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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

June 28th: Train transfer to Innsbruck

 We rode the 2 miles to the train station, and then took apart the triplet in order to get it onto the correct platform. When the train arrived, it was a mad scrambled to get everything in, since unlike the newer trains this wasn't a roll on roll off train, but was instead a double step up with a narrow turn to get the bikes on. While getting all the bikes on and off I got chain and grease marks all over myself and Xiaoqin. I would joke to Xiaoqin that these were the lover's kisses from my mistress, and she would punch me.

We arrived in Innsbruck and walked the 10 minutes to the hotel after traversing the maze of elevators (at least there were elevators!) to get out of the main train station. We parked our bikes at the hotel, and left our luggage with them while deciding what to do. The kids wanted to go the the archaeology museum, and after taknig the bus there we discovered it wasn't a museum, but just a display at the local university. I remembered that in 2010 we visited Castle Amblas, which had a lot of armor and other impressive stuff, so I suggested we go there. It would turn out to be a major mistake.

The actual museum was fine, and the kids enjoyed looking at all the armor. Xiaoqin enjoyed the display and took her time using the audio guide which discussed all the details. What went wrong was that despite my warning to eat well at breakfast, Bowen and Boen didn't do so, and we ended up having lunch at the museum cafetaria. Boen was lucky but Bowen ordered the Spaghetti Bolognese. I did too, but while all I did was feel slightly nauseated and had one instance of diarrhea, Bowen got a full dose of either food poisoning or food-borne virus and that would haunt him for the rest of his time in Europe. He even threw up some of that spaghetti then and there!

On reflection, the reason why of all my trips to Europe, I'd never once gotten food poisoning before, was because when you're traveling by bicycle, you don't usually frequent the places tourists go to, like museum cafetarias. If you eat at a restaurant or even a hotel that locals would eat at, any instance of food poisoning would result in the restaurant or hotel being shut down. (In many villages, the hotel also doubles as the place to dine out) But for a place like Castle Ambras, any food poisoning might have consequences only a day or two later, when the tourist is in another town, and in any case a tourist wouldn't even know who to call or complain about bad food!

After Amblas, we went back to our hotel and checked in for real, and then I booked train tickets to Landeck for the next day. I held off booking a hotel because I didn't know how far we might get up the mountain. It started raining, so I went out and bought fruit for snacks, and we ended up walking around in the rain after we got bored with staying indoors. Dinner was at a highly rated Korean place, but I learned from then on that the highly rated Asian places are highly rated because they're unusual for Austria, not because they're actually any good compared to what we got in California.

We went to bed with all the curtains drawn, reasonably confident that the next day's weather would be nice. I was hopeful we could do some cycling.

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