Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Innsbruck to Selestat

It was finally time to go to Alsace for our three week house exchange in Saint-Croix-aux-Mines which is near Selestat where we did a house exchange back in 2011.

There come times in your life where you make decisions that can change your life. I stood on these platforms in January 1974 waiting to take a train north to Copenhagen. It was so cold that when a train came in heading south to Rome, I hopped on. Eventually that led to meeting Marianne in Spain. If I had headed north, life would have been different.

All the engines have snow plows on front.

Innsbruck hosted the Olympic Games in 1964 and 1976. You can see the ski jump behind the electric wires for the trains.

It was a cloudy day with no rain but the low clouds were ominous.

I feel that the Austrian mountains are more wild and woolly than the Swiss mountains.

The same Inn River that flows through Innsbruck.

The Station Master inspecting the train as it goes past.

There were plenty of passengers with rucksacks hopping on and off. However the train was not crowded.

It was all very pretty.

Further along the valley the river got quite narrow. Occasionally we would see some white water rafts drifting down the rapids.

The chairlift was actually operating.

Station just before entering the long Arlberg tunnel.

The pipes on the roofs keep the snow from falling off onto passerby's.

Eventually we left Austria and passed through Lichenstein without stopping.

The train moved into Switzerland. You would not know the difference except that the flags are different.

Vaduz Castle, the residence of the Prince of Lichenstein.

Walensee in Switzerland.

Zurich station.

The TGV that would take us to Basle. Our carriage was full and there was insufficient space for all the luggage. It was a double-decker carriage and it all felt a bit cramped.

Colourful tram as we pulled into Basle.

The TGV continued into France where we changed at Mulhouse for a train north to Selestat. When the TGV reached Franc it speeded up considerably as you can see from the blur.

Our house exchange host was at the station to meet us and took us to his house where we were given a warm welcome and a cold beer. That evening they took us to a restaurant specializing in tarte flambes (Alsace pizza) where we met the other couple who are going to stay in our house as well. The food and wine was excellent and we had a good time. However after the long day travelling we were glad to go to bed.

The train journey from Innsbruck to Zurich is one of the most spectacular that I know of. In winter it is even more so as I first experienced in 1974.

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