I left in the early hours of the morning from London Stansted, just before the sun came up, so I was lucky enough to catch the sunrise somewhere over France as I was flying over but unluckily I just couldn’t manage to take a decent picture through the plane window.
The plane was half empty which was a bonus as I had all 3 seats to myself, so I pulled my hat over my eyes and had a little snooze, taking full advantage of stretching out.
I woke up about 15 minutes before landing in to Salzburg and managed to get a quick video of what I think was a very smooth landing.
The one thing I learnt about Austria is that it is quite expensive. Especially where I was staying, which was within a popular ski resort. I searched for hours for transfers from Salzburg airport to where I was staying and found nothing cheap. So I settled for a bus transfer for 39 euros.
When I turned up though, the bus turned out to be a private taxi, with six empty seats, so there was plenty of room for me and my backpack and again a little snooze. With taxis being over 130 euros one way from the airport to destinations over an hour away, I counted myself lucky to have booked in advance!
I was also lucky enough to be staying for free while I was here but after speaking to other travellers, I got the idea that finding a cheap place to stay was hard. I would advise staying out the main skiing resorts if you want to find something more purse (or wallet) friendly.
Any budget traveller, especially solo travellers, enjoy a drink or ten on the way. It’s a great way to socialise and meet people. This as we know though, can be costly with some bars charging a fortune for a drink.
I visited a few bars to say the least and the prices changed dramatically. In one bar it was happy hour, with a large white wine spritzer costing me only 1 euro, yet the bar next door the same drink would be 4 euros. It just shows, you need to look around for the best deals and save those pennies!
I also came across a lot of unusual food too, with ‘Bobbys Spezial’ pizza, being the strangest. I have to admit I was boring though, and played It safe, choosing instead to cook up a storm at my friends house as a cheaper option!
My friend kept telling me that I couldn’t leave without making it to the top of the Austrian Alps, this of course was something that I wanted to do but I didn’t have a ski pass so would have to pay for the ski lift to take me up. It wasn’t as expensive as I thought at 19 euros for one trip up and back down but It was worth every penny.
The views were out of this world. We bought ourselves some Glühwein (mulled wine) and settled in to some deck chairs to take in the view and boy what a view it was!
I highly recommend if you are visiting and in the Saalbach – Hinterglemm area to go up to the top of the mountains!
As the day went on and the sun became lower, the temperature dropped significantly, so we headed in to the après ski bar and ordered some food. I went for a typical Austrian dish, some frankfurters, mustard, cheese and bread!
There is also a typical Austrian game which I came across which was a lot of fun! It basically involved a tree trunk, some nails and a hammer. you each have a nail and slightly tap it in to the wood so it stays. Then you each have a turn to knock it in, using the slimmer part of the hammer, so It is harder to aim. Definitely recommend having a go if you come across it, It is also a great way to make new friends. Just grab some people and ask them if they want to join in on the fun!
One of the main highlights of the trip for me though was the train journey to Wien (Vienna). I caught the train from Zell em See, with one stop off at Salzburg to catch the connecting train to Wien. The first half of the journey to Salzburg was incredible. With the train tracks winding through the valleys, underneath towering mountains. I tried to take pictures and videos but again, same as the plane journey, those windows just don’t help you get the best picture!
Here is a short video I took of the journey, again not the best quality! I do highly recommend a train journey in this part of Austria though, or even a bus or car journey!
Though it was short I had a great time here in Austria, learning new things, meeting new people and seeing amazing places.
There house wine is also Jagermeister, so what’s not to love?
Which I think I may have had a bit too much of looking at these next two pictures…I’m just going to blame the photographer for capturing me at the wrong time (I definitely wasn’t drunk). Ok maybe just a little.
The atmosphere in the local bars I visited was electric, I recommend heading off the beaten track, to smaller villages and trying out their nightlife, probably at the one and only pub they have there!
Here is what happened when we had a power cut mixed with it being the barman’s birthday!
My next stop? Budapest – Hungary!