

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This entry was posted on December 23, 2012 by in Just Trippin' and tagged , .
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