Swarovski invited fellow blogger Lea Hajner and myself to their Kritsallwelten for a presentation of the Fat Bus, sculptured by world renowned artist, Erwin Wurm.
I have been to the Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) on a number of occasions, I wrote an article about the fmRiese event that happened last year.
Located in Wattens, it is a 20 minute bus ride from Innsbruck main station. It really is an inspiring place to visit, hang out and take a break from everyday life. The Crystal Worlds is for all ages and tastes, which is why it is one of Austria’s most visited sights.
Erwin Wurm’s Fat Bus (Dicker Bus)
Being a classic VW campervan fan, this practical piece of art caught my attention as soon as I laid my eyes on it.
It is not practical in a driving sense, Erwin explained to me that it cannot be driven, but it is the venues hotdog stand. Not just any hotdog stand, but the best hotdogs I have ever tasted are served up from this camper and in the most deliciously unconventional flavours.
The “Dijon” mustard yellow was specifically chosen by Erwin to fit with the hotdog theme. The curvy structure of the Fat Bus and its trailer give a fun, cute and happy attraction, especially with the mini smile on its face.
Having a chit chat
It was great to meet such a world renowned artist with a style that I like. Using the 1960s VW campervan as the framework connects with my interests of the “hippie” type lifestyle; surfing, skateboarding, exploring, free spirit, music and the campervan itself. One of my favourite elements of this piece are the gigantic silver sausage sculptures, that make up the eating tables.
Lea told me how Erwin’s work inspired the music video to Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ “Can’t Stop”. I love this track and brings back many memories of snowboard trips before moving to Innsbruck.
I said to Erwin about my friends John and Laura, who were on their way from England to Innsbruck as part of their two week European road trip/honeymoon. We found a bit of humour in the fact that the campervan had already broken down in Belgium, their reliability is known to not be great – John and Laura managed to get it fixed, so all good. The Fat Bus was originally a similar model.
Who was there?
Along with the press and other guests, it was good to meet Swarovski family member and Head of Professional Business; Markus Langes Swarovski. Also there as part of the presentation was Carla Rumler, Cultural Director at Swarovski and the CEO of the Kristallwelten Stefan Isser, who I have met before. All three were fantastic hosts and very down to earth, we all received a very warm welcome on the cold spring day.
Whilst I’m name dropping, I thought I’d mention the legendary Tommy Hilfiger was also there with his wife Dee Ocleppo. They enjoyed the Fat Bus too.
Finishing with a hotdog, a beer and a present
Of course we got to try the hotdogs. I had the Klassikdog with a lovely addition of gherkin and the Italodog with a touch of pesto, absolutely delicious.
We finished with a beer and a mingle in the Crystal bar at the exit of the store. As we left, we were presented with a wonderful goodie bag that included a press brochure, the Crystal Worlds magazine and a porcelain hotdog plate, signed by Erwin Wurm himself. This will be going on my wall at home, many thanks Erwin Wurm and Swarovski!
The shuttle bus takes you from Innsbruck central station to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds and is well worth a visit. Not only can you check out the Fat Bus and its delicious hotdogs, but there are many other fantastic works of art, by other great artists. Plus there are plenty of attractions to see and interact with and a restaurant, so it is easy to spend all day there. Have fun and enjoy escaping the norm and being inspired at the same time.
More of Erwin Wurm’s work can be found on his website.
For more details about the Swarovski Crystal Worlds, go to the Innsbruck website.
Shuttle bus times and info can be found on this page.
All photos © Ashley Wiggins, unless otherwise stated.