I’ve often wondered if the hills really were alive with music in Austria. Having grown up watching The Sound of Music to the point at which I had the conversations memorized and the songs always on my lips, it was a legitimate question in my mind.
I finally have my answer! After traveling to Innsbruck and Seefeld, I can assure you – the hills don’t sing. However, there is a symphony of sorts in the snow-capped mountains, green pastures and brilliant blue sky of Austria and its Alps. In the colorful streets of Innsbruck. In the flower-box-lined streets of Tirol.
I owe thanks to Oliver Gradwell of TBU, who flew me to Innsbruck so that I could photograph the events and share the joy of iPhoneography while teaching my fellow travel bloggers during a photo walk. It didn’t go exactly as I planned. None of TBU did, for me, yet all for the best. It was a week I’ll never forget, packed so full of experiences that by the time I was making my way back to New York through Amsterdam I could barely keep my eyes open even while standing, so sleep deprived and energy-drained was I. The classes taught were genuinely helpful and appropriate to the crowd on hand at the conference, several were scaled into different levels for varying levels of experience. The pitch-to-PR room was a smashing success and the evening events made me fear we travelers might drain Innsbruck of all its beer … we certainly gave it a good shot!
I’ll be doing a follow-up post on a few of the experiences I had in more detail. Yet, I couldn’t let any more time go by without thanking some of the people and organizations, besides Oliver, who made my trip so special!
- Nicholas from Innsbruck Tourism who was so forthright and outgoing and who went out of his way to accomodate more than one blogger when things got sticky. I very much enjoyed sitting with him at dinner one night and hearing his frank thoughts on Austria, tourism and twitter. It has been fun to watch him be more active on twitter since TBU and I hope that was the positive influence we bloggers had on him during our visit?
- Austrian Tourist Board who handled such a large amount of the logistics for all of us bloggers visiting Austria that I honestly don’t even know how to thank them.
- Grauer Bär Hotel hosted the conference and all of the bloggers who spoke or taught during the conference. Thank you for giving us a home during our stay in Innsbruck!
- Lilli Linsenmeyer from Seefeld Tourism, hosted myself and several other bloggers during our post-conference tour. Lilli was so delightful and really was the glue that made our stay so pleasant in Tirol. I cannot thank her enough for all she did for us and for all she helped us to experience. I dream about returning to Tirol weekly! Thanks Lilli.
- Just a few of the bloggers I met for the first time at TBU, all whom I can’t wait to see again: Keith Jenkins, Melvin Boecher, John O’Nolan, Abigail King, Isabelle Kenis, Chris Richardson, Jools Stone.
- Bloggers I saw again and never tire of: Andy Hayes (totally my partner-in-crime all week, big hugs to Andy for making sure I never ate a meal alone), Ken Kaminesky, Janice Waugh, Dylan Lowe.
- There are so many more, if I typed out every name this post would be absurdly long. Thank you to everyone I met or saw again who made TBU a week I will never forget. See you in Umbria! If not before.
Though this trip was sponsored, as always, the views and opinions in this post are my own.