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Phespirit goes to Austria
St Anton am Arlberg     July 2004

AROUND AUSTRIA

Map of Austria

1 Innsbruck

During a day in Innsbruck, Phespirit visited the adjacent churches of Basilika Wilten and Stiftskirche Wilten, the Triumphpforte arch, the City Tower, the Goldenes Dachl and the Maximilianeum, Dom Zu St Jakob (the cathedral), the Volkskunstmuseum, the Hofburg and the Hofkirche.

The Hofkirche church is dedicated to Emperor Maximilian I and is notable for its 28 larger-than-life bronze figures, tarnished black all over .....

All over, except for the big, bulging codpiece of Konig Rudolf Graf V. Habsburg which gleams its original colour thanks to persistent rubbing from passing women. Why him?

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2 Kaunertal

There is a wide range of summer skiing facilities at Kaunertal, but Phespirit kept to the restaurant where he dined on a simple meal of Austrian breads. And because man cannot live on bread alone, he followed it with cake and wine.

Further down the valley is the Gepatsch Stausee reservoir, which looks inviting but is not interactive.

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3 Landeck

Reference was made to Landeck Castle in documents dated back to 1296. Seven hundred and eight years later, Phespirit arrived.

The two main floors of the castle are host to a heritage centre that recreates old traditional Tyrolean farmhouse rooms. Seventy-eight steps lead up from the top floor to the top of the castle tower.

Ascend these steps for fantastic views of Landeck and its valley.

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4 St Anton am Arlberg

By a lucky hap, Phespirit's stay in St Anton am Arlberg coincided with the annual village fête, the 'Dorffest'. Lucky, because outside of that busy weekend the town is dead, bordering on the deserted during early evenings.

During the day, Phespirit hiked. Primarily hiking for hiking's sake, but also to reach whatever destinations he'd picked from the map. Relaxing in the Darmstädter Hütte, drinking Welschriesling after a three hour hike from the Rendlbahn many kilometres to the south of St Anton, Phespirit considered his motives. There is no sense of glory or achievement on arriving at a destination, just relief that the exhausting effort is over. Whilst in the hütte he was conscious of a subtle elevated awareness of every detail of decor, every knot of wood, and the interactions among those more at home in such places. There is also the knowledge that Phespirit will never again pass this way, tinged with gratitude for this one chance .....

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5 Schoppernau

Phespirit stopped here briefly whilst on the way from St Anton am Arlberg to Bregenz. He did not eat, he did not shop, he smashed his knee on the door of the tourist office, and the rain came down in stair rods.

But it's probably a very nice town.

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6 Bregenz

This is the Austrian port on Lake Constance - otherwise known as Bodensee - from which ferries run to the German island of Lindau.

Phespirit arrived at the ferry terminal by coach, entered it directly, and departed as quickly as possible on the first ferry to Lindau.

But, again, it's probably a very nice town.

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  1. Innsbruck
  2. Kaunertal
  3. Landeck
  4. St Anton am Arlberg
  5. Schoppernau
  6. Bregenz
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Innsbruck Kaunertal Landeck St Anton am Arlberg Schoppernau Bregenz