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A topping time in Tirol

Leave the ski jumping to the professionals, advises Clive Nicholls – but he still has a tip-top time in the Austrian Tirol

The view from the top of the ski jump is mesmerising. The whole of Innsbruck is spread out before me and the Austrian Alps form a dramatic backdrop to this beautiful, historic city.

The take-off slope looks unbelievably steep and I must admit I’m in awe of the sportsmen (and women) who have the bottle to launch themselves down the hill at 60mph, fly 200 yards and then crashland into packed ice before the safety fence stops them injuring the spectators.

I can imagine that if I got to the top, skis on, and the call came out “Nicholls, you’re up next” I would politely decline: “No thanks, the view is too good to miss.”

Britain’s own, much-loved, Eddie the Eagle came to grief here with a bone-breaking crash and a visit to the local hospital. Enjoy the view and leave the skiing to someone else – that’s my advice. 

Innsbruck is fairly compact and with a good pair of shoes and a hearty breakfast
you can cover most of it on foot. Taking the lift down from the ski jump, after a short walk across the park the next stop is the Tirol Panorama. This is a huge painting (1000 square metres) covering the dramatic events in the history of the Tirol. It’s a 360-degree scene that you walk around on an elevated platform
and is painted in a way that makes it appear almost 3D.

It’s unusual and fascinating in equal measure – definitely worth a visit.

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Our break was provided by Inghams, find out more about them here

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