Alas it’s time to leave Salzburg. Granted two days is plenty to see the sights, but it’s such a nice place to just be. I’ll be back.

Onward by rail to Vienna, via Hallstatt in the lake district. After changing trains off the main line, I was trapped in a car with 24 12-year-olds on their way up to three days in the mountains. I was sitting with some mom chaperones – they were patient, while the teachers were trying to maintain control (and I managed this conversation in German yet!). Durig my one-hour whistle stop at Hallstatt (didn’t take the boat over to town due to time constraints, will save it for next time) I met a young German-speaking family who’d discovered the salt mines wouldn’t let them in with a 4-year-old and a toddler. He is a classical guitarist, working in Ireland (no income tax for artists, which is a very attractive proposition for the German-speaking zone). His performances are well attended (both the guitar and his Irish band), and apparently they are in process of cutting their first CD.

Back down the track to the main line, where there was supposed to be 15 minutes between trains (the plan was to WC and grab a sandwich). But as soon as we debarked on Platform 1, the other train pulled up on Platform 2. So we all picked up our luggage and ran for it.

The hotel (another of Rick’s picks – and one of his tours was actually staying there, so he follows his own advice) is actually not far from the metro, especially if one walks towards it.


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