This post is written by Katie, about her travel in Europe after IROS 2015.
Once I arrived at the Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof, my 22 hours in Innsbruck began. After searching, checking, and rechecking for about 25 minutes I gave up on getting a luggage locker at the train station. They were all either full or broken – Innsbruck really needs more lockers!
Hence, I bought a 24 hour Innsbruck-zone public transit ticket (5.10€) and took a tram to Hostel Marmota (it’s the second to last stop, 24€ for a 4-bed mixed dorm) to drop off my luggage. Then I explored the park around the Ambras castle near Hostel Marmota before taking the tram back to the Hauptbahnhof.
It was starting to rain harder and the clouds were starting to envelop the city. Noticing this, and checking the Nordkettenbahn’s webcams, I decided now was not a good time to pay for an expensive trip up the mountain. In hindsight, I wish I had just went, but more later on this.
Instead, I decided to just ride trams and buses around the city in the rain since I had the 24-hour public transit pass. This was very pleasant and took me to many different parts of Innsbruck until one bus stopped at Allerheiligenhöfe and failed to continue. The driver conveyed that I had to get off. It was raining very hard at this point, but I had no choice. There was no shelter, so I stood in the rain and tried to figure out what to do. I figured out via Google Maps that there was a train station near, so I navigated to it. There was a train coming in 20 minutes, so I was going to wait for that but I could not find a way to buy a ticket (there was no ticket office or machine) and I was not sure my day pass would work for this. Hence, I found another bus stop a 30 minute walk away, and walked to it in light rain. It ended up being near Universität Innsbruck Campus Technik and the airport.
I rode a bus from the university back to central Innsbruck. I explored the water front area, and noticed that the clouds were starting to clear and expose snowy mountain tops! It had snowed during the storm! It was too late to go up the Nordkettenbahn at this point though since the upper cable car stopped at 5pm. I was going to just find dinner and go back to the hostel, but the stop I happened to be at was a stop for the OlympiaExpress. There was no route map at the bus stop, so I was unsure how far I could travel before I left the Innsbruck-zone covered by my day pass. We went far into the mountains, and I exited when it seemed the driver might have said something about the last Innsbruck stop. I was hoping for some good views of Innsbruck, but I found none from the village without walking along the road (which seemed very unsafe). Hence, I settled for some pasture views and then wandered back to the bus stop to catch the next bus down. I thought I might have been out of zone (and the driver just seemed confused and impatient), so I bought a single trip ticket. When I checked the route map back at the main train station in Innsbruck, I found that I had indeed exited and re-boarded at the last Innsbruck zone.
I had seen a Turkish restaurant with an advertisement for gözleme in the window near the train station. I walked over to this restaurant very hopeful and excited about gözleme for dinner. However, when I ordered it, they said they did not serve it any more. I left in disappointment and a bit of anger, and went to the grocery store in the train station to pick up some dinner supplies. Then I took the tram back to the hostel and ate my dinner in the common area / dining area at Hostel Marmota.
The rooms at Hostel Marmota were a bit strange. My four bunk room did indeed have two bunks – but one was nice and attached to the wall with shelves and power outlets for each bunk while the other was just a cheap Ikea bunk with no shelves or power outlets. Otherwise, Hostel Marmota was very nice and clean!