Sunday, March 8, 2009

Leaving Innsbruck, Austria and the Train Ride to Vienna

We left Innsbruck, Austria yesterday morning. The Innsbruck train station was rebuilt in the past couple of years and houses wonderful food stores with premade sandwiches and pastries, a post office, newsstands, and is decorated with large oil paintings. The taxi drove us from our guest house in Old Town directly into the station at the boarding level. The Austrian announcer apologized that our train to Vienna arrived two minutes late but still left on time. We had a compartment for 6 with a sliding glass door and our compartment mate was a gentleman who was traveling by train to Istanbul. The journey to Vienna took 5 hours and en route we saw mountains, snow, forests, green valleys, beautiful homes and the train stopped in Kufstein, Salzburg, Linz, St. Poelten, and Vienna. We were pleasantly surprised to have a dressed up waiter knock on the door of our compartment to ask whether we would like the coffee or the cappuccino that he was carrying on a tray.

The rocking of the train had many of the passengers drifting in and out of sleep. Wouldn't it be wonderful if more travelers in the US could experience and take advantage of such train/rail travel?!

We arrived in Vienna on time and after a short taxi ride made it to our hotel. Our room on the 11th floor has a balcony with a view of the Stadt Park with the famous gold statue of Johann Strauss.