Innsbruck was wonderful. We had a good time, we played in the snow, we explored, we saw the Alpine part of Austria. I now feel comfortable saying “I like Austria”, rather than just “I like Vienna” (I’ve been saying, “I like Austria” but I really didn’t have much data beyond Vienna). We’re already planning for the next time we go to Innsbruck — what we’ll see again, what we’ll do differently. I want to go again in the winter and also in the summer, but I also have a long list of other places we want to explore, so we’ll have to see exactly how it works out.
Travelling by train with the kids was easy and surprisingly fun. Other than the short-term stress of boarding and disembarking, there isn’t really much to think or worry about — we got on, found our seats, sat down, relaxed, got snacks when we wanted them, and the train just took us where we wanted to go. The kids can explore a good bit (with supervision), and unless the train is packed (ours wasn’t) the other passengers can always switch seats if they’re bothered by kids (but no one did). Liam liked walking up and down the aisle, and Benjamin had a good time going to the dining car with me and getting an apple (he really wanted an orange, but they didn’t have any). Our train even had a “kinder kino” section, with little bench seats and a tv screen playing clips of Disney movies for the kids to sit and watch — Benjamin and Liam spent a large part of the trip back today sitting there (with Dan).
In general, I continue to be surprised and impressed by my kids — they are much more flexible and adaptable than I expect or give them credit for. They handled a complete disruption of their schedule, vastly different sleeping arrangements than usual, changes in meal times and types, and a totally different environment — and they handled it exceptionally well.
Having our friend, Krishana, with us helped a ton. She was already savvy about train travel in Austria, she’s a fun and easy-going travel companion, she seems to like us and our kids a lot, and having an extra pair of hands was probably the difference between happiness and insanity more than a few times. Having her with us was awesome. (Thank you, Krishana!)
We are certainly all tired, and it feels great to be home. (And it feels very nice for our return to Vienna to feel like “coming home”.) My very adaptable children are ready to be back on their normal schedules and happy to be back in their normal beds, as am I.
But this adventure constantly reminds me of how much easier, and richer, things can be if I don’t worry about how hard everything is going to be. We spent a wonderful weekend sledding in the Alps and visiting mountaintops — moments I will never forget. I feel about Innsbruck the way I feel about Vienna — you should see them. Go to Vienna. Go to Innsbruck. But, more than anything, just GO. Go wherever. Just make a plan, take your kids, and go. Keep the plans simple and the expectations low. Take a friend (or two, or three) with you if you can. But do it — go. You can do more than you think you can, and it won’t be as hard as you expect. And it will be totally worth it.