Trip 39, Days 5-6
August 28, 2022
We had a train out of Munich at about 11:30am on August 28th. Having driven to/from Munich & Berchtesgaden a number of times before, we expected the same ~2 hour return drive. But checking routing this morning suggested it would be 2.5 hours. So we had an earlier breakfast and left about 8am. It was raining, not hard yet, but another factor in a longer drive.
Leaving the Berchtesgaden valley means driving up the surrounding mountains and the way we were routed required, at one point, a really sharp right hand turn to go up a road that was probably more than a 20° incline. I had to go down the road to turn around before making that climb. Up we went into the mountains where, at some points, the clouds were hanging below the mountain tops into the valleys. The roads are pretty good, but winding and the rain alternating between light and fairly heavy. Pretty countryside and mostly farmland.
We spent the first hour or more on basically two lane county roads. Traffic wasn’t heavy, but we had a couple of unplanned detours where the road was closed and we had to drive enough (were we going the right direction ??) to let Google Maps recalibrate a route (we hoped) to get us to the Autobahn. We only lost a few minutes to the forecast arrival time due, I’m sure to expert navigation (for sure) by my wife and my slick driving skills 😉
Once we made it to the Autobahn we could achieve better speeds, generally 120 kmh (sometimes a little more 😉). It is Sunday and we think the last weekend before school starts here which may explain the number of campers we see. We stopped for gas for the rental car about 20 minutes outside Munich ( gas was $4.58/gal here, cost $55.52 for 12.1 gal. ; had forgotten how painful that was). Surprisingly, no “pay at the pump”. In town , it’s a fairly easy navigation to the rental car return and a short walk to the train station (still raining). Trip time was about 2 hrs 45 minutes.
Since we were going to be on the train for four hours and already had our tickets and departure track number, we stopped at a kiosk to get some food for the train. With one less kiosk in the station and the entire food court gone, there were pretty long lines at all of the kiosks. I think it’s going to be a long time before the train station amenities get back close to what they were pre-construction.
Our track is just six or so platforms down from us and the train is already here, so we found our car and our assigned seats. The train is (more than) full.
There were few stops, but one station we passed by (but didn’t stop at) was near the station in the outskirts of Salzburg (but still in Germany) that we explored (our “investigation”) as an option for returning the car. We did stop in Salzburg and a few other cities along the way, but arrived on time in Vienna at 3:15pm.
In Vienna, it’s fortunately not raining. We walked out of the Wein Hbf to the Ubahn station where we bought tickets for the U, changed lines once before emerging a few blocks from our hotel. Arrival about 4pm means we spent 8 hours traveling here. We’ve stayed at this same hotel in central Vienna three times before (and we’ll be back in three months), so we (well, my CEO/navigator) knows the area fairly well. We recuperated a bit before walking down to get some of our favorite “fast food” at Trzesniewki’s for dinner before they closed. A beer goes real well with those little sandwiches. It’s a nice little “hole in the wall” place on a side street, but well worth going. Next stop was Henry’s (a grocery store). There aren’t many grocery stores around central Vienna (lots of cafés and coffee shops).
Really nice breakfast at the hotel before we belatedly start out for the day. The weather today is just beautiful with a nearly cloudless sky and about 72°. There are a couple of nearby shops we’d planned on visiting and added another pin on the map for Hermés (well, it’s a temporary store while their main store is being redecorated). Manufactum is another interesting store we’ve visited in several German cities; they have an interesting variety of household & gardening tools, but also have clothing, stationery.
We’ve seen this same type of tour in Cologne when we were there in April of this year.
Making our way back to the Graben, we pause at the stables of the Spanish Riding School (we toured once before)
And the Hofburg (the imperial palace in the city)
There is a long queue of horse drawn carriages awaiting passengers lined up on one end of the Hofburg and we see them making their way through the old quarter.
Vienna has such grand architecture, being the imperial capital of the Hapsburg monarchy. It’s everywhere around you.