Thursday, November 03, 2005

When the saints go marching in

November 1 is a holiday here, not to alleviate the post-Halloween chocolate hangover, but because it is All Saints' Day. We celebrated by getting as close to the saints as possible; we went to the Alps.

Innsbruck, Austria, hosted the winter Olympics twice (1964 and 1978). It is easy to imagine sweater-clad winter tourists clambering around the picturesque old city in their apres-ski knitwear. This town is wedged firmly between towering peaks that are RIGHT THERE whenever you look up. We were fortunate to enjoy crisp blue skies, a comfy hotel with complimentary sauna and steam room (aaaahhh), Cafe Sacher with its namesake hotel's famous torte down the street, and a heavenly absence of Stau on the autobahn. Stau (traffic jam) is one of the first words we learned during our summertime visit to Deutschland, and they are everywhere, so it was miraculous (thanks to the saints?) that we encountered none on this holiday weekend.

We also visited Swarovski's Crystal World. In case you haven't stopped by the Swarovski (tm) store in your local mall to pick up a $65 crystal iguana lately, you might not know that Swarovski crystals are cut in a town right outside Innsbruck. They have constructed a crystal museum there that has less to do with "here are the busy workers cutting the crystals" and more to do with dark rooms, healing powers, and New Age music by Bryan Eno. A giant head with a waterfall flowing out its mouth is the entrance (see above). Those of you who stop at branding iron museums and vortexes (vortices?) should put this place on your must-see list.

1 comment:

L said...

check out my iphone/ipad app that teaches how to play this song on the piano …
Its all for a good cause!