Day 15 - 10/07/2002 - Germany, Innsbruck Austria [Day 6 of Contiki Tour]
Had another buffet breakfast, which was probably the best one we have had yet - lots of hot and cold things to choose from.
MOVIE: Singing [MPG 480KB]
Went to the main concentration camp in Munich. Very scary stuff - it sent a shiver down my spine. Actually got to see a gas chamber (which I didn't expect to be able to see). It is very unfortunate to understand how many people were unjustly killed, and also as important, how many people were punished and suffered during this time.
[warning: some pictures below might make some people feel uncomfortable]
MOVIE: Greg Can't Catch [MPG 170KB] ... Greg accused a girl of not being able to catch, so she decided to put him to the test ... the result has been capture on video.
Arrived in Austria, and once again I was stunned at the enormous and beautiful mountain ranges. I really really want to try and come back here to ski sometime - it would be awesome compared to the Australian ski slopes.
Walked around and got some great value lunch - one quarter of a very large pizza for only AU$3 - you have to see it to understand what great value it is ... again I have spoken to some Aussies on the tour to try and work out why we can not get this good quality and cheap pizza at home. The same place had some great value gelato, only AU$3 for 3 scoops in a waffle cone.
Walked along the water and then visited a marvellous church. The church exterior was impressive, but the interior was mind-blowing. The detail of the painting, sculptures and architecture etc was so impressive.
MOVIE: Dom Cathedral [MPG 720KB]
Went on a horse carriage ride - on AU$8 each for half an hour. It was pretty, but I think we picked the wrong horse, because it stunk from where we were sitting (especially when we were downwind).
MOVIE: Horse And Carriage [MPG 300KB]
Got to try some free schnapps (high alcohol content drinks that you have shots of to keep you warm - especially in the cold winter climate here) - I estimate that they had over 100 different types to choose from - delicious.
Hotel is nice with a great view of the mountains (and McDonalds). Dinner at the hotel was good. Some type of soup to start with, then an exotic salad (a mix of the standard lettuce, tomato and cucumber, mixed with coleslaw, beans, corn, potato, and some other things I think ... main course was turkey (that tasted like chicken) with some unknown source (someone claims it was pork sauce) ... dessert was some cream/custard thing.
MOVIE: View From Room [MPG 200KB]
After dinner, headed down to the local internet cafe where they had other amusements (darts, snooker etc). Played darts with some of the girls, who claimed that they could not play, but did very well (one of the got a bullseye on her first throw!) The darts boards were unlike anything I have every seen before - they were electronic and added the score up for you. I wasn't exactly sure how to use it (and all the instructions were in German), so I asked some Austrian guys for some help. They were heaps helpful and nice. After asking lots of questions, I taped one of the Austrian guys on the should to ask another question, and he turned around and blew cigarette smoke in my face ... I thought this was the international sign of saying "I want to fight you", and I was a bit worried that all his Austrian mates were going to beat me up, but they turned out to be really nice and I ended up playing pool and drinking beer with Markus until about 1am in the morning - I had to get up the next morning at 6:30am and was tired, but he had to get up at 5:30am (poor bloke) - thanks to Markus for being such a great ambassador for Austria. Although Markus had some beer to drink, I could tell that he was very good at pool and he taught me a lot about the game (I think I understand a bit more about the different ways of hitting the white ball, and that will help me to move to a more professional level of playing). When we left the place, I could see that things in Austria continued to be similar to Sydney ... there was a guy in the car park reliving himself and some other guy (I think Markus referred to him as "a drunk loser") asked us some weird questions. Markus lived near the hotel so we started the short walk, but coincidentally one of his friends drove past and gave us a ride - I felt very safe in Austria - safe enough to get a lift from an almost stranger.
Internet in Austria is not as good as Australia (internet is capped at about the same speed as a normal telephone modem in Australia unless you pay a high price) - one of the first things Markus said to me when he heard I was from Australia was "you have very good cable internet" - I look forward to keeping in touch with Markus and others when I return home - it is great that the internet allows you to cheaply and easily keep in touch with people on the other side of the world.
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