We reluctantly leave Vienna, just as it was starting to drizzle a bit. It remains cooler here than I might have expected, a nice change. Our hotel in Vienna, the Park Hyatt Hotel, was really an indulgence (a suite no less) . The hotel is newly opened and in a building that was previously a large bank. Uncommon for hotels here, there was a swimming pool in the basement, along with the spa and fitness center. We had a corner suite and view of the area where there is a Christmas market in the season, and a nice view of an old square.

Our hotel is close to the Herringasse U-Bahn, which is only four stops from Wetsbahnhof (West train station), from which we catch our train to Salzburg (2 hours). We’re not taking an OBB (national railway of Austira) train, but rather a Westbahn (westbahn.at) train. Competition! The OBB train, in 2nd class, one way, would have been €97 (for two). Buying the ticket on board Westbahn, the ticket costs €49.80, same fare basis. Thanks to my wife for finding a less expensive way to travel! Free WiFi on the train.

Salzburg’s rail station has undergone a huge upgrade since we last traveled through here by train, adding some nice amenities. A quick connection to the airport via the city bus to pick up our car at the airport, about a 20 minute bus ride out to the airport. We’re returning our car on Sunday, and the city locations aren’t open on Sunday, so that’s why we went out to the airport for our pickup.

The drive out of Salzburg was uneventful, once we figured out how to get where we were going, which is a small village outside of Salzburg. We stayed at this particular location perhaps 20 years ago in the early spring (April). We woke up the next morning to snow! (a snowball fight ensued) There was snow in the slightly higher elevation of the village, but in the city of Salzburg, none. No snow this year.

We’re only spending one day in this vicinity, then moving to another small town in Germany not far from here (German border is 20 minutes away from our location) . I think the car we have this time won’t struggle as much as the last one did to get up the mountains. It’s a standard transmission, which is fine, but when you’re going up a steep mountain grade and the car in front of you slows to nearly a crawl, it sometimes felt like we might slide backwards, even as I had the gas pedal pressed all the way down. That car was just too underpowered for being in the mountains.

The hotel and the village we’re in have grown! The little hunting lodge we stayed in before has become part of an expanded resort. The lodge and restaurant is still in use, but new guest rooms have been added and we didn’t end up in the little wood paneled guest room where the floors squeaked. The new rooms are modern and comfortable, but not what we came for. The lake outside the lodge and the surrounding mountains are still just as beautiful and green as we remember, though it’s a bit drizzly. It’s too warm for snow, but still a bit unusually cool, as the assistant at the auto rental agency noted.

We drove down to the village of Fuschl am See. There’s obviously a lot of tourism here, but it hasn’t started as yet. They clearly have all the parking marked off as allocated to one hotel or pension or the other, making it a bit hard to find someplace to park just to walk around (I’m sure that’s the object). The village is right at the foot of one end of the lake. Even though there’s a little drizzle, some hardy souls are out in their raincoats and flat bottomed boat, fishing.

As we were driving to Fuschl am See, we noticed an unusual and very nice looking building. After looking into the history of the village of Fuschl am See, we found that Red Bull has its headquarters in this small village. Who would have thought such a large company would be headquartered in such a small village! Not too far away is the Schloss Fuschl . A very nice resort level hotel that looks out on the lake. (Fuschlsee). The Schloss (castle) has a long history , with the central yellow tower being built in 1461 as a means for the Prince-Archduke to underscore his claim to the hunting rights in the region. While initially under the ownership of the Archbishop of the region, it passed into private hands in 1864. It was not until 1947 that the castle was converted into use as a hotel. It has been under various hotel management organizations since then, but has been the site of many world leadership meetings, in a four star location. Just wish we were staying at the Schloss!

Photos on Flickr

I hate to pack

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