no matter where you go, there you are

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

crystal clear

After the magnificence of the mountains, I knew nothing else that day could beat what I felt on top of the snow-covered peak, but the Innsbruck card covered bus travel and free admission to the Swarovksi Crystal Museum, and Anne mentioned to me it was a neat place, so I thought I would check it out. Swarovski is an extremely famous crystal manufacturer and they have stores all around the globe. The are quite pricey based on what I saw in the gift shop. The shuttle ride was about 20 minutes long and it took you right to the front door of the museum. The first thing you see upon approaching the entrance is the face water feature built into the grass. Creepy and interesting are both good words to describe it.  And as it happens, both those adjectives along with "acid trip" would be a good way to describe the museum.

The first room you enter into is pitch black except for the artistically designed crystal on the walls reflecting the little light there is. In the center on the floor is the world's largest crystal. It's pretty big, I'm not gonna lie.

From there on, I don't remember the order or the rooms/exhibits, but some specifics stand out. The giant dome with hundreds of sides was one of my favorite parts. Inside is all reflective surfaces and even though the music was a little weird, the changing colors of light altered my perception of everything and I spent a good deal of time with my head tilted back admiring it all.

 The other portion of the museum I loved was the Crystal tree. Made completely out of crystal, the tree looked like an angelic pine covered in snow in the middle of a far off wood. It was something I wouldn't mind having in my house, but the presentation would be hard to replicate. What made it stand out so much was it being surrounded completely by black walls and a room with no light except for the few shining onto the tree itself. Utterly beautiful.

Now, even though there were some really interesting things, overall I felt like the museum was somewhat pretentious and a couple of the rooms really did feel like acid trips. Especially when they didn't even incorporate crystal that much. An example was a room that had pants and shirts flying around on a loop and they were also seen dancing to music. It was like a really bad Disney ride. Another room was similar but had about 6-7 small mechanical "exhibits" and some had no crystal involved in them so I didn't see their point. They were just weird and felt like a "look what we can do" kind of place.

At the end of all these strange rooms, almost all in the dark, was a giant crystal jellyfish and that was a good ending note cuz it was pretty cool. The gift shop which looked more like a department store floor had some really neat stuff but nothing I could afford from my wallet. There was a $27,000 crystal eagle which was gorgeous of course, but priceyyyy.

Reemerging from the underground, no light at all museum the sun had set and it was just as dark outside. Though it had only been an hour and a half or so, I was so physically and mentally exhausted and drained I wish my hotel wasn't a bus ride away.

I returned to the cutest hotel alive and checked into my private, single room which was perfect even though I would have to go down the hall to use the shower. But it didn't seem like many people were there as the hotel was so quiet. Although I'd been on my own for 2 weeks now, I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude and peacefulness Hotel Weisses Kreuz emitted. There were about 1000 things I loved about this place but I'll only mention a few here. First, the hotel wasn't set up like a fancy, new modern structure. The check-in desk is on the first floor up the stairs from the entrance and it looks a lot like you just stepped into someones home. The living room has a tv, toys and Tirolean furniture. Nothing looks out of place. There is a rustic dining room as well that probably fits about 50-60 people.

The other highlight which skyrocketed this place to the top of my list was the offer to serve my breakfast at 5am even though it normally doesn't begin until 7. I was shocked when the woman offered it to me and I was elated since I was sad I was going to miss the free breakfast. When I went down at 5am the next morning, it was all ready for me, the server said I could sit anywhere and then kept bringing me more and more food options. It was probably one of the most glorious parts of the entire trip. Just outstanding. The customer service at this hotel was spectacular. If you are ever in Innsbruck, I highly highly recommend choosing to stay here. It's downtown location is perfect and close to all the sights and the Weisses Kreuz is everything a traveler could want in a hotel.

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