Television means no extra game in Austria


Our destination was Innsbruck for the Austrian Bundesliga fixture between Wacker Innsbruck and SK Austria Kärnten. We all met up in the centre of Salzburg just as Steve Cotterill strolled past in the morning sun with his phone stuck to his ear.

Eventually on our way the trip to Innsbruck was 190km but this was nothing like an away game down the M6. Yes, the traffic was at times busier that we would have wished but the A10 and A12 took us along a stunning route of mountains, lakes and castles.

It was worth going for the journey alone and that was happen as well. Leaving the A12 for Innsbruck took us straight to the new Tivoli Stadium and we went to get our match tickets in a café bar attached to the ground which doubled up as a ticket office.

"How many tickets would you like?" asked the waiter, and having told him six he asked which game we wanted the tickets for. "Tonight's game please," we said but we were stunned with the response, "There is no game tonight."

UEFA had told us there was, so had the Austrian Bundesliga but after they had confirmed it for us the game was moved to the Friday for television coverage, and had ended in a 1-1 draw with the visitors bagging a late equaliser after Orosz had given Wacker the lead just before half time.

So Innsbruck the town it was, and this is a place well worth a visit. Strolling down the main street 'Marie-Theresa Straße' is magnificent with the view of the mountains looking down just fantastic. It is difficult to compare it with looking down St. James Street in Burnley where the Keirby Hotel catches the eye.

Some serious shopping was done, some of our party tried Tirolean hats on for size, John even cheated on his diet with a double scoop ice cream and Martin treated someone to a traditional gift from the Tirol, a yodelling beer can.

All that was left as a walk to the ski jump used in the 1964 Winter Olympics. "It's just ten minutes away," said John but a quarter of an hour later and still nowhere near Daz, Martin and myself settled for some photographs from distance.

Then it was back to Salzburg for our last evening in Austria and we managed to get ourselves ripped off with an over expensive bottle of wine. Our wine correspondent Martin had chosen a wine with a cork in the bottle rather than a bottle top (so we thought it might not be cheap) but even so we never expected to pay €26 for it. The meal had been OK, but I can assure you the waiter didn't receive a tip.

A few drinks and it was back to the hotel with our umbrella thief Honest John concerned about potentially using a bus ticket that was perhaps a few minutes past its expiry time. His guilt disappeared about three seconds after getting off at the terminus.

The trip was just about over, we had an early start to look forward to the following morning to get to the airport, after an early breakfast at our excellent accommodation. It brought to an end a superb week in a wonderful part of the world. And we didn't even bring any of Mozart's chocolates back with us.