WATCH: I braved a ski jump 'trembling board' in Austria like Eddie the Eagle Edwards

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WATCH: I braved the 'trembling board' made famous by ski jumpers like Eddie the Eagle Edwards but then fell down the mountain anyway.

If there is one thing I've learned from my Austrian experience, there's much more to the Innsbruck area of Austria than rocketing downhill at speed.

It was all going so well after being coaxed by real ski jumper Thomas Hofer out on to the plank of wood know as a 'trembling board' to see what athletes experience as they prepare to propel themselves into the air.

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I felt like Eddie the Eagle Edwards as I wobbled 250m above Innsbruck, gazing down on to the jump and across to the stunning vista of snowy mountains and alpine communities below. It was epic but then I was strapped in and didn't have to actually launch. Respect to all ski jumpers.

Later I crashed down the mountain. But first, I was in the stunning city and resorts of Innsbruck, Austria, to see what it had to offer above (literally) and beyond the glorious ski holidays it's famous for.

First stop was the remarkable Bergisel ski jumping station, an absolute miracle of architecture (designed by late British architect Zaha Hadid) , which acts as a training base and competition site for ski jumpers. It's also a must-do for tourists - and a dream for Instagrammers - who can eat like royalty in the SKY restaurant, gazing down the slope into the Innsbruck Valley. A remarkable once in a lifetime experience available to all. But a morning glass of champagne buoyed me up to shuffle across the trembling board. It's not for the faint-hearted.

But the Bergisel is not the only experience which requires no skis. Using the all encompassing Innsbruck card which puts the beautiful city and its surrounding mountains, myriad ski resorts, and attractions at your disposal for 24, 48 or 36 hours, we hopped on to the funicular right in the centre of Innsbruck at Nordkettenbahnen and then on to the cable car to Seegrube.

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There, with whiteout conditions through the windows, we enjoyed a scenic, warm, lunch at the Seegrube restaurant while we watched hardy skiers and snowboarders bobbing up and down through driving snow. There's an unbelievable view on a less Narnia-like day.

But it was not just snow driving the sparkle. We landed at the remarkable Swarovski Crystal Worlds not quite knowing what to expect. But much like Charlie's Chocolate Factory it was a world of pure imagination, with room after room filled incredible uses of Swarovski crystals - from experiential mirror rooms to genuine cultural icons.

The actual heart necklace worn by Rose in the Titanic film and the 3,000 crystal 'chandelier' dress worn by by Katy Perry at the Met Gala are on show amongst many others. Swarovski is worn by celebrities around the world - they have even made red carpet outfits and costumes for Harry Styles and Taylor Swift - many are returned to Crystal Worlds on rotation for viewing. It's also a mecca for children, with another whole building dedicated to play and a merry-go-round which we scampered on like five-year-olds.

Unlike most ski tourists , who confine themselves to the albeit amazing resorts, we stayed in Innsbruck itself where the gloriously green and icy River Inn (it's a tributary for the Danube) winds itself lazily through the city against a backdrop of multi-coloured houses and snowy peaks.

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This means we have myriad options of cultural experiences, restaurants and shops (from tourist boutiques to Mango) at our doorstep, most accessible with the Innsbruck card, plus the option of travelling to any of the nine ski resorts scattered across the wider Innsbruck district like diamonds. Public transport is included.

Eating spots cater for all tastes, from fine dining to more family oriented experiences and authentic Austrian cuisine - and you are never more than a few metres away from an Apple Strudel. There's also the most gloriously quaint entrance to a McDonalds I've ever seen.

We took a walking tour around the old town and inner city, the best way to experience all it has to offer with insight from local experts. A highlight was the Hofkirche (church) with its imposing funeral monument to Emperor Maximilian and 28 bronze statues depicting middle age personalities - they are very realistic.

Then to the snow. Our first ski stop was Olympic ski resort Axamer Lizum with its plethora of options for all abilities. One thing you can't choose is the weather and the theme of whiteout continued as we found our ski legs. It was at the end of a glorious exhausting afternoon and on the final leg of a red run I cornered too sharply, cross my skis and ripped a ligament in my knee.

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I can't say my bucket list included being taxied painfully down a slope of a skidoo by a gruff Austrian member of mountain rescue - but happy to say I can now tick that off, even if was relegated to limping along duties for the remainder of the trip. Tip: If you feel tired and overwhelmed, take a rest and don't carryon regardless - there's always the next day. But I can confirm, nonetheless, the skiing at Axiom was pretty amazing.

Over the next few days we also tried out Kuhtai resort, where the sun shone down gloriously on the stunning slopes. While I couldn't ski, I enjoyed the Apres anyway and explored the snow hotel carved out of ice without actually staying the night (would you?). I managed to trek up the mountain to the top of the incredible toboggan run, where I watched the rest of my group, shoot down the mountain to the village giggling when not upended in a pile of snow.

Our ski stop on the final day was Mutteralm resort (known locally as Mutters) where there a very family friendly selection of slopes , with lots of lessons ongoing and and stunning alpine walks for those (ahem) who don't want to strap on skis that day. I walked along a tree lined path with stunning views across the mountains - it was hardly believable that within a matter of hours, I'd be zooming back from Innsbruck airport to the UK. Hobbling, but happy.

For more information on anything Innsbruck, including the Innsbruck Card and ski resorts look up Innsbruck Tourism.

Where I stayed: Stage 12, Innsbruck

Where I ate:

Family friendly: Flo Jos Innsbruck

Premium location: Restaurant Wesses Rossl

At the top of the mountain: Seegrube Restaurant

Old town, international cuisine: Restaurant Das Schindler

The views & fine dining: Restaurant Weitsicht

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