Monday, April 12, 2010

Lost in Germany (and other parts of Bavaria)

Just got back from an interesting and fun weekend. We caught three separate trains only by running to them, missed another one entirely, had to find impromptu accommodations in the middle of the night in Salzburg, lost some souvenirs and still managed to have a good time.

My three day holiday began with Tim and I racing to catch an early train to Salzburg. Thanks to good public transportation and quick walking, we arrived just in time. The journey was pleasantly uneventful except for the fact that the train tracks were out of order for one stretch in Austria and we had to take a bus through some villages to reach the next train station. Several absurdly picturesque towns later, we arrived.

We managed to meet up with Daniel and Amanda around 10:30pm and promptly took the wrong bus. This left us in the rough part of town. To be fair, the rough part of Salzburg is a lot like the rough part of Beverly Hills but it still necessitated us getting a cab to finally reach our bed and breakfast. As you can see from the picture below, it was well worth the trouble.

Our view from the B&B

We spent the next day exploring all over Salzburg including the fortress overlooking the city, several lovely cathedrals and the beautiful Mirabell Gardens. I’d personally like to go back for about a week and explore more of the city and the lake country surrounding it.

The Fortress and the Salzburg Dom from the Mirabell Gardens

However I did get to spend more time there this time than I expected to. Thanks to a late visit to the Augustiner Restaurant and Brewery, and some drinking by my friends, we missed the final train to Munich by 5 minutes (AARRGGGHH). Fortunately the B&B we stayed at the night before had one room (and only one room) available. However since it had only one double-bed, Tim and I had to sleep on the floor. But at least it was inside!

Salzburg from the Fortress

Saturday we got up and were heading for the train station when Amanda realized they had lost their souvenir bag. This caused great distress for the Schlieters. After much frantic looking we finally found … that it was really lost. The good news was, we made our train and managed to reach Munich by 12:25. This gave us just enough time to store our suitcases in lockers, get food, meet my friend Jen and catch the 12:50 train to Neuschwanstein Castle.

From the left: Me, Amanda, Daniel, Jen, Tim, gorgeous castle

After the frantic morning, the ride out was relaxing and the Castle was again awe-inspiring. The hike up was invigorating. Basically, this part of the trip was nearly perfect for me.

A n evening train back to Munich and a stopover for food and drinks on the way had us arriving at our hostel around 12:30am. This was not a problem.

After a happily uneventful night’s sleep, we arose and spent Sunday exploring M√ľnchen (Munich’s German name). This consisted of a cold but pretty tour of the Old Town and lunch with a couple of my friends from there. And to bring the trip full circle, despite arriving at the train station over an hour early, we STILL had to run to catch the train to Prague. This was somewhere between frustrating to infuriating for me but it faded once we were safely rolling towards home.

New city gates of Munich

Overall, a very good weekend and definitely one I won’t forget anytime soon. I had a couple great traveling rules strongly reinforced. 1) ALWAYS know when the last train leaves 2) Always remember your towel … when visiting a hostel 3) If your friends are slower than you, leave em at home (or tell them that things begin earlier than they do) and finally 4) Remember that a tough day traveling is still better than a good day at work, so SMILE! :D

No comments:

Post a Comment