Berchtesgaden to Luzern

We had a pleasant view when we awoke (oh, too early) to get ready to depart for Luzern. A light snow shower!


Before leaving the hotel, I asked the manager about the large underground bunker that runs under the road, into the mountain on which our hotel sits. The date on the stonework says 1940 and is very near the train station. The manager indicated that in the war, they could pull the train into the bunker to avoid bombing, but it was not a passage way, just a bunker to hide the train. Today? Just storage for the nearby train station.

The snow is not enough to make driving difficult, just pretty. As we drive towards Salzburg, the snow is coming down a bit harder; the clouds are down at the tree tops on the mountains and the snow is dusting them white. Almost magically as we cross into die Republic Osterreich (Austrian Republic), the snow comes to a stop. Siri routes us onto the A10 (a highway) for a short distance into the city.

Refueling the car is less painful than usual, with the crash in oil prices. Regular unleaded (bleifrei) was $2.98/gal. Diesel, which is typically more than gas in the US, is less than gas in Europe and was $2.83/gal (after converting liters to gallons and Euros to Dollars).

Getting the rental car onto the street where the agency is located is, um, problematic, as there is a concrete barrier at the entrance to the one way street. We end up having one of the staff come out and take the car while we check out at the office. Then a short block to the train station, where our train to Luzern leaves in about an hour.

On the platform, notice the first sign I’ve seen of the immigration crisis in Europe, with a border patrol sign (Grenzekontrolle), with a subtext of what language (Arabic, Kevantine Arabic, Kurmanji)? What a human tragedy.

There were two officers on the platform.

Leaving Salzburg, the terrain alternates between areas where there is no snow on the ground and others where we pass through light snow blowing through the air like we had in Berchtesgaden. The mountains in the distance are shrouded in clouds. This is a 5 hour trip from Salzburg to Zurich, then transfer to a short commuter type train between Zurich and Luzern.

The train stops briefly in Innsbruck, where passengers scurry off and on, before we move on. The valley has no snow remaining, but some of the higher mountains do still have quite a bit.

We’re nearing the next stop of St. Anton am Alberg and the altitude is somewhat higher, as there is quite a bit of snow still on the ground. The car is getting full with people are getting on with their snowboards, skis and gear.
Near Bludenz, Austria , we are now traveling well above the valley floor and snow in the valley below is clearly visible. Not ready for Spring here!

Well, we are making progress. Didn’t know we were going to tip our toe into Lichtenstein. Or zoom up to 2G speeds…
Unlimited 2G, I can only imagine.

A few minutes later. I’m notified I am now in Switzerland and am privileged to have 2G here, too. It’s free, but it’s not worth much.

Funny now that Europe’s once borderless crossings are now in danger of border checks, I find out where I am by virtue of my cellphone provider’s roaming notices.

Nearing Quarten, Switzerland we pass by this large lake (WalenSee), then, on to Zurich, where we change trains for Luzern
The train to Luzern leaves right on time. It’s about a 45 minute ride. This train, like a lot of the others on which we’ve ridden are workhorses, not racehorses like the Italian high speed train parked inside Zurich Hbf.


Racehorse (on the left).

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