Austrian Tyrol – June 2018

Friday 15th June

This was my only holiday of the year. Typical start with journey down to London for overnight stay. East Coast main line train left on time, overtook an earlier one at Newcastle, held up at Darlington as a passenger fell ill and needed to wait on ambulance crew taking them off. Then on board announcements apologised for delays, overcrowding due to problems with train ahead and one behind resulting in us having 3 loads of passengers on board and we we would be making an extra stop at Peterborough. Eventually arrived in London 50 minutes late.

Saturday 16th June

Formally first day of the holiday. Departure from St Pancras was at 12.58pm to Brussels so a bit of hanging around this morning. An hour’s wait in Brussels Midi to take the Thalys service to Cologne, this service arrived 15 minutes late due to a “person on the track”. check in at the hotel then quick up to room to drop bags and straight back down for evening meal.

Sunday 17th June

Another day of travel. Cologne to Munich on a train with r coach numbers the wrong way round making us late in departing – its not easy trying to get around 35 people on board a single carriage when this happens. At one point on this busy train there was an announcement at one station that we wouldn’t be leaving until the people that got on at Stuttgart got off – there were too many people on board and there were other services. We arrived 15 minutes late into Munich. Our next train into Austria (headed to Verona) left Munich 9 minutes late but when we arrived in Worgl it was on time. There was then a 20 minute coach trip to our hotel in St Johann – our base for the week.

Monday 18th June

Today was a day of rest, just able to lounge around in St Johann. Picked up food to make my own packed lunch and left hotel at 9.00 am and decided to walk along the GroBach river that runs through the town in the direction of Kirchdorf in Tirol. Was a very nice walk, weather was good, crossed over the river and back the other side into town. Then carried on out the other side towards Rettenbach but this stretch wasn’t as nice. Perhaps too close to the main busy road. Returned to hotel around 3.00 pm for coffee (OK it was free but still). My FitBit said over 24,00 steps (18km) making up for the last couple of days.

Tuesday 19th June

Today was full of some spectacular sights. A coach trip to Hohe Tauern National Park where we would travel up the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. It is a very long climb, about 1145m in height and many hairpin bends. The only HGVs allowed on this road are tour coaches and access is between 5.00 am and 9.30 pm weather permitting at any time of year. Someone said no-one would cycle up it, sorry, we passed some going both ways. We stopped for a bit at Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Hohe just below the Grossglockner peak at the glacier. After the break we traveled back down to Heiligenbut, a very nice village, before completing the journey back. We did not stop at any of the viewpoints in either direction, most photographs of the views were taken from the inside of the coach.

Wednesday 20th June

Another day trip this time to Mayrhofen. Coach trip to Jenbach where we boarded a steam train on old carriages to travel up the Ziller Valley on the Zillertalbahn Railway. You could sit on hard wooden seats or in the open air “cattle truck”. There was a couple of hours to spend in Mayrhofen before returning to Jenbach. Then 2 trains back to St Johann. Some nice views along the way.

Thursday 21st June

Train journey to Lake Zell and Zell am See. There was a 45 minute boat trip around the lake – boring really at least for me – then 3 hours to spend in the town. I ended up walking along the lakeside path and stopped to eat my packed lunch. It was the only day affected by the weather with some wee showers but I just kept on walking and dried quite quickly. The train journey back only took about 40 minutes.

Friday 22nd June

Today was a free day to do what you wanted. I decided to take a walk to the Eifersbacher Wasserfall – a route that has only just opened. Took it easy, lasted about 3 hours. As you start to approach the waterfall there are warning signs advising of steep bits. There is a short viewing point at the foot of the waterfall then you van either go up past or back down. Going up was much steeper and harder than I expected, mostly on new wooded steps with big steps, heart beating in head time. Took a long rest at the time while I calmed down back to normal breathing etc. Then a easy walk down the winter ski lift access path and into the farmer’s market in town. Rested most of the afternoon.

Saturday 23rd June

A day trip to Salzburg which started off with a tour with the same guide as last time I was here – I’m sure he missed a few bits out this time. The afternoon was free to do what you wanted. Walked along the river Salz, had my packed lunch, then though the streets with some shopping along the way. Some gingerbread bought at the market stall along with a wee dragon.

Sunday & Monday

Two days of travel back home Sunday all the way back to Cologne for an overnight stay and Monday returned all the way home arriving around 9.30 pm. Of the 6 trains over the 2 days of travel only two ran to timetable – the Eurostar and the local service between Edinburgh and North Berwick.

About Stuart Smith

Exist in North Berwick, East Lothian, support Fair Trade and Fairtrade, support a common voting system for all elections using STV PR,
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