Most of today was spent traveling to Salzburg. We woke up at 5am and left the hostel at 5:15 for Dublin airport. Given the early morning hour, the check-in lines were surprisingly long. Our flight to Vienna was less than two and a half hours. I spent a lot of the time looking out the window at the landscapes below. From the Vienna airport, we hopped onto a bus that took us to Westbanhauf – the west train station. After some frustration at the ticket counter, we managed to get our rail passes validated. The next stop was the small grocery store in the train station. We bought some fruit, yogurt and bread to eat during the train ride.
Unfortunately, I spent most of the three-hour, 20-minute train ride napping. I tried to stay awake, but I am still plagued with jet lag. We both woke up about halfway through the trip. The scenery outside was breathtaking – mountains and quaint houses. In between gazing out the windows, we played several rounds of gin rummy. I think I lost every single game; luckily, we were not keeping score! We pulled into Salzburg’s train station a little before 5pm, and easily navigated the ten-minute walk to the dorm we are staying in for the next three weeks. The view out our 5th floor windows is awesome – we look onto a beautiful mountainside.
After checking in, unpacking, and taking quick showers, we set out to find dinner. We walked for 10 minutes to the Altstadt (Old City), which was amazing. Set in the valley of mountains, the city is quite charming. As we crossed the bridge over the Danube, we realized why there is no rowing in Salzburg – the current is tremendous, and the river is filled with whirlpools. Stopping at a street-side vendor, we feasted on a meal of bratwurst, pommes-frites mit ketchup (french fries) and kraut. We wandered around a bit after dinner, exploring the narrow streets and tall buildings. On the way back to our dorm, we stopped for pistachio and hazelnut ice cream.
Tomorrow we begin the day with a bike tour of Salzburg and will end the evening with dinner at the castle. I am looking forward to both!