Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explore an area which was in the (not too distant) past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.
We spent one and half day in and around Salzburg, visiting Lokwelt in Freilssing, Hohensalzburg Fortress, the DomQuartier with Salzburg Residenz and Salzburg Catherdral and Hangar-7. We also walked in the Mirabell Gardens and visited the Mozart Residence. We stayed at Hotel Sacher.
Salzburg has a compact city centre and you can do everything on foot. Salzburg is an attractive city and we noticed. For the first time in forever (actually since COVID-19) we saw that many tourists. From afar and from the region.
Another hint at being a tourist hotspot: explanations in German, English, Italian and Japanese or Chinese. Dining out was later. Going for dinner at 7 or 7.30 PM felt normal, contrary to elsewhere on our Rail Tour of Imperial Europe.
We associate Salzburg with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and with the classic film ‘The Sound of Music‘, but Salzburg has a long history as an independent prince-archbishopric, similarly to the prince-bishopric of Liège. It only became part of Austria in 1816.
Wolfie’s sweet chocalate balls
We also learned Mozartkugeln are not just Mozartkugeln.
A Mozartkugel is a small, round sugar confection made of pistachio, marzipan and nougat that is covered with dark chocolate. It was originally known as Mozart-Bonbon, created in 1890 by Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst (1856–1941) and named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Handmade Original Salzburger Mozartkugeln are manufactured by Fürst’s descendants up to today, while similar products have been developed by numerous confectioners, often industrially produced.
So you can imagine it’s a sensitive topic. But it tastes great.
2021 Rail Tour of Imperial Europe
- POTSDAM 2021 | Schloss Sanssouci.
- 1945 Potsdam Conference’s Cecilienhof Palace.
- Potsdam 2021.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Berlin.
- BERLIN 2021 | Pergamon, ‘Das Panorama’.
- BERLIN 2021 | Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace.
- BERLIN 2021 | The Bundestag in the Reichstag.
- Berlin 2021.
- By train from Berlin to Gdansk via Szczecin.
- Stopover in Szczecin.
- REVIEW | Restauracja Ritz in Gdańsk.
- REVIEW | Holiday Inn Gdansk.
- GDAŃSK | Museum of the Second World War.
- GDAŃSK | European Solidarity Centre or Europejskie Centrum Solidarności.
- A walk through Gdańsk.
- Gdańsk 2021.
- POLAND | PKP Intercity Gdansk to Wroclaw via Warsaw.
- Wrocław Museum of Architecture.
- The Dwarfs of Wrocław.
- Poland 2021.
- By train from Wroclaw to Karlovy Vary.
- Karlovy Vary.
- REVIEW | Hotel Imperial Karlovy Vary.
- Czechia’s Great Spa Town of Europe Františkovy Lázně.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen Historical Underground Tunnels.
- CZECHIA | Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen.
- CZECHIA 2021 | Cheb and its castle.
- Hotel room for one.
- By train from Karlovy Vary to Prague via Pilsen.
- Czechia 2021.
- RegioJet from Prague to Bratislava.
- Bratislava Castle.
- REVIEW | Crowne Plaza Bratislava.
- Bratislava on a rainy Monday.
- ZSSK Fast Train Tatran from Bratislava to Strba.
- The Tatra rack and electric Railway from Strba via Strbske Pleso to Poprad tatry.
- SLOVAKIA | AquaCity Poprad.
- REVIEW | Hotel Seasons AquaCity Poprad.
- Slovakia 2021.
- Poprad – Bratislava – Vienna with ZSSK’s intercity train.
- VIENNA | Restaurant Steirereck.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Wien.
- VIENNA | Luxury Sisi’s in Schönbrunn Palace.
- The Hofburg in Vienna.
- Vienna’s Furniture Museum.
- Vienna 2021.
- Pöstlingberg & Grottenbahn in Linz.
- REVIEW | Motel One Linz.
- AUSTRIA | ÖBB RailJet from Linz to Salzburg.
- BAVARIA | Lokwelt – Locomotive World in Freilassing.
- REVIEW | Hotel Sacher Salzburg.
- SALZBURG | Mirabell Palace and the Mozart Residence.
- SALZBURG | Hohensalzburg Fortress.
- Salzburg Cathedral + Salzburg Residenz = DomQuartier museums.
- SALZBURG | Formula 1 cars and the Flying Bulls at Red Bull’s Hangar-7.