Thursday, 16 May 2013

On our way to Salzburg

This morning we took the train from Munchen to Salzburg, a direct OBB Railjet doing the liaison from Munich to Budapest. After Salzburg the train becomes more regional and will make several stops as it goes Eastward towards Hungary, stopping in Linz and Vienna. Though we cross 2 borders there are no inspection or stops for immigration anymore, the Shengen Treaty Zone means that when we arrived in Frankfurt we entered the zone and went through the only immigration custom control for Shengen Zone, several EU countries are signatory to the Treaty.

Our hotel in Munich the Eden Hotel Wolff in front of the train station was very nice, clean and quiet. Lots of businessmen stay there because it is central to everything, the train, the connection airport bus, all attraction of the old centre of the City. The food at the hotel restaurant was very good with a menu of Bavarian Specialties and great wine selection. The Hotel is not new, built in 1900 by Mr. Wolff it was completely rebuilt in 1950 after suffering devastating bombings by the Allies at the end of WWII. The hotel is said to be ''Die Gute Adresse im Munchen'', its true.

So now we are on the road or rail, going East crossing vast green meadows, dark green pine forests, brooks and rivers. Just after crossing the Austrian border we approach the Tyrol mountain range which are smaller mountains than the Alps beyond which we can see the snow cap peaks. To get to Salzburg from Munich there are no mountain range to cross. This sort of puts the lie to the final scene of the Sound of Music saga when you see the Von Trapp climbing mountains, where are they going? Unless they are going south to Innsbruck towards the Brenner Pass into Italy. But still a very long distance from their home on foot, not credible for 1938. Interesting to note that in Salzburg they are seen more as a fairytale story which makes a good musical or movie.

The OBB has a restaurant car and also for the first class passenger a service at your seat. The menu is quite extensive and all of it is served on real china, no paper cups here please and all for the same price as in Canada on Soviet Style service VIA RAIL. You have to wonder how they do it.
Sidd on the train to Salzburg

We are also traveling with our friend Sidd, he is a gnome and has gone around the world. Will takes him with us and he has been to Amsterdam, London, sailed the Baltic and Russia, now he is going to Austria. He has previously been to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lybia, South Africa and many other places, lucky little gnome. He even gets to sit in the cockpit of planes with the Captain. Funny how a gnome will make you popular with people.
Sidd in our suite at the Bristol amongst the fruit basket.

The scenery on this 90 minute train ride is quite lovely, beautiful churches, old castles, mountains, valleys and forests, cows with those big bells around their necks and peasants driving BMW and Audi.
The railway station in Salzburg is completing a total refit, rebuilt and renovated, very modern, its stands just outside the City as not to disturb the historical beauty of this small town. Only the historical mean hall and entrance of the old station in Art Nouveau style has been kept with its mosaic murals of the countryside of Salzburg.
Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo soprano, director of the Whitsun Music Festival Salzburg

We arrived at Hotel Bristol and were met my the owner Theodor Magrutsch and staff, this is how it is done here at the Bristol, a family run hotel. It is just as lovely as ever and we got our old suite the Tuscany which we love. The Maitre d'hôtel Mr. Peter is still here and a new barman Mr. Gabor. They also have new elevators but just as elegant as the old ones with silk damask panels. Mr. Christian Lackner the manager and cousin is also here. This hotel is quite special and unlike any other I have ever stayed at. I note that their dining room in now in the Gault et Millau. 

While Will took a nap I went looking around, I went to Schubert next to the hotel to buy some socks and bought 2 shirts also. The selection is unbeliveable, the most beautiful stuff, ties and bow ties too, its a very small shop, but the quality. Came back to the hotel and had tea in the Sketch Bar which is very well prepared using mountain stream water that is super hot with quality tea served in beautiful porcelaine. Their strudel is also wonderful made fresh everyday by the pastry chef and served warm with real whipped cream.

Love black marble and mirrors

Around 7pm we walked to Café Bazar and had a drink and then the weather being so nice and sitting by the river looking at the Castle and the old city as the sun was setting we decided to have dinner. The food of the Café Bazar is quite good and reasonably priced. They also have a good wine list of Austria and German wines.

Laurent with Proseco

Today Thursday is a quiet day, the Festival starts tomorrow.

View of old Salzburg from the Café Bazar


  1. Wonderful. Looks like a lovely trip. Gorgeous photo of you. Happy travels!

  2. Mr. Sidd (or is that Herr Sidd?) is a fascinating character; I wonder if he is related to the gnome we have, which we picked up in Southern Ontario? Canadian gnomes are a close family, are they not?

    1. Apparently they are and they know each other even weirder.