Guten morgen! Today, we traveled to Salzburg, Austria. The day started early. We got up at 5:30 am, got our showers, dressed, and finished packing. Breakfast was at 6:30 am. Ernie, Craig, Steve, and Carole were the first to depart for the airport at 7:15 am and the rest departed at 7:30 am.
Terry Beaumont took Michelle and I to the train station in Vienna. We arrived there at 8 am. He dropped us off at a remote station, so we had to figure out exactly where we were and how to get to the Vienna Hauptbahnhof (main train station) where we had to get on the train to Salzburg. We studied the subway/train map for a few minutes and had just about figured out which line we needed to get on and where we had to get off, when a nice gentleman volunteered to help us. He confirmed our decision for us, so we bought our subway tickets (4.40 Euro) and off we went.
We arrived at the Wein (Vienna) Meidling station at about 8:30 am and quickly found our departure line. The train for Salzburg departed at 10:37 am, so we had some time to kill. There was really no good place to wait. We found a few seats at the entrance to our departure line, but it was very cold there so we went back into the main waiting area and found a couple empty seats in the area near the ticket counters.
Our train was right on time and we only had a couple of minutes to board and they don’t wait for anybody. We had first class tickets and thought that the first class cars would be in the front of the train, but that was not the case. We finally saw a train employee and asked him where we needed to go. He grabbed Michelle’s suitcase, got us on the train and escorted us to our train car and our seats. The train actually started to move before we got seated.
The trip to Salzburg took 2 hours and 25 minutes. We were on a Railjet train that at times exceeded 200 KPH (or 120 MPH). The cost of our tickets was $29 Euro per person. The first class cars had very comfortable seats, plenty of leg room, and had a waiter that took our order for lunch (which costs extra). The ride was really smooth and soon after we ate lunch we both fell asleep. I woke up when we were about 10 minutes from Salzburg.
When we got off the train we went outside the train station and took a cab to our hotel – the Mirabellplatz hotel. It is located in the middle of the city and is a short walk from the old town part of the city. It was cold (about 45 degrees) and raining when we arrived but we wanted to see the city, so after we checked into the hotel we took our bags to our room, freshened up a bit, put on sweaters, got our umbrella and took off to explore the city. We only spent a couple of hours looking around before we got really cold, and since I am trying to get over my case of bronchitis, we decided to go back to the hotel and warm up some before dinner.
We got back about 4 pm and decided to take a short nap. We woke up a few minutes before 6 pm, got dressed and headed out to the restaurant that the receptionist at the front desk recommended to us. Fortunately, it was only about a 5 minute walk from the hotel. We ate at the Gablesbrau restaurant. It has been in business since 1429! This means it is almost 600 years old! The food was great and once again, I over did it and stuffed myself. After dinner we walked back to the hotel (still in the rain), watched a little TV, and read about Salzburg.
Tomorrow (April 9th), we will go on the Sound of Music Tour from 9 am to 1 pm. Hopefully, it will stop raining and warm up a little. We are looking forward to seeing all the sites that were used in the movie. It should be a good tour. After our tour, we get back on the train at 3:08 pm and travel back to Vienna. We will stay at a hotel near the airport tomorrow evening and fly out for Paris at 6:55 am on Sunday morning.
Well, that’s our report for today. More to follow from Austria tomorrow evening. I’ve posted below a few pictures that Michelle took today.