While Swarovski’s Crystal Worlds starts out pretty tame . . .

and I found the huge “crystal” room entertaining – although a world with six of me is a scary thought  . . .

it rapidly started to feel like the designers were tripping when they created portions of it.  But, it was open later in the evening when everything else was closed, so it was worth a visit.  Each room had a display in several languages that explained what the theme was as well.  The second one below kept changing colors and had strange audio along with the visuals.

There was also a display of different costumes, jewelry and dresses that they’ve made for the rich and famous (the second photo is from their store, but representative of what is here).

I *might* have been enticed into buying myself a Christmas present as well . . . which is pretty much what they’re hoping you’ll do I think.  The nice coach bus that brings you leaves about 30 minutes later or 2 hours later, but this place only takes about an hour to finish, so you can shop or sit in the cafe.  There’s not much else to do unless you have kids, in which case there are some play areas for them.  Overall, it was nice to see, but I wouldn’t go back (except they had a pretty good sale in the store, so maybe just to there).

I only realized late on the 30th that many things were closing even earlier than normal the next day due to NYE, so I’d have to choose what I really wanted to see.  I was a bit done with history and museums, but Court Church looked unique.

I figured it would be a quick stop for me and it was, although I wouldn’t have paid 7 Euro without the card.  The combined ticket with the Tyrolean museum would be a better option, but my time was short and I skipped it!

The reason this church sounded interesting was partly because a giant Emperor’s tomb is here, Maximilian I, and partly because the non-Royal wife was also here.

But, the 28 giant statues captured my attention the longest.  In particular, I was again intrigued to find female ancestors represented along with the men!  It’s an unusual aspect in Europe that seems to be more common in Austria.

After a short time here, I was off to stop two – the Tirol Panorama.  I expected this to be similar to the panoramic painting in Salzburg, and it was, but it depicted a later form that memorialized famous battles.  This one was of the Tirol Uprising; however, it was attached to a museum about the Tirol region and special soldiers.

Due to not realizing it was a larger museum, I didn’t have much time set aside, but honestly, in-depth war details aren’t really my thing.  I was happy to see the panorama, learn a little through the audio guide, see the view for myself and be on my way.  I spent an hour here, but 90 minutes to 2 hours are probably needed to do the whole thing.  I could have taken a little longer, but I wanted lunch!  

When I passed a Thai place and saw them chopping fresh vegetables, I was in!  The food was ok, but I’m beginning to understand why the French don’t like spicy – when the dominate flavors of your food are salty and spicy, it’s not the greatest; however, I was thrilled to have a heap of veggies!  I’m sure Austrians eat vegetables, I just couldn’t seem to find any that weren’t just a salad (or lettuce and tomato on a sandwich).  I’ve been seriously spoiled by French food, where I now eat more veggies regularly than ever before in my life.

The last place I visited was a favorite, although it didn’t make for good photos!  It was a museum about hearing, but all interactive.  They had a special exhibit on vision too.  I really enjoyed the different displays about optical illusions and the explanations for why our eyes play tricks on us.  The best part in that section for me was a virtual reality roller coaster.  You are completely immersed and can look in any direction, such as looking down and it appears your coaster is right over the ocean.  Even better, when it drops you over a straight-down drop, the illusion is so real that I was holding on to my chair so I didn’t fall out of it!  I’ve never been interested in virtual reality before, but this may have changed my mind.  With your site and hearing involved, it really tricks your body into feeling like it’s experiencing whatever is happening.

The normal sound exhibits are also fascinating, like you can scream in a sound booth and find out how loud you yell – I can get almost as loud as an elephant, so I’m in no danger of being abducted any time soon.😉  You can also learn how you can “hear” through your bones by leaning your skull against an exhibit and still hearing music, another that shows you what it’s like to have partial hearing loss up to being nearly deaf and even a hearing test (my hearing is perfect at all four decibel levels they test – clearly, my problem is just selective listening)😝.  I’d recommend Audioversum if you enjoy learning about your senses in a fun and interactive way (great for kids too).  I made it through everything in the hour I had, but it would have been better to have even more time.

Since the Stadtturm (City Tower) was open an hour later, I made it my final stop.  I have begun to wonder why I always feel that climbing a zillion stairs is a great way to spend a weekend or vacation though – these tight spiral staircases make me a little dizzy on the way down!  This one is clever though in that it’s a double-helix, so a completely separate flight up and down.

It’s just above the famous Gold Roof, where the NYE festivities had already started.  It was kind of fun to enjoy the early music in Innsbruck, but to end the day in another city.  Plus, there was a serious issue with sexual assaults in Innsbruck that night (11 out of the 16 reported in Austria when I saw the coverage) and mostly of women alone, so I’m perhaps glad that it was easier and cheaper to fly home from Vienna.

Tuesday I’ll be posting more about New Year’s Eve in Vienna and reflections on 2016.