Our European Trip - 2005 travel blog

Nan on Train to Salzburg

Christine & Nan on Train to Salzburg

We were awakened around 4:00am by a chorus of voices from the street singing Jingle Bells in German and accompanied by a drum, followed by several other songs, some recognizable, some not.. The exact cause of the singing was not known by us, nor did we attempt to find out. We could only conclude that, being Friday night, it was a combination of youthful exuberance and over-indulgance. Prior to dinner last night we had a conversation with the couple next door from Philadelphia who had travelled 19 hours to get to Lucerne and we promised not to disturb them with our early departure. What they thought of the racket we could only guess.

We awoke again at a more reasonable time to be greeted with heavy rain. We had breakfast and checked out. Our short walk over the bridge to the train station left us less wet than we had expected.

Our plans for a long, leisurely train journey enjoying the Swiss and Austrian Alps were dashed by the weather. The past weather of a month ago had washed out a portion of the track and we were forced to take two trains and a bus from Zurich rather than the one we had planned. The immediate weather saw the cloud level at a few hundred feet, obliterating the view of the mountains for the entire journey. The first portion to Zurich went smoothly and we had plenty time to change trains. We knew our journey was to be broken, but Nan's ticket, obtained on Wednesday, indicated we could get the same train. This was incorrect and we spent a few anxious moments interpreting the German for "Cancelled" and finding a substitute train which took us to Stangen where we transferred effortlessly to a bus. The bus proceeded well until we were delayed by road works, possibly due to the same flooding which had washed out the track. The driver made another detour and came out ahead of the line at the traffic signals close to the road works. We appeared still to be on good time for our connection, when, 24 kilometers from Landeck the bus stopped and allowed people to stretch their legs. There appeared no reason for the stop so close to our destination. As a result, we missed our connection at Landeck and had to wait two hour for the next train. This was disappointing for us, but the couple in front of us in the bus are on their way to Armenia and had planned a connection at Vienna to Istanbul, which meant they were going to lose a whole day due to a ten minute delay.

The train from Landeck is quite sumptuous, with individual leather seats and service from the dining car at your seat. It was quite interesting to watch the conductor juggle his duties of making announcements, serving drinks and jumping off at stations to wave the green flag.

The rain and low clouds follow us and we still have not seen a mountain.

We arrived at Salzburg and walked in the rain to our hotel, again, getting less wet than we would have expected. We got settled in and went for dinner, enjoying comparing notes with another couple who had been on the train and were using Rick Steve's guide for their trip. They were on their way to Italy, having come from St. Moritz.

We look forward to seeing more of Salzburg tomorrow.

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