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--------Our trip to Innsbruck and Axamer Lizum, Austria (2002)

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My wonderful daughter Nadia at Axamer LizumThe first time I came with my eight-year-old daughter Nadia to Innsbruck from Munich. it was in December 2002. Innsbruck is located near the river Inn, the town is the capital of the Tyrol province. We stayed near the Youth Hostel close to the old town. The Youth Hostel was closed for renovations so we had to find a new place. We found a bed and breakfast for $45.00 euros( the Goldener Winkel). It was clean ,efficient and the breakfast was good. It was also near a park and river. There were many monuments nearby such as the Goldens Dachl (golden roof).

In the evening we looked all over the place for a restaurant. We finally found an unpretentious resto-bar who served excellent sausage and soup. Austrians like Germans love sausages and sauerkraut.(Picture: Nadia at Axamer Lizum in Innsbruck in 2002)

Innsbruck has many resorts nearby making it one of the prime places in the world to ski. Unfortunately, there was not to many places open or people did not seem to know. Last year I heard of the Stubai Glacier that is open all year. Incredibly, some people have fallen in crevasses, not off-track mind you, and died. Duncan Macpherson, a Canadian had disappeared in 1989 and was found in 2003. Police were really callous about his disappearance and put little effort in finding him. The resort was involved in a cover-up to save face because he was found in a crevasse. People who rented him the board did not notice that the board was not returned. Again tourist dollars are king. Shame.

We finally found Axamer Lizum an Olympic ski hill nine kilometers from Innsbruck. The big games were held in 1964 and 1976. This hill was more for intermediates and advanced. Nadia had a hard time; she was only in grade 2. She was a decent skier but some of the hill was quite steep especially the one that led to the main lift and to the parking; it was almost a black diamond.

The good thing about this hill is the altitude. It is quite high (1530-2340 meters). Some people say it is snow-secure even in this time of global warming. When we were there in late December and there was no problem with the snow, it was also a beautiful day.

Steep hill coming to the parking lot of the ski hill of Axamer Lizum Nadia, my eight year old found some of the runs difficult, especially the one that led out to the parking lot. One time, we reached a hill near the funicular, it was a hill quite steep close to hundred feet of scary drop-down terrain. Many other skiers had decided to walk it. The best way I told Nadia was to go on your bum and slide it. This would have been a good solution if she had not panicked and that's exactly what happened when she started gaining speed. Nadia started to roll like a rag doll. I picked her up at the bottom of the hill and I felt terrible. Her hair was like a wet mop in front of her eyes and of course she was crying.I was determined that this was going to be the last time that she would get hurt. After that when there were difficult trails she hanged unto me as we went down as safely as possible.

One thing I found funny skiing there is the number of people who had a flask of alcohol with them and drank it without fear of reprisal.

We left the hill and drove through a series of spectacular passes to St-Moritz. We made sure we bought some groceries and gas before getting to Switzerland. Everything was more costly there. I took the highway 27 to go to St-Moritz, it's quite a narrow and slow road. It may be dangerous in some spots. You have to be careful.

One time , after a turn, there was a truck coming towards me in a small village but there was a corner of an house sticking in the road. I had no clue if there was enough room for two. I put the breaks and moved towards the side to let him go.

We were supposed to go to Listeinshtein but we avoided it to save time.

Read about my other trip to Austria in 2006

Read about all my other trips

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