Venture Outside Vienna
Sunday, August 17, 2008 – Wien
Next day – Sunday, August 17, 2008 we woke up well before alarm clock, and we were ready for breakfast at 7:50. Trains for Salzburg leaves every hour so we aimed at 9:40 train. We tried to use ancient elevator to bring our bags down, but we end up on the very top floor of the building and Mr. Barron with pliers in his hand had to climb to the very top to rescue the elevator. We had to descend in manual mode from top to bottom with all our suitcases, and we emerged from the pension at 9:15. A short 15 minutes walk to the station and we boarded the train going to Swiss Basel. Lira suggested not buying round trip, so we would not be tied up in our return options (great idea!).
We discovered that we can occupy seats that are not marked as taken near the entrance to each sitting area. These seats are reserved for people who bought tickets on next stops.
As soon as I remarked on their Austrian punctuality, train stopped once and stopped second time so we were now 30 minutes behind schedule. Lira immediately turned thirsty, and a small bottle of water cost us 2.80€. It means we were unprepared. Somewhere in the middle of the trip it turns out that our tickets were Second Class and we had to either pay extra 88€ or move to second class cars. We decided to move. Second class wasn’t that bad except, that in was 6 seats instead of four and air conditioning was either absent or not working. Based on this experience I decided never again ride expensive and hot trains of Europe voluntarily.
We arrived to Saltsburg around 13:10, and Lira learned that bus number 2 will take us to the airport, where Rent-a-Car places open even on Sunday. Here, around BAHNHOF SALZBURG-AIGEN all rent-a-car places were closed today. We needed to strategize.
We looked at the location of hotels scattered on the map of Salzburg. We will take a room here, near train station, we walk to the city and we will rent a car tomorrow. We ask for rooms in several places and stopped our search on a Pension Jahn for 60€. A Chinese family is running this hotel. They are very precise and efficient.
Now we were 20 minutes from food and entertainment. First we run into a gathering point of Austrian Communist Party with a quote from Karl Marx about “strength in unity”. Then we spotted a drinking bar at the top of one of the central hotels, which had very nice views, but no food. Finally, we found a perfect combination of remoteness, quietness, recognizable menu and good view on the river Salzach at Café Sacher – again.
Around 5PM we started our exploration of the city. First off – Mozart Wohnhaus – a place, where he was born and lived first 17 years. It is amazing how many tiny shortcuts and passages are open for regular people. Some times the actual path will go through a building, and they always try to warn you, if there is no pass at the end of yet another gallery or small street.
Closer to the evening we started to climb to the fortress Festung Hohensalzburg dominating above the city skyline. You go through a number of strong-points, gates, you are surrounded either by abyss of heights or by walls. History of the fortress begins in 1077, but most of the buildings and structures that we saw were dated XV – XVII century. We did not have to pay anything to enter may be because of the late hour. This fortress is very impressive, very real, and contains many unusual construction secrets of the passed centuries.
On the way back Lira found a sign to Naturfreunde-Häuser – a chain of hostel type of living for lovers of nature. We couldn’t quite find it in the dark alleys of the fortress park, but we did found pretty amazing narrow passage leading us back down to the city, where we had our supper around 10PM.
On the way back to the hotel we discover a magnificent city-view from a Bike Bridge. This view combined both the city bellow and the fortress above and the Salzach river and everything in a pretty electric illumination.
Navigate through the List
- 01 European Trip 2008 to Austria and Italy – Preparations (2018/02/28)
- 02 Trip to Austria and Italy – August 13-14 – First Steps in Wien (2018/03/04)
- 03 Trip to Austria and Italy – August 15, 2008 – Wien (2018/03/08)
- 04 Trip to Austria and Italy – August 16, 2008 – Wien (2018/03/12)
- 05 Trip to Austria and Italy – August 17, 2008 – Salzburg (2018/03/16)