Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Innsbruck, Austria - a gorgeous city surrounded by snow-capped Alps, the capital of the state of Tyrol, a superb cultural center! The Inn river flowing throughout the center of the city provides the most awesome breezes and scenes in addition to relaxing settings. I LOVE IT!

Innsbruck was inhabited by the time of the early Stone Age and populated continuously since pre-Roman times. It's on the earliest and easiest route through the Alps which today is known as the Brenner Pass. It's pretty safe to assume that the Brenner Pass is one of the most breathtaking scenic train rides on our planet! In fact, I'd venture to say that it's pretty dang hard to take a bad picture here. You'd have to really work at it! :-)

Emperor Maximilian the 1st lived in Innsbruck in the end of the1400's. I'm not a history buff, AT ALL, but I like that because he surrounded himself with scholars and artists and therefore the city has become a lasting cultural center filled with art, architecture, and musical tradition! There is an Alten musick (early music) series, a Promenadenkonzerte (main palace square and promenade concert) series, a Tanzsommer festival, an organ master concert series, several festivals (including a New Orleans Festival that begins tonight!) and so much more! Schloss Ambras (castle Ambras) was built by Ferdinand II the archduke of Austria and that is where the early music series is held.

To the right is the beautiful and somewhat curious Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof). Built in 1500 by Maximilian I, it's decorated with 2657 fire-gilded copper-plated tiles. Now, it's a landmark where people get married!

Aside from the historical notes, a cool thing about Innsbruck is the lovely Inn river itself! The color is unusual and I have not seen any rivers or lakes this color except for here (see below).

What I've learned is that the color is due to glacial flouring (or rock flouring). That is when fine, fiiiiiiiiiiine particles of rocks are coming from glacial erosion and the grinding of bedrock. These particulates get into the water and end up being suspended, unable to settle into sedimentary layers right away. Sometimes, the water appears cloudy (glacial milk) and sometimes it's very clear, but turquoise, blue-green, or light green! ROCKS ARE COOL!  Another interesting tidbit our tour guide mentioned (few weeks ago) is that there are different flowers on either bank of the Inn river due to the northern and southern Alps differing in material. To the north, they are composed of limestone and to the south, they are mostly granite based.

Here is a link to my Facebook album of Innsbruck pictures - so far!

I am teaching for the UNO - University of New Orleans Innsbruck Program, a stellar program in its 39th year with tons of class offerings, students from several universities, and a reputation for excellence! We partner with UGA in the program and faculty are from both UNO, UGA, and can be from other universities as well! It is one of our several fantastic opportunities for students and faculty to explore the world!


Randall said...

Love the post and pictures shared! I didn't realize the part about the color of the river being due to glaciers. There a some lakes in the Canadian Rockies that are colored the same way. Interesting!

Caroline of Carsonia said...

COOL! One of my travel goals is to make it to the Canadian Rockies and also to Yellowstone!