So far, we are very disappointed with our Great Rail Tour. We only booked because it had full porterage and we don’t feel up to lugging bags anymore. Well, today we were expected to do a 4 hour walking tour from the station into Salzburg and then to our hotel, all the time carrying our carry-on luggage. In our case because of medical necessities, that’s quite a weight. We left the tour half way through, found ourselves a tasty lunch & found a taxi to our hotel.
It didn’t help that it was pouring with rain the whole time. Our train ride from Munich to Salzburg (about 90 minutes) was fine, we passed through beautiful green countryside and the grey clouds were covering the mountains.
On the walking tour we visited the Mirabell Gardens which featured in “The Sound of Music”. The gardens were beautiful.
The hotel room is not as pleasant as the one in Munich which even had a coffee machine. Here, there are no tea making facilities at all. I could really do with a cuppa. It’s sorely needed.
So we managed to last for dinner but it wasn’t really worth waiting for. The Salmon entree was ok but the rissoles for mains were pretty ordinary (I think of the 12 served to our table of 6 travellers, 10 were returned untouched which is really sad) and we didn’t bother to wait for dessert.
We slept well in a very comfy bed and breakfast was great – everything you could possibly hope for in the buffet. Then we met our guide, Sara McDonald, who had finally arrived at 1 this morning. Think flying from London would have been a much better idea.
About 10, we walked to the subway to go into town to the main square, Marienplatz where we met our local guide for the city tour. It was a typical city tour and we loved the markets.
We visited the Jewish quarter. About 10,000 from Munich were killed in the camps. Those who are here now have a new Synagogue which was built in 2006.
Just as the glockenspiel was about to play in Marienplatz, there was a large roar of thunder and the rain poured down. It was very bad timing.
Our Munich Beer Tour started next and we had a great guide. During our walk to the first stop underneath the Beer Museum he told us about Hitler’s early life in Munich and about Kristallnacht or “The night of Broken Glass”. We tried three beers and had white sausages with German mustard which were delicious. This took me back to my childhood as Dad used to like them too. We tried three beers and I liked them too. We decided to have a wander by ourselves rather than continue on the tour. We had to get some cash and little money as you have to pay to go to the toilet here. We also had to buy face masks as you must wear them on the trains – not just any old masks but particular ones. Jobs done, we caught the train back but got a little confused and spent more time on the subway then we should have.
It was lovely to get back to the hotel as we were exhausted. We are definitely not as fit as we used to be!
A very early start this morning as we needed to be across to Heathrow by 6. Getting through was pretty fast and we were soon having breakfast.
When we checked in, the attendant asked if we would like to check in our carry-on for free but since it contains our medicines and my stoma gear we declined. They announced at the gate that you could have only one piece of hand luggage so we shoved my handbag and David’s man bag into our carry on. What a joke! Some people had three big pieces and, of course, by the time we got on, there was absolutely no space left in the luggage rack.
The flight attendant said we’d have to put them under the seat in front. That meant we had no legroom. It was really uncomfortable. I don’t recommend flying with Lufthansa!
We had a medical emergency on board. Not me, this time. They were calling for a doctor or medical professional to assist. It sounded serious but we had no idea what was happening.
Munich airport is quite large so we had a long walk to customs but they were very efficient and we were out very quickly. The cab provided by the tour brought us to our hotel, The Steigenberger, where we headed to the restaurant for a delicious lunch
This afternoon we have rested. Our tour guide is coming by train from London and is not here yet so our introductory dinner is not until 9pm. I’m not sure we will last that long but we will see. We are certainly looking forward to our Great Alpine Explorer Tour.