Austria Vacation Log: Day 8, Trains to Salzburg

Most of today was spent traveling to Salzburg. We walked to the train station in Reutte and found the ticket window closed. Someone else was there waiting, and I used my German to find out that we could buy tickets on the train:
“Wissen Sie wo wir Fahrkarten kaufen können?”
“Im Zug.”

The first train of the day took us to Garmish-Partenkirchen, former host of the Winter Olympics, and a place I visited on my first visit to Germany two years ago. Our original plan was to take a second train to Innsbruck, and a third train to Salzburg, but our conductor gave us another option. This option added another two hours to our trip, but saved us about 70 dollars. I’m not sure it was worth it- we ended up on two more slow trains and a bus, and actually had lunch back in München (White bratwurst sandwich with a cheese pretzel). We were very hot, tired, and cranky when we finally arrived in Salzburg (English link) in mid-afternoon. The walk to the hotel felt like a long way, but it was probably under a mile. The hotel (English link) itself had a big crowd inside, but the innkeeper Silvia asked our name and handed us our keys in 10 seconds flat.

After a shower and short rest, we set out across the river and into the old town.

The courtyards and narrow streets felt crowded, but that was really just our mood. We recognized this, and took immediate steps to correct it. When we arrived at the Café Tomaselli (German link), we ascended a little spiral staircase to an upstairs deck. We grabbed an table on a terrace overlooking a square and relaxed with glasses of white wine. Ahhh! Great people watching from up here- apparently Salzburg is a real shopping destination for the rich and famous of Europe. There are enough woman walking the cobblestone streets in stiletto heels to rival Italy.

Finally relaxed, we wandered up to the base of the castle and found the Weisses Kreutz (English link) restaurant (it means “White Cross” in English).

We got an outside table in an ivy covered porch. We had peppers stuffed with herb cream cheese for an appetizer. For the main course, I had a Baltic Grill plate: different kinds of meats in various spicy sauces. No, I have no idea what I was eating. Yes, it was fantastic. A mug of the local brew, Steigl Heller, saved me from the spice. After the meal we had a Yugoslavian plum cordial, and then a beautiful walk home through what was quickly becoming our favorite city in Europe.

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