After our last day of cycling along the Danube, our boat cruised all night to get us back to Passau, Germany. Our group of seven departed from the ship and took off on foot to the train station, walking on the same bike path that we had started out on one week earlier. Our next stop: Salzburg, Austria.
While we were waiting on the platform for our train, several police officers showed up as a train was arriving. After the passengers filed out, the police went on board and came out with four people, kids really, probably in their 20’s. They seemed a little surprised, maybe a little embarrassed to be hauled off the train as they juggled their electronics and luggage. They were peacefully escorted over to the large tented area next to the train station. Refugees. I was a little surprised too, and even though everyone appeared to be on their best behavior, it was hard to watch. And while I knew that we would be seeing refugees while we were traveling, I didn’t expect it at this small train station, though it makes sense being right next to the Austrian border.
We arrived in Salzburg late in the afternoon and walked to our hotel. We had three nights and two whole days to explore Salzburg and the surrounding area. Here’s what we did:
Of course, we wish we had more time to explore. Salzburg is one of those cities where it’s easy to imagine yourself living there, it’s very appealing.
When we arrived at the Salzburg train station, three days prior, a quick glance up at the monitors had shown that all trains to Munich, our next destination, were cancelled. Between the large amount of refugees trying to get to Germany, and the revelers trying to get to Oktoberfest, the train system was all clogged up.
The night before we were planning to leave, no one knew when they would be running again. We looked into renting a car or two, catching a train close to the border, or taking a bus. The next morning, the rental car prices had skyrocketed, the train station had no direct route, only suggestions of how to get close, and the long distance buses were very elusive.