Austria

Traveling solo in Austria

For four months, I studied abroad in London, England. These notes are select entries from my experiences in the United Kingdom and Western Europe from that time.

Saturday, November 28 –

Buying train tickets in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Buying train tickets in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

I woke up around 8 a.m. and took a shower before packing my mess. Barry then did the same before we got our finances in order. We then went downstairs and had continental breakfast with some other Americans in the room, some who happened to be the ugly Americans you hear stories about. I packed an extra baguette for lunch to eat on the rails to Vienna (Wien).

We then put our stuff in the Opal and cleaned it up pretty good before leaving for some shopping in the central part of town. I was down to about US$ 20 so I didn’t really want to buy anything. Barry bought some Christmas (Weinachten) gifts and cards while I toured the old town Catholic Church.

We left at 11 a.m for the Bahnhoff where I validated my Eurail Pass. Barry and I then walked to the platform where I was to take the 11:30 train to Innsbruck, Austria. Barry and I gave each other a big hug and said goodbye before we parted ways. I waved goodbye as we left the train station to the world’s greatest uncle and who chose to come over and spend his prized vacation time with me. Barry would be flying from Frankfurt am Main on Sunday to Atlanta.

1Alps

The train ride from Garmish-Partenkirchen was incredible through the Alps as we snaked through the snow-covered peaks towards Innsbruck. We passed through 17 tunnels and stopped 11 time on the rails to Innsbruck were we arrived at 13:00 p.m. I had a 30-minute wait for my EC (EuroCity) Wien-bound train. Innsbruck looked beautiful, and was home to the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.

My train ride to Wien was gorgeous with almost clear blue skies and views of the Austrian Alps. About halfway towards Salzburg (home of Mozart), the skies turned cloudy and from the coach department, it seemed that more snow was very likely. My train arrived in Wien at 18:45 p.m.

I then used my ATM card to get some Austrian schillings and I went to the hotel booking office to arrange some accommodations for the next two nights. I found a hotel called the Cryston located nearby. I figured out the transport map and boarded an S-bahn towards it. I then walked the rest of the way. The hotel was very nice with a shower and TV moderately price for Wien at only $68 an evening.

Stephansdom

Stephansdom in Vienna

I then went for a metro ride and walk to become acquainted with the city. I visited St. Stephenplatz and was amazed by the enormous size of the church and fashionable area surrounding it with stores such as Gucci, Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace, to name just a few. I then returned by metro to Margaretgurtel, my metro stop. I prepared a list of sights to see for Sunday before I went to bed. I find it interesting that Museums and exhibits are open on Sundays while shops are not. This is because these Museums are closed on Mondays instead. I find Vienna to be very beautiful, clean and full of art. The German is a little bit different than Germany’s. I went to bed at about midnight.

Categories: Austria, Europe, Salzburg, Vienna

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