Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee- Our Man in Innsbruck Edition

Yaaauuucchhhhhhh!!! Yawn, stretch, scratch, repeat. It’s Monday morning- Labor Day for all of you in the US, so happy Labor Day everyone! The weather will continuously go south for the next nine months, so you had better get a barbecue in today while you still can. And being Monday, let’s have some coffee.

Well, if you are as out of touch with this blog as I have been you may not realize that I am coming to you live from Innsbruck Austria. That’s right, I am in a beautiful Alpine valley surrounded by high mountain peaks and streams full of trout. I’m in the middle of a two week visit with my daughter (India is her name) who lives here.

Which begs the obvious question- Have I gone fishing yet?

No, but plans are coming together, and it could happen today even. Simon is working on it. Daniel’s family (India’s boyfriend) actually holds the license for a stretch of the Sill river.

the River Sill
The rules for fishing here are arcane at best. It’s not like in America where you go buy a license relatively cheaply and then find some public water. Here all of the water and fishing rights are private, and you need permission, membership, hereditary right, or to pay for a day on the river in order to fish, and it can be quite expensive. We did go up the mountain the other day to a lake, the Lanser See (Lake Lanser), also owned by Daniel’s family, to enjoy what little nice weather we are having. It was full of little fish that look like bluegills to me, but it also has pike, carp and even Wels catfish.

Hanging out at the Lanser See
and dinner after

So up until now I’ve just been enjoying reconnecting with my daughter, sightseeing here in the valley, eating the exquisite central European food, a diet that seems to consist of bread, butter, cheese, cured meats and honey. We toured some silver mines down the valley, deep under the mountains. It was the kind of unique thing you would never find in America. You ride a tram that is barely wider than a person with the rock walls inches from your head and body, with water pouring from the ceiling all over you. It would be a liability and OSHA nightmare in America, but they don’t have the same concept in most of Europe.

street scene in Hall, Austria

I really enjoy the oldness of everything here, the winding layout of the cobbled streets and narrow alleys that twist between medieval buildings. There is a church every few hundred feet, and each one is really old, ornate, stunning, or all of the above.
inside a church

We spent the day in Munich yesterday. My daughter works as a tour guide there. I was supposed to tag along on her tour for the day, but they didn’t have enough people for the tour and so we followed another guide for a time, listening to stories of Hitler’s beer hall putsch and scandalous stories about the Bavarian kings before we broke away to do our own thing. She lived in Munich for two years before coming to Innsbruck and her intimate knowledge of the city is allowing me to see and experience things I could not as a tourist.

They are having an exceptionally cool, wet summer here, and so we spent a couple of hours over lunch in a fashionable diner while it rained, drinking coffee and talking. We had an appetizer of goat’s cheese drizzled with honey and sprinkled with herbs served with toasted artisanal bread- the kind of thing you don’t see much of at home and what makes it worth coming here for. Our meals were similarly memorable.

We then made a tour of the beer halls. We explored the Hofbrauhaus quite thoroughly without ordering a beer, but then we made our way to the Schneiderweisse establishment and drank a couple of their exquisite wheat beers. We walked around some more before stopping off at the Augustiner beer hall and drinking a Dunkel. Once again, more fantastic beer and just a cool local place to hang out, have a bowl of delicious soup and get out of the incessant rain before taking the bus back to Innsbruck.

So I’m sorry this weeks MMC is more travelogue than fishing report. Hopefully I’ll get out a time or two this week. It’s just a matter of coordinating schedules at this point, as all of India’s friends work, and getting access likewise takes work. It will happen.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your Labor Day and get out fishing. My coffee is gone, it’s time to rustle up some breakfast and then go for a run.

Let’s get after it.


  1. Love the old stuff too! Looks like your having a wonderful time even if there's not lots of fishing!!! I like the beer!!! Don't worry we are fishing for you back here!!! Thanks for the MMC!!!!

    1. I'm drinking a fantastic Dunkel Weisse right now. Looks like I get to fish this weekend.

  2. A beautiful country, Austria. I have a good friend who's parents immigrated from Austria. He would talk to them on the phone in German (they didn't speak much English) and throw in an English word where needed. Was interesting to listen to.

    1. It is gorgeous here Mark. I'm hoping to go fishing soon.