A Travellerspoint blog

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Day 21

Prague

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Today we had a forecast top on 24 Celsius and sunshine. This has been the warmest day of our holiday. Having crossed the river yesterday in our travels, this time we walked the streets on our side of the river. We did a little shopping here and there and ate lunch at an outdoor café. We ran out of legs mid-afternoon and returned to our apartment to put our feet up for a bit. We ventured out again briefly later in the day for some supplies and again later for our evening meal. We repacked our cases ready for our departure to Salzburg tomorrow.
We have some more photos of beautiful, old Prague for you to check out.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 12:38 Comments (0)

Day 22

Salzburg

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I may not have mentioned that whilst in Prague, at our apartment we had 1365 TV channels. And yes, we still struggled to find anything worth watching.
Today we checked out of our apartment in Prague and drove to Salzburg in Austria. It took around 5 hours 45 minutes to reach Salzburg, including a few brief stops along the way. It was a pleasant drive through a few small towns but mostly open countryside. The last 120 km or so leading into Salzburg was all 130km per hour speed limit freeway. And for some on that road the speed limit didn’t apply.
After checking in we set off on foot for the old town. We walked the old town for a while then paid an energetic local student to take us around the old city on a cycle tour where we sat still and he provided the pedal power and the commentary. He spoke excellent English and it was a most informative and enjoyable tour. One interesting stop was at Europe’s oldest restaurant. It has been operating since the year 802.
On our way back to the hotel we had a very pleasant dinner at an outdoor café. It reached the low to mid 20s through the day and it was still comfortable sitting outside in T shirts at dinner. We both chose local dishes and chatted with a family from Detroit at the next table. After dinner we walked back to the hotel to put our feet up for a bit. We took many photos, some are included in today’s entry.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 11:01 Comments (0)

Day 23

Salzburg / Fussen

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We packed up and checked out of our Salzburg hotel before breakfast with the intention of getting a bite to eat on the way to the castle on the hill overlooking Salzburg. We didn’t find a suitable place so we went up in the funicular to the castle. We elected not to join the official tour and wandered around ourselves. In the process we snapped some good photos. The view from the castle is impressive and it is very old. Parts of it date back to the twelfth century.
We had some brunch when we returned to ground level and then we headed to Fussen, our next stop. We expected the navigation device to take us along major roads and get us to Fussen quickly and easily. Wrong. Somehow it developed a penchant for back roads, sleepy villages, narrow laneways and on one occasion, it took us through an arch in the middle of a building that spanned a cobblestone laneway. We saw cows and tractors close up and very green pastures. We also saw a lot of traditional farm houses beautifully decorated with floral window boxes.
We eventually arrived in Fussen but we didn’t see our hotel at the designated location. It was not well signposted for travellers arriving from our direction. We turned around and went back to the spot identified by the navigation device and approaching from that direction we had no problem in finding it.
We checked into our room in this old Bavarian style hotel and went outside to take in the local festivities. It is the annual fete (mini Octoberfest) this weekend. We have the bands playing the drinking music, lots of street stalls, lots of beer being consumed on the streets, people dressed in traditional costumes and entertainment. It is a pretty town with a lot of old but well preserved buildings.
There were way too many good photos to include today. We included only a few of the best.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 12:37 Comments (0)

Day 24

Fussen to Munich

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We woke to sunny skies in Fussen. We were on the road by around 8.30am for a 5 minute drive to Hohenschwangau. This is the site of a major tourism operation where they arrange tours through Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles. We pre-booked our tickets for the 9.55 tour of Neuschwanstein Castle.
From the ticket office there are 3 options to get to the castle. A 30 minute walk up the mountain, a 5 minute bus trip or a horse drawn carriage. We took the bus.
The bus drops you at a place called Marienbrucke. A short walk from the bus stop is a high bridge spanning a river around 100 metres below. From the bridge is the best vantage point for a photo of this impressive castle. Then we walked to the castle down a sometimes steep path. It wasn’t an easy walk but more was still to come. Upon starting our tour, we ascended 70 steps up a spiral staircase to the first viewing level.
The 30 minute tour was conducted by an English speaking local. The guide was informative but sometimes hard to hear. Tours leave every 5 minutes and have around 25-30 persons on each. When we finished that level we ascended another 63 steps up two levels for the next viewing rooms. And then up another 33 steps to the top floor of the main part of the castle where was saw a spectacular hall used for concerts. That was the end of our tour. From there we descended about half way down to the obligatory souvenir store and then down the rest of the way and out. No photos are permitted inside but it is impressively decorated and very well maintained. You will have to see if for yourself or take my word for it.
Then the downhill walk to the castle became an uphill climb back to the bus stop. We wandered back to the car and headed for Munich. We stopped at a roadside Inn for lunch and on to our apartment in suburban Munich. We had the street name but not the house number and it took a while to find it. Then nobody was there. They were supposed to meet us at the apartment. We waited for a while and then Darlene knocked on the door of the apartment below to see if they knew the whereabouts of the owner and as it turned out they own it. They were not home but their son was able to get us the key and help us settle in.
It is Sunday today and as is the case in Germany almost everything is shut. We found a petrol station where we bought some milk and on the way found a restaurant where we can eat later.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 10:31 Comments (0)

Day 25

Munich

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Today we drove to a local subway station and parked in the park and ride facility, purchased some daily tickets to travel to Central Munich. Munich had a population of around 1.4 million and has no less than 14 train lines passing through the central station. The trains were spacious, clean and fast. Melbourne has 3 times the population and about one third of the train services. Why? Melbourne needs a massive investment in this area.
We quickly found a tourist information shop near the down town station and from there found a hop on hop off bus and set off on a tour. We hopped off at stop 5 and walked a pedestrian mall and ate some lunch. A little further along we found the Augistinerkeller beer hall and stopped for a spell and a wine.
We continued on foot to the end of the mall debating our next step. Later we realised we were just metres from stop 6 but in our ignorance we went the other way and headed back to stop 4. We followed the tour around a lap and a half and then hopped off at our starting point and caught a train back out of town. The parking cost us just one Euro for the day having purchased the daily train tickets.
We found the car and drove back to our apartment. After a spell we went out to buy a few supplies and get some tea. Then back to eat and pack ready for our big day tomorrow. We have a lot of photos of Munich from the bus and some whilst on foot. We have included a couple of the better ones.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 11:49 Comments (0)

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