Our European Odyssey

This blog covered our month-long trip to Eastern Europe -- specifically the countries of Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Rail World: Austria

"This is the true story of one American couple picked to travel together and have their lives blogged to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start riding the rails. The Rail World: Austria."

Just a little nod to the MTV generation. We had a very nice day yesterday and managed to stay polite.

After checking out of our hostel in Vienna, we met with Gabi, the woman who is allowing us to stay at her home in Salzburg for the weekend. She works in the Austrian Parliament and lives in Vienna but inherited her parents' apartment in Salzburg and spends some weekends there. She has to work this weekend, so she gave us the key and directions to the apartment.

After saying our goodbyes, we caught a tram to Vienna's south train station. We found out which platform our train was leaving from, and then we went our separate ways. Andrea elected to fiercely guard the bags at the station while Jake walked to the Military History Museum to spend the hour and a half until the train's departure.

Because of limited time, Jake focused on the artifacts from World War I and World War II. The World War I exhibit was phenomenal. It includes the actual car in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo along with the uniform he was wearing when he died. His assassination was the event that sparked the outbreak of World War I.

It was amazing to see artifacts from a single event that drastically changed world history. After we return home, Jake will post more pictures he took there along with further descriptions (including that of a Nazi throw pillow).

After Jake left the museum, he met up with Andrea, and we got on our train to Villach for the first leg of our journey to Salzburg. We enjoyed some beautiful views of the Alps, but it was nothing compared to the views we experienced in the second leg of our journey. After arriving in Villach, we caught our train to Salzburg. That's when the truly breathtaking views began.

Our trip took us through the heart of the Austrian Alps. Mountains rose up from the clouds enveloping them as mountain streams ran beside the train. Some mountains were lush-green with trees, while others were rough, jagged, snow-covered peaks. Unfortunately, it is hard to take good landscape pictures from a moving train, but we got a couple.

Interestingly, we passed large lakes in the mountains that had sailboats on them. It isn't very often that you see sailboats in the mountains.

We are now in Salzburg, a small city nestled among the mountains. Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart, and this is his 250th birthday, so they are a bit Mozart-obsessed.

As a bonus for the lack of pictures, here is one more rose picture we took in Vienna's Volksgarten.


At 8:07 PM, June 11, 2006, Anonymous millie said...

Two of the things I have always fantacized about-traveling through the Alps and traveling by rail. Thanks.


At 6:12 AM, June 13, 2006, Anonymous Lou said...

Sailboats in Alps. You have given Dad another idea of places to sail. The Alps sound beautiful.

Love, Mom


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