Trip to Europe Day 11 – Stuttgart to Salzburg

Monday was off to a good start. The shower at the Park Inn was amazing! Good water pressure from the rain shower so I took the opportunity to wash my curls.

We repacked our bags and headed off via the U train back to Central Station.

I had decided that instead of stuffing around changing trains, we would take one to nearby the station and walk the rest of the way. The station where we got off the train was under a fair bit of construction, and it was a bit tricky to figure out where to go! We climbed the stairs from the underground, and luckily we could spot the Mercedes Benz logo which rotates above the Central Station, thus marking the way for us (like the Star of Bethlehem)

I knew that we needed to get to Platform 16 in order to catch our train to Austria. The reservations app didn’t provide detailed carriage information like yesterday’s trains, so I was hoping we would find our seats OK.

Well, we couldn’t find carriage 275! In fact, there only appeared to be one first class carriage on the train – and it was already full! I finally found somebody to query – and apparently the carriage we had reserved had been cancelled! So we had to scramble to find seats (in second class). Of course, we had planned to eat on the train, but now wouldn’t have the benefits of first class service. Once the train departed I went to the restaurant – it was already full. I managed to purchase us a couple of watery cappuccinos – but they didn’t have any food for takeaway! By this stage I was getting a bit frustrated, hangry etc.

Luckily we had some snack foods in our bag so had our rubbish coffees with bag snacks. Poor Ulick, his Mars Bars he bought in Asten are getting a bit of bag crush, so it was a bit of a gooey mess!

I think next time I wouldn’t bother with the Eurail 1st class ticket, as we have only really benefited from it once so far (from Cologne to Stuttgart). I would probably not bother with the additional reservations either, given that nearly all those I have made had been cancelled, and they don’t bother letting you know – even though they have your email address, and you have an app that can provide notifications!

Sorry guys, it all sounds very whingey, and I know we are amazingly lucky to be able to go backpacking for a month. I just hope others can learn from our adventure!

We spent the afternoon walking around Salzburg, admiring the architecture, and the beautiful Mirabell gardens, behind the Mirabell palace. We went to the Christmas market (it had about a dozen stalls) and purchased some chocolate pretzels for later.

We headed to the pick up point for our city tour that I had precooked. We were then told to go to another site, as they work in conjunction with another tour company. This worked out really good, as our tour bus ended up being a small people mover – with only the two of us in it – so had a guided tour of Salzburg.

We were shown the city highlights, including Mozart’s house, the fortress (Hohensalzburg Castle), Dom (cathedral) and Leopoldskron Palace.

After our tour, we headed back towards the train station. We managed to kill some time at McDonalds, the ÖBB lounge (90 minute time limit) and the main station waiting room.

I went and checked the departure board and it still said our Nightjet would be leaving from platform 2 at 1.40am. We went for a walk to platform 2 and the waiting room up there was empty, so we got our bags out of the lockers and purchased some food and headed up there. We killed a bit more time, and hour or so. I was struggling. I was regretting having bought this Nightjet ticket with such a late/early departure. I went for a walk along the platform to stay awake. Bah, our platform had changed to Platform 6!

So we loaded everything up and changed platforms!

The second train that arrived at Platform 6 ended up being ours – it arrived almost an hour early, so that was good. We got settled into our compartment and went to bed!

Sara Napier

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