Sunday, December 8, 2013

Last Weekend... I finally DID SOMETHING FUN!!!

I went to the Christmas Market (on base military bus trip) in Innsbruck, Austria.  I got there early so I could snag a seat- so, I could sit w/ my right knee in the aisle.   It was a 4 hour bus ride with one brief stop.  The market was very small compared to all the wonderful Christmas Markets in Germany.  I did ask a couple of times... 'if the market' continued/etc.   In case, I had missed it by a couple of streets or something.  I hadn't.   It was in the old part of the city.   Some of the buildings had dates of the 1400's on them.   We were right at the base of the Alps.  Snow was everywhere... but, not in the actual 'walking around in the market area'... that had been melted by all the people walking around at the market/etc.   In case Innsbruck sounds 'slightly familiar' to you... it was where the FIRST WINTER OLYMPICS was held!   They still have/use the ski jump.  It was lit up when we left about 4:30-5:00pm that day.
There were some beautiful buildings in the Old Town area of Innsbruck.

This building is called the:  GOLDEN ROOF (I'll show another photo of it - from further down the street so that you can see the golden roof.)  

There was a Swarovski 'showroom' factory and a couple of shops selling the crystal.  I did not look inside.  On somethings, I figure that it's best to 'NOT even know about it'... then, you don't want something that you:  don't need and certainly can't afford.   I do have quite a few of the 'loose swarovski' beads from when I used to make beaded jewelry.

Isn't this a nice street scene?  It was very overcast the day we were there for part of the day-- so you can't see how tall the mountains are behind these buildings.  What you see is just the lower level of the mountains.  We are right at the base of them.

This is the bell tower for the church.   See how the tower top looks like a 'crown?'  You'll see that sometimes in Italy too.  You can tell that it is 'sunnier' in this photo.

This is another market area and you had to cross the street to get to it.   There is a river here too.   I'll have to add those photos in another blog posting.   However, in this market is where I bought some amazing 100% wool alpaca socks (from Germany).   The old town area is a very condensed area - so, the Christmas market was spread out in different areas.

Santa was here too!  I have seen this 'Santa' in another market in Germany.  I recognized him.   See that thing on the cart?  It's an organ and he plays songs... like an organ grinder with a monkey would have.   That's where I've seen him before... with a MONKEY!!!    (No, I really have... )

This area of the market was near an old theater... do you see the figure on the roof? They had several of these all around in this area.   Some I did recognize as 'fairy tale' stories- but, some I wasn't familiar with them.   This is a food area of the market.   They had some wonderful things that I'd gotten before at other markets in Germany/etc.  

Lots of the older buildings have original metal hanging signs from the 1200's-1600's.   Some of the signs don't even have words on them-- but, they would let you know what the original business was from the images in the signs.  You still see signs like this in Austria and Germany especially.  It's from the days... when NOT EVERYONE knew how to read!

Here is how street signs are done in the old parts of the town.   You look for ceramic numbers on the building corners in Italy too.  A lot of businesses put out lots of nice holiday displays in front of their shops (not always with items that they sell inside too.)  I've seen this in many places in Europe.  

This place was a 'glass blowing' business.  I loved the Santas.   Alas, I did not go inside and check on the prices either.  I do see some ornaments hanging in the window that I do wish I had gone inside to see what the prices were.   Darn.

Here's one of the old signs... no name of the business... just the number of the building.   Isn't the metal work beautiful?  I'm so glad that no one decided to 'modernize' things and get rid of these amazing old signs that you still see around.   If you look up.. you will see them anyway.

See the "GOLDEN ROOF" now?   That's the center piazza area.  (not sure what it is called in Austria... but, piazza is what it is called in Italy.)   The market area can be seen w/ the green roof stalls that you can barely see to the left.  

Speck=  Ham   Which would mean that this was a 'butcher's shop' at one time.  BY the way, it still was selling SPECK. *However, look at the other old sign (for the shop next door).. what do you think that business was at one time?  

Another beautiful building.  This is all painted on the building.

This is the building across the street from the GOLDEN DOOR.   Sure looks official, doesn't it? 


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Sure beats shopping at Target.

iwouldratherbeknitting said...

Pam, you really, REALLY need to come and visit me while I am living overseas! You'd love it!