Austrian Adventure

Trip Start Apr 04, 2007
Trip End Oct 22, 2007

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Flag of Austria  ,
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We headed out this morning to grab some groceries for the day ahead and enjoyed the peace of the almost deserted streets of Cesky Krumlov. Managing to find BBC news on the hostel tv, we filled ourselves quite full on good, cheap Czech food before we set out for where we would take a transport to Austria.

Our fist hostel, Krumlov House, had told us about this shuttle that would take you to Linz, Austria, where we could catch a train to wherever we wanted to go. It saved us an extra two hours and most likely a bit of money, so we took the shuttle. It was operated by a Czech guy named Martin, and we had three South Koreans and an Argentinean family of three (Mother, Father, and kid) as well. The mother was a translator in Argentina and very... outspoken. She asked everyone where they were from, videoing everything. She told the Korean people in the back that every super market in Argentina was run by Korean people and when she asked us where our home, was and we told her we were homeless, she replied 'oh, how very Bohemian of you!'. In short, she was the in ride entertainment the entire way down.

In Linz we caught our train to Salsburg where we headed towards our possible hostel for the night. We had made a booking inquiry on their website early the day before, and their website said they would respond within two hours. Later that afternoon we emailed them in case our inquiry hadn't gone through, again no response. So we just showed up and they said they had not heard of our booking... (yeah right) but if we waited around for 30 minutes, a group of four people that were supposed to have arrived hadn't, and if they didn't in 30 min, we would get some beds.

30 minutes later, we went back to check the desk and found a 'closed for 30 minutes' sign on the desk... how convenient. We waited and waited, 45 minutes later they finally reopened the desk and let us make the booking, but charged us quite a bit for the room. We sort of wondered what would happen to the poor group of four who hadn't arrived yet. Maybe they had train trouble and would arrive to find out their booked room had been given away at 4 pm in the afternoon. Another guy rolled up while we were filling out paperwork and asked for a bed. No dice, so he asked if there was another hostel that they would recommend or help him book at. The lady tossed a map at him with two hostels circled, both at opposite ends of the city, quite some distance away, responding that those were the only ones she knew of... conversation over. Needless to say, we weren't too impressed. We'd just come from a hostel that called around until they found us a nice room at a better price than we had at their place, and got us all set up, so this was a bit cold. A little assistance goes a long way.

Anyway, we went up to our room and met our Scottish room mate, and headed out on the town. Salsburg is quite beautiful and classy! On the outside everything is clean and not over stated, and the castle with many cathedral and chapel spires as well, make a great skyline.

We wandered through a beautiful park full of a pristine garden and statues and fountains, past the busy tourist street full of chic shops and vendor stalls, past the house of Mozart's birthplace, past stages being set up for music concerts and into a massive square where a Cathedral, simply known as the 'Dom' sat. We entered inside and were greeted with a fantastic interior of carved white marble. It was incredibly detailed, yet it wasn't gaudy like many of the gold glizty cathedrals we'd been in. This seemed to have a classier feel as well.

We walked through another chapel area with a beautiful cemetery and through some more picturesque squares before heading back to a market for a picnic lunch. The market was packed with the line for the cash registers snaking throughout the small store. The cashiers were working as fast as they could, pumping people out the door, but more kept coming. We eventually made our way out and across the road to sit on the grass overlooking the Danube River where we had our dinner.

We watched people go across the river on the bridge, riding by on their bikes, and a crowd of goth teens hanging out underneath the bridge on the other side of the river, while we ate. Then we walked back through the garden, past the palace that the, supposedly celibate, Arch-Bishop of a time had built for his mistress and their ten children, and back to the hostel for trip planning for tomorrow.

The 'Eagles Nest', Hitler's mountain holiday getaway, is nearby here so we think a day trip is in order!

All our best from Austria

Dan and Gabrielle
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