A Travellerspoint blog

Weekend party In Salzburg

sunny 20 °C

There is definitely a difference between visiting and staying in a place during the week, and being somewhere over a weekend! Now I'm not saying that we like the places we have visited any less, its just that everything ramps up a notch or two of five, depending on the weekend and it gets a little bit busier, a little bit crazier and has a totally different vibe! It may be that its Oktoberfest so thats a bit of a drawcard as well, but if you didn't know what day it was, (which does happen a bit when you're travelling) you would be able to tell its the weekend in some places just by standing still and watching it all go on or off around you!!!
Last time we were in Salzburg, we were camping and had to catch a bus into town, etc, but this time we are just a short stroll down the road and across the river, so its easier to join in the party! As well as wandering the many streets and cobbled lanes, enjoying the music of Mozart and Schubert, visiting Salzburg fortress on the hill (and this time using the funicular railway to get up there instead of walking as far as we could go without paying), looking around the various market stalls, we have been eating pretzels...apple pretzels, cherry pretzels, donut pretzels...to name a few, and drinking beer in festival halls alongside more people wearing traditional costume than I have ever seen! At least we have been walking lots so will hopefully be able to have walked off all of our overindulging in food and beer! I asked some ladies sitting next to us about the amount of people wearing their ‘Dirndlkleid’ dress, ‘Lederhosen’ and the ‘Joppe’. They told us that it is getting more and more popular,"It is Fashion," to wear it more and more, not just for special occasions.
Anyway, we have had a great time in Salzburg. We are off to catch the train to Romania this morning and I will be able to hug my boy by tonight! Every stop on the rest of this trip is new to us, so we are looking forward to new experiences. Love to all.

Posted by ShelleyJ 21:11 Archived in Austria Tagged salzburg Comments (0)

Konstanz

A hidden gem in Germany

What a lovely little spot this is to relax and enjoy some shopping and sightseeing without the hustle and bustle we experienced in Amsterdam. Konstanz is situated right on the border between Germany and Switzerland and in fact a strange border line extends past the Rhine just a little to include the old town. We actually walked across the swiss border, marked only by a small stone, and then back again into Germany. I have included a photo of a now disused border tower, a remnant of days when security was more of an issue than it seems today. Because of its proximity to Switzerland, Konstanz was able to escape any destruction during World War 2, and in fact did not participate in blackouts, as did Switzerland, so that bombers flying overhead would know that it was a neutral country. A bit sneaky, as it is still Germany, but the result is a town that is very well preserved and with wonderful examples of architecture dated back to the 12th century. Its a great little place to walk around and I would recommend visiting! Its a little off the usual tourist trail, but the prevalence of camping grounds around the lake is testament to its popularity. It seems to be a place where German people come to spend their vacations. This morning was a little bit chilly, with a mist hanging around until about midday, when the sun finally came out. We definitely needed our scarves and some form of jacket during our wandering, but with the sun out now, we will be looking for a warm spot to sit and drink some steins! The small harbour is guarded by a rotating statue of Imperia.

Imperia is a voluptuous female figure of 9m height who carries two small men in her hands - one resembling a king, the other a cleric. When Imperia was unveiled, conservative critics hated it for ridiculing the catholic church. Many also objected to the fact that the statue shows a prostitute. Nowadays, though, it's Konstanz's most famous landmark - and simultaneously the world's biggest statue of a prostitute!

She is an impressive sight! Tomorrow we head off by train to Zurich, and then on to Salzburg for another day of playing tourist...this time in Austria, before our last long day on the train to Timisoara. Nearly there Stevie!xxxxxx

Posted by ShelleyJ 05:43 Archived in Germany Tagged konstanz Comments (1)

Next Stop...Konstanz!

First day on the train

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As I update this blog, we are currently sitting on a train, gliding towards our next destination...Konstanz! We have had an amazing few days in Amsterdam. The weather has been great...not too hot and not too cold, and we have kept ourselves busy exploring the different neighbourhoods, museums, bars, coffee shops and restaurants, trying not to eat and drink to much, but hey, we're on holiday! Lets hope we can still zip up the jeans in a few weeks time!
It was great to spend a bit more time in Amsterdam and we made good use of the iamsterdam card that we purchased before we left. With this card we were able to access all the transport that we needed to get us to and from the things that we wanted to see. We went to the Holocaust Museum, The Resistance Museum, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam Zoo ( this wasn't really on the 'must see' list but it opened earlier than the museums and we had time to kill), Anne Frank House, as well as a number of parks and squares and alleys and canals and bars and cafes, etc, etc, etc! At least we can say that we have really explored the city now but it is a place where you could spend more time.
So, this morning we climbed aboard the first train of many. Got settled in what we thought were our first class seats...had the right train, right seat numbers...but we were in the wrong coach/carriage. Didn't realise until a stop about an hour into the trip when a gentleman asked why we were sitting in his seat! After checking reservations etc, turned out we needed to be in coach 39, not 38. Dean went looking for coach 39 and finally found it...it was like a glassed in "elite', ( or maybe just for trouble-makers!) area with about 7 seats in it. They were all full, so someone had taken ours and the gentleman whose seat we had taken found somewhere else to sit so it all ended well. A rookie mistake on our part and we will now check more carefully!
Off the first train and onto a more regional train and the further south we travelled, the more we saw the scenery that made us like this area of Germany so much the first time we were here. Dean was really able to see more of it this time, as he was too busy concentrating on driving the last time we were in the area.The train took us through some fairly rugged mountains, covered in thick forest and with tunnels drilled through the many ridges. Tucked away, high up in valleys there were small picturesque villages and stations where we stopped and a few people would get off and on. Mostly hikers and walkers...they must be fit!! We passed isolated typically Alpine/German houses, usually with the barn attached to the house to keep the livestock warm during the winter, a pristinely and perfectly stacked, and I mean PERFECTLY stacked, large pile of wood, ready for the winter fire.
Last transport change came in the shape of a bus, as the last bit of line is having work done on it, so we have finally made it and are ready to go out and see what the evening offers up for us. Until the next blog!
Shelley and Dean

Posted by ShelleyJ 08:22 Comments (1)

Long Haul Flights

First Stop...Amsterdam!


View europe by rail on ShelleyJ's travel map.

DSCN8106.jpgWell, we made it! Me and my restless legs, (that actually is a real thing) are not a fan of of long haul flights! They are things to be endured with little enjoyment apart from the fact that its getting you from A to B so you may as well make it last for the shortest possible time! Emirates gave us the best possible on our flight over and it was one of extremes! First leg, full flight, 14 hours, enough said! Second leg, airbus A380, about a quarter full, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, got to stretch our on either 3 or 4 seats and spend the seven hour flight travelling in (almost) first-class luxury! Ok,ok, so we didn't have personal mini bars and little pods and showers etc, but we did have a stretched-out, lying down, great service flight, which more than made up for the first leg. This miracle also meant that we weren't as wrecked as we could have been when we made it into Amsterdam central, so it was a quick dump of the bags at the hotel and out we went into the city to explore a typical Amsterdam Saturday night! Mayhem and madness!!!Don't be fooled by the calm looking photo of the canal at night...behind my shoulder their were guys getting it on at a bucks night, police on pushbikes, people lining the canals, bars, coffee shops etc, full to bursting, and everyone generally having a great time. We walked to Dam square, through the Red Light district and along the canal past the Ould Kirk, making a few stops here and there for food etc and then jet lag caught up with us and we lurched our way back to the hotel room for some much needed sleep! This morning we will activate our Amsterdam card and plan the day!

Posted by ShelleyJ 21:36 Archived in Netherlands Tagged amsterdam Comments (2)

Almost Time!

Packing Required!

Well, its almost time for us to head back over to Europe! Its been 5 years since our last visit to this particular continent, and we won't be going for as long this time, and we won't be driving and staying in camping grounds either, but I'm sure just as many amazing moments await! The familiar bags that we lived out of for 6 months last time are waiting to be packed and a new journey will begin. We will be visiting only 2 places that we have been before and the rest is all unexplored territory for us and we can't wait! Next update will be from Amsterdam!

Posted by ShelleyJ 02:28 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

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