On our last full day in Germany, we left Germany. Before leaving for Germany there was speculation about what we would do on our free day. Every major city that was not Munich was 4 hours away by train. After 4 hours there and back, our day would’ve been shot. All the group knew was that we wanted to take advantage of the EU zone and travel to a neighboring country. We chose Saltzburg, Austria. Almost everyone on the trip decided to go to Saltzburg and we made it just another group activity. I am so thankful for the group we have. Everyone gets along so well and chooses to do things together, even when we don’t have to. We all bought our train tickets and were set to visit Saltzburg, Austria. Our first train would take us from Augsburg to Munich, then Munich to Saltzburg.
We arrived at the train station with time to spare, just for our train to be delayed by an hour. So much for on time German transportation. Anyways, we saw a train into Munich was leaving in 5 minutes, and we wanted to just hop on that one. Unfortunately, our tickets were not for that train. We decided to at least try to get on the train leaving soon. At the end of the day, we did pay for a train, just not that one. About 10 minutes into the train ride, an employee came around the check our tickets. They scanned without a problem, or at least we did not have a problem. We arrived in Munich on time and were able to catch our next train to Saltzburg. It was vital that we paid attention to this next train since its final destination was Budapest. After around another hour and a half, we all arrived in Saltzburg safely.
First priority now that we are on solid ground: food. Everyone was hot and tired, we definitely needed to recharge. We all agreed that we wanted traditional Austrian food. On our way to the other sites we had planned, was an Austrian hotel with a restaurant serving Austrian cuisine. The menu was small so everyone either ordered, spitzel, a burger, or fish. I got the Austrian beef burger. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was good but not great. We finished up with lunch and were on our way. Our first stop was a beautiful garden called Mirabellgarten. After that, we continued on to the main attraction, Fortress Hohensalzburg Castle.
Luckily, we all sprang for the all inclusive ticket. It was only like $15. The ticket included a gondola ride to the top, museum admission, and access to the top level where you could stand on the roof. We wandered around for a few hours taking in all the views, and of course, taking more photos. This castle was different from the others we visited because this one was more of a fortress. There were no buildings to finish since it was not meant to be comfortably lived in. My favorite part was the city replica made completely out of salt. It depicted the river, the castle, and other neighboring buildings and structures. In addition, they had armor and rifles on display. It was so cool seeing history that completely outdates the United States.
Eventually, we headed back to the train station to get home. If everything went according to plan, we would be home at 9:30. That didn’t happen. We got on our first train to Munich and found seats. We sat on the train in the station for about twenty minutes due to maintenance issues. Apparently, there was a train a few platforms over leaving now, also for Munich, that was ready to go. We got off our train and were about to head over to that platform when we were told the train we just got off, is ready to go and leaving in a minute. Like shoppers on Black Friday, we ran back onto our train car. Luckily, no one took our seats in all that commotion. We were barely seated for 2 minutes before the train left the station. I’m kind of shocked we did not lose anyone in that craziness. About 30 minutes later, the train stopped. What now? And then we see the polizi, police. They were just making sure everyone who was on the train was supposed to be there. I was glad I packed my passport because the last thing we needed was someone from the group getting suck in Austria the day before we were supposed to go home. Everyone passed their check and about 25 minutes later, the train started and we were on our way. With that delay though, we missed our connecting train back to Augsburg.
Once at the Munich train station, we were lucky enough to find a train going back to Augsburg leaving in 5 minutes. We hopped on that one and I said a thankful prayer. We finally got back to the Augsburg train station at 11:45. We were supposed to go to karaoke but everyone was exhausted. Instead of singing my heart out, I had to focus on packing. My biggest challenge now is making sure my checked back was under 50 pounds. Luckily, someone had a luggage scale. After rearranging and sitting on my suitcase, I was good.
It’s currently 2:30 am and I think I should get some sleep before we head to the airport tomorrow. I don’t really want to go home but I could not have asked for a better trip or better people to take this adventure with me.