Alpine romance: Tyrolian Huts around Innsbruck
Article by Birgit Krista
In the Alpine west of Austria, there are many things to see. After a long day on the skiing slope you might want to discover authentic Alpine lifestyle, which is best found in Alpine huts. Mountainous areas in Austria have a long tradition of these huts since in former times (and even nowadays) cattle breeding farmers used to drove their herds on fresh Alpine pastures in summer where they had to stay during the whole season.
At present, Alpine huts are far more than a farmer′s summer shelter. Many of them have developed to hiker′s hostels or to high (or low) quality restaurants. There surely are numerous huts all around the Alps. You will find them in Vorarlberg, as well as in Tyrol, Salzburg or Carinthia. The following places are to find near Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol.
The Alpine hut "Buzihütte" is an especially cosy place where a lot of students come together. Contrary to other huts, this cabin is a restaurant and not a hostel. Nevertheless, a visit is almost obligatory. Since it is located in the middle of a forest and thus a little secluded, the Buzihütte seems to be a real hideaway. The terrace provides a stunning view over the city of Innsbruck.
In winter, it has a lot to offer, too. The hut itself is divided into a bigger room and a smaller one downstairs. If you wish to share the real hut feeling I recommend going downstairs since this room is lit by candles only. Additionally, there are several guitars provided for the guests. So if you are in the mood for some music, go and fetch one of the instruments. The biggest attraction, however, is the food. If you are ever guest in an Alpine hut, you are not likely to starve.
Traditionally, portions are notoriously gigantic and the food is filling. This fact is especially true for the Buzihütte. There are a lot of traditional dishes and every day of the week there is a special offer. On Tuesdays, you can find out about the famous "Spätzle" which is some kind of egg pasta. On Wednesdays the spare rib evening takes place. Don′t miss a good Wiener Schnitzel on Thursdays. Fridays are reserved for schnapps, Saturday for the typical Tyrolean dumplings.
On Sundays you have the opportunity to taste a good slice of strudel. The all-time favourite of many guests, however, is a Schnitzel called "Eiterbeule" which means "boil" or "furuncle". This dish owes its tasty name to the special breading that it is coated with. All in all the Buzihütte is the right place to get in contact with authentic traditional Austrian cuisine.
Another hut that surely is worth a visit is the Höttinger Alm 1487 meters above sea level. This destination is especially tempting for mountain bikers since there are several biking routes to the top. Skiers, however, are not likely to discover this hut, since it is only open from May until November.
A big advantage of these two huts is that the food and drinks have reasonable prices. You can have spinach dumplings with salad (which is the specialty of this Alpine hut) or roast pork for 7.60 Euros. A big glass of apple juice costs 1.90 Euros or if you feel more like drinking a big glass of beer you will have to pay 2.40 Euros. The owner is also known to be very open-minded since he accepted one of the Nepalese tourism interns that have followed the invitation of the Tyrolean Nepal foundation. So guests have also the opportunity to taste multicultural cuisine.
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