Lanterns Lead the Way

There is another memory from Innsbruck that I must share. This was a hike on one of the nights we spent in Innsbruck. My cousins and I had read about this opportunity during our travel research. Every Tuesday night, June until October, a hike is held by the community tourism board. I included the link to their website below, in case you want to get more information. We had just happened to be traveling on one of the Tuesdays that it was held, so we made the effort to check it out. Plus it was free, so what can be better than that!

We met at the Congress center in Innsbruck, which was only a 20 minute walk from our AirBnb. There was a hiking guide waiting by the Congress center, easily noticeable with a bright backpack and walking stick. He was a friendly, retired man. Later in the night, he shared his story with me of his post-retirement boredom, so he signed up with the tourism board and now leads numerous hikes around his childhood city. It was a pretty cool story, and impressive for the types of hikes a man his age can do.

It was dusk when we hopped on the free bus. There was one other couple who was traveling for their honeymoon that also joined us. The bus took us on a 20 minute ride through a small town, which stopped to pick up 5 others. For being a free event, I was surprised by how many people didn’t take advantage of the fun opportunity.

Once we stopped at the trail-head, the small group unloaded from the bus, and the guide passed out lanterns for everyone. He lit them for each of us and explained the proper way to use the lantern. From there, we set off on our one hour hike. Despite the guide’s assurances of this being the easiest hike he leads, it was surprisingly steep, more than the three of us expected. We definitely weren’t prepared with the proper attire, none of us wearing proper walking shoes, as well as wearing uncomfortable jeans and semi-nice tops. Needless to say, once we got to the top of the hill, we couldn’t be more relieved. We were sweaty and ready for a drink and some food, since we had only shared a light appetizer before the hike.

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Outside of what was soon to become our favorite bar

 

The hiking guide led us into the cute little hut, which was a family owned bar/restaurant. We were greeted by one waiter, a band consisting of three members and a local couple that was enjoying a night at their favorite bar. This place felt extremely local and laid back.

The trio of cousins each chose a different item off the menu (since there were only three entrees and three of us, we can say we tried everything!). We also ordered some drinks, including our favorite from the trip, the Aperol Spritz. The band started playing once everyone had a chance to order some food and drink. It was a loud band for how small this restaurant was. When I say small, I mean like the size of a large bedroom. It had three picnic style tables in it, leaving a small space for the band. It was crowded, but I think it added to what made it so special.

The band played for a couple hours, never failing to leave us unentertained. My cousins were chosen for a little skit where they took them to a different room and told them to pretend to know a local Austrian tune. When they came back out, they were forced to yodel. It was SUPER entertaining, and I have videos in case anyone wants to see. Towards the end of the night, we had had a couple drinks. It was so easy to get lost in the music and the laughs with all of these strangers. It felt like we came here every Friday night with our closest friends to have a good time. It was one of those nights that you notice your face starting to hurt from laughing too much.

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This night exceeded our expectations ten fold. There was something so magival with being able to sit around this room with some locals and other tourists and not care about anything in the world. We just had a great time, and I wish I could go back this weekend. Just add it to the list of what made this vacation one that made memories for a lifetime. If you happen to be in Innsbruck on a Tuesday, you MUST visit our favorite bar in Austria!

https://www.innsbruck.info/en/innsbruck-city/experience/summer-sports-activities/hiking/free-mountain-hiking-programme.html

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