tom911 goes to Germany and Austria

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by tom911, Feb 18, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Hello from Berlin, Germany. It's Monday morning here and we're about ready to start our first full day of a ten day stay in Germany and Austria. My friends Jim and Zennie are joining me on this trip, their first time to Germany. We purchased rail tickets a few weeks ago at very reasonable prices to make this trip work. On arrival here the temperature was 2C/36F and don't think it's going to get much warmer.

    FRIDAY

    Took BART to SFO and grabbed an airport shuttle to the Holiday Inn Express South. This property adjoins Max's Cafe and is just about across the street from the Hyatt. Good weekend rate of $90 made it attractive to stay here instead of driving to the airport and worrying about parking very early Saturday morning. 10 minute walk down to El Torito for a Mexican dinner around 8pm. The place was packed and we had to wait 10 minutes for a table. Looked like a lot of locals versus hotel guests from the area.

    If you're a light sleeper this is probably not the property for you, though, as the rear windows overlook the Bay and you'll immediately hear the sounds of aircraft landing as they fly in. The hotel does provide earplugs. Didn't bother me too much, though, as I was sound asleep about 20 mins after hitting the bed.

    SATURDAY

    This Holiday Inn Express actually had a nice breakfast setup in their lobby with scrambled eggs and cereal. Would have been a nice start if we weren't catching the 0511 airport shuttle for our 0705 JFK flight. As this was a holiday weekend I had planned to arrive about 90 mins before departure instead of my normal hour, and that was a good decision. The couple in front of us in the first class check-in line, with two children and skis, missed the 30 minute bag cutoff. They also had a verbal confrontation with another couple with several children who waltzed right in and presented themselves at the first class check-in counter saying they had been in line 30 mins and couldn't wait any longer (they surely were not in the first class line with us—guess they could have come from the economy line), You just have to allow extra time on holiday weekends at SFO. Looked like a supervisor allowed the family who missed the baggage cutoff to check in and they rushed to security hoping to make their flight. Even if they did make it they probably weren't going to arrive with baggage. More drama than needed to start this trip.

    Flight to JFK went well. I selected a breakfast skillet with fruit and a biscuit. The breakfast skillet is described as cream cheese and chive scrambled eggs with apple smoked bacon, potato hash and Boursin sauce. Movie choices on the AA-provided Samsung tablet included Lincoln and Taken 2. I watched Taken 2 and slept a bit after that.

    [​IMG]

    At JFK I'm only allowed one guest in the first class Flagship lounge, which was enforced by a check-in agent there, so ended up in the Admiral's Club just after the AA security checkpoint (there are two clubs at JFK). Place was jam-packed at 4pm (remember-- holiday weekend). We found three seats in the same section though we had other guests sitting between us. Off to to gate at 1730 for our 1815 departure from gate 3.

    Boarded our 6hr 45 min London Heathrow 777 flight with three adjoining seats in the second row of business. Enjoyed some Australian cabernet. All of us selection the same dinner option: Grilled Beef Tenderloin with charred romesco sauce, corn puree and haricots verts, one of AA's signature dishes. The other options were Adobo chicken, curried shrimp and scallops or Cavatelli pasta (that came with a vodka sauce). Mixed reviews on the dinner with Tom and Jim finishing theirs and Zennie reporting the beef was too tough. Best selection of movies I've ever seen on AA: I watched Argo and Lincoln was also available. Circled before the curfew at Heathrow and landed at T3 at 0605.

    [​IMG]

    SUNDAY

    Made our way by bus over to T5 which is British Airways main terminal and the newest terminal at the airport. Zennie joined me for breakfast at the buffet line in the first class lounge (again, only one guest and they were enforcing it here, too). Entry here was based on my elite status as we were on economy tickets on BA to Berlin. I had some scrambled eggs, bacon, yogurt and a cranberry muffin. Zennie ordered an item off the menu and it was delivered in about 5 minutes.

    Left the lounge after about 45 mins and made our way to the Berlin flight which took a 30 min delay once we were on board due to ground fog at Heathrow. Once airborne it was 90 mins to Berlin Tegel Airport with arrival about 1145. We were met outside the baggage claim area by our friend Swen who is a Lufthansa pilot we met in Bareclona back in 2003 at a swimming event. He was en route to Frankfurt for work and only had a few minutes to visit, but really appreciate that he stopped by. If our flight wasn't late we would have had much more time.

    Now, the bad news. Zennie's bag decided it would rather stay at Heathrow. We took a meandering route within the airport to find the contract agent for BA and filed a lost baggage report. The computer reported the bag was still at Heathrow and would come in on the BA flight that landed in Berlin at 6pm. Set up delivery instructions and off we went. Got the TXL Bus into the city (2.4 euros one way, about $3.20) and then two train connections (U Bahn and S Bahn) and ended up one block from our hotel near Potsdamer Platz.

    Arrived at our hotel (holiday Inn Express) just before 1400, checked in, and met back in the lobby at 1700. Rate here is 60 euros a night, about $80, for the first night and 68 euros/$90, for the second and third nights. Did a walking tour of the area around Potsdamer Platz. The Berlin Film Festival was ending today so there was a lot of foot traffic, including a long line of people waiting for entrance to the theatre that adjoins the casino. Walked through a two story shopping arcade but all the shops were closed due to it being Sunday. Headed down to Brandenburg Gate, took some photos, and then about a 15 min walk back to the neighborhood around our hotel where we dined at an Italian restaurant right across the street that had good reviews on the Trip Advisor Berlin app for Android. Very reasonable prices (a huge mixed salad was 4.4 euros, about $6, and lasagna was 6.7 euros, around $9) and nice décor inside.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Back to our hotel to sort out Zennie's bag. I have Skype on my Samsung tablet so she was able to use that to call a local number and was assured her bag was in transit to the hotel. It arrived around 2215 while we were in the lobby using free wifi. Glad to have that out of the way. Zennie's daughter, Megan, had a London-Madrid segment on BA a few years ago and her bag didn't show up for a couple days, so much better handling this time from the Heathrow side.

    Germany photos start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-Eu...ip-to/28060491_tcNmrx#!i=2370318405&k=Tj8gMSZ

    AA photos are here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/American-...rrier/21772732_vzL6js#!i=2370319295&k=KW43D5m
     
    tommy777, violist, KathInJax and 2 others like this.
  2. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Hello from Berlin on this snow-covered Tuesday morning. Light snow started falling last night when we were over on Kurfurstendamm in west Berlin for touring and dinner and a heavier snow fell overnight. It's a winter wonderland as I look outside my window and everything is covering in snow. We're all equipped with warm clothing and hiking boots so should be fine as we venture out for our last full day in Berlin.

    View from my room from an hour ago:

    [​IMG]

    MONDAY

    Our hotel provides a continental breakfast with an assortment of rolls, cereals and yogurt, as well as juice, coffee and hot chocolate, so we had a nourishing start to the day and were out the door just after 10a.m. Our hotel is located about a block from where The Wall used to stand. You can identify where The Wall used to be by a dual row of pavement stones running along it's former location.

    Our first visit was the Topography of Terror Museum which chronicles the rise of Nazism from 1933 through 1945. The exhibit contains many black and white photos of government officials and rallies/marches as well as scenes of deportation to concentration camps, the camps themselves, hangings, and finally liberation. Well worth the visit and this was my third time there. There is a section of the wall outside the museum as well as some excavated basement-level buildings that would house those detained by officials. This area is known for now-demolished buildings that housed the Gestapo, SS and SD (secret police).

    [​IMG]

    Next stop was Checkpoint Charlie and an outdoor exhibit that shows what the checkpoint looked like over the years, starting from a single lane roadway with barricades in 1961, when The Wall was put up, through 1989 when there was a 10 lane facility.

    [​IMG]

    We walked down Friedrichstrasse past churches, U-Bahn stations and shops. We stopped in one indoor mall for afternoon snacks (hot chocolate and a brownie for me) and then onto Unter den Linden, the main road that comes out from Brandenburg Gate. We saw Humboldt University, the opera house under construction, the Dom (cathedral), museum island, TV tower, and finally two department store visits so Jim could buy a warm scarf at a bargain sale price of 5 euros ($6.50). Bought day passes for transit (6.5 euros/$8.70) and got the U-Bahn with an S-Bahn connection back to our hotel, arriving just after 1600.

    [​IMG]

    Back out at 1730 and went over to Kurfurstendamm in the west side of Berlin. Fist stop was KaDaWe department store which is a 7 story landmark building here. Looked at $6,000 watches for sale, visited the food section on the 6th floor (got free Lindt chocolate samples), and final stop was the restaurant buffet on the 7th floor. It was a little pricey there (you visit various islands and pick what you want, all priced individually), so we decided to look elsewhere. On the way out we saw a young Japanese couple who had picked up lobster tails and walked over to the check-out register. Their bill was 105 euros ($139) and they looked a bit surprised. Most of the main dishes, pork or fish, were 15-22 euros ($20-$33).
     
    uggboy likes this.
  3. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Walked down Kurfurstendam to light snow coming down. It was hard to notice unless you looked up towards a street light and could see it falling. Lots of window shopping and we eventually ended up at Alt Berliner Biersalon for dinner and beer. Tom and Jim had wiener schnitzel (11.5 euros/$14.50) and Zennie had a sausage plate with mashed potatoes and pickled cabbage (8.5 euros/$12). We walked around the neighborhood some more and then U-Bahn back to our hotel with arrival just after 2130. Very full day.

    Beers at Alt Berlin Biersalon with dinner:

    [​IMG]

    shop window on Kurfurstendamm:

    [​IMG]

    New photos from Berlin start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-Eur...7960&k=2JN2pwx
     
    uggboy likes this.
  4. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    finished up in Berlin, next stop: Leipzig


    Hello this Wednesday morning from Berlin. Cold weather continues with daily highs around the freezing mark. Forecast high for Berlin today is -1C/30F and it is snowing lightly right now.

    Yesterday we had light snow throughout the afternoon, and while we were having dinner heavy snow came down outside. It stopped just in time for our trek back to the hotel at 2130. More snow overnight has covered everything as we start the day. We're due out on the 1052 train to Leipzig, a journey of just over an hour on a fast ICE train, at a cost of 13 euros each (about $17). We did pay 4 euros (about $5.25) extra for each seat reservation. I probably would not have done that when traveling solo but it does assure of us seats in the same car when traveling as a group.

    TUESDAY

    Headed out at 10am after breakfast and took the S-Bahn one stop from Anhalter Bahnhof to Potsdamer Bahnhof, connecting to the U2 train to Schonhauser Allee.

    [​IMG]


    This is in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood which is home to the Wassertum (Water Tower—was converted to a prison during WWII and now apartments), a tree lined street with colorful apartments which the former East German government used for propaganda (Husemann Street), an old brewery now housing nightclubs and startups, and the Prater cabaret. There is also an old Jewish cemetery in the neighborhood. The train tracks are mostly elevated in this area. Spent about 3 hours walking about and then a stop at a coffee shop for hot drinks. Both my camera and tablet were fogged up when I turned them on inside because of the temperature change.

    Some sights in the area (school children and a shivering dog):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    From Prenzlauer Berg, off by U-Bahn to Alexanderplatz. Grabbed a tram over to Hackescher Market and checked out stops and restaurants in the area.

    [​IMG]

    At the train station there Zennie had a Thai noodle dish and Jim had sausage and french fries, both around 5 euros ($6.50).. Tom wasn't hungry.

    Walked over to the road outside the train station and caught the 100 double decker tourist bus to west Berlin at the Berlin Zoo stop. That bus takes us down Unter den Linden towards Brandenburg Gate and then through the Tiergarten park area until ending in west Berlin. Walked through the shopping area in Kurfurstendamm and got the U2 train back to Potsdamer Platz, and then a 10 minute walk to our hotel, arriving at 1600.

    Back out at 1830 and we walked over to the shopping arcade at Potsdamer Platz and had a look about, including a stop in the Saturn electronics store to look at computers for sale. From there back on the U-Bahn out to Alexanderplatz for dinner. We went to the Munchen Hofbrauhaus where the hostess seated us right in front of a 3 piece band. This beer hall could probably seat several hundred people. We enjoyed roast pork with potato dumplings and cabbage (Tom), turkey steak (Jim) and sausage (Zennie). A popular dish some Japanese tourists at the next table had was pig knuckle. We enjoyed a variety of beers and Tom splurged for ice cream in applesauce for dessert (my total bill about 22 euros/$29 for half liter of beer, pork and ice cream). I did recognize one song the band sang in German, a traditional Irish song called Irish Rover.

    [​IMG]

    That's it for today. We'll check out of the hotel around 0945 and make our way by S-Bahn and U-Bahn over to the main train station (Hauptbahnhof).

    New photos start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-Eur...1813&k=PtqS6hx
     
    uggboy likes this.
  5. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    finishing up in Leipzig, next stop: Munich

    Hello this Thursday morning from Leipzig, Germany. High temperature here yesterday was forecast to be -1C/30F and it was the coldest day of this trip. We had snow on and off throughout the afternoon and the ground is covered with fresh snow this morning.

    WEDNESDAY

    Left our hotel at 0950 for the walk over to Anhalter Bahnhof and got an S-Bahn train over to Brandenburg Gate, connecting the U55 train to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the central train station for Berlin. Caught the 1052 train to Leipzig with travel time of 75 mins. Saw snow-covered fields all along the way. The Berlin-Leipzig ticket was 13 euros each, about $17.50, plus the 4 euro/$5.25 seat reservation fee for each of us.

    [​IMG]

    The Leipzig train station is one of the grandest in Europe and my favorite in Germany with 24 tracks and an adjoining shopping mall. Most of the trains originating here seem to be for local service around the east side of Germany. There is also significant tram service outside the station around Leipzig. For the first time on this trip, I was forced to break out the warm gloves as we left the train station.

    Checked in at Motel One (59 euro/$80 single, 10 euro more for a double) right across from Nikolaikirche. I have a room overlooking the plaza next to the church out front. This church was our first stop, and then over to Thomaskirche to see Johann Sebastian Bach who is buried there (he was moved there from another location).

    [​IMG]

    Stop for lunch at Galleria Kaufhof's restaurant on the 7th floor. Jim had a vegetable and cheese dish, Zennie soup and a roll, and Tom an apple cake. Everything was in German so it was difficult sorting out what some of the food items were. The first two employees I spoke with only spoke German. Took a look about the store while there.

    [​IMG]

    Also popped into some stores in the area and walked through passageways lined with shops. Ended up at the train station for a look about the station and shopping arcade.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Dinner was at an Italian place a block behind our hotel I had a four-cheese pizza for 7.5 euros ($10). Town was pretty quiet in the evening, very different compared to my visit during the Christmas markets at the end of 2011.

    This morning we're off on the 0915 ICE train to Nuremberg, connecting to Munich, with arrival at 1415, so a long day ahead on the train. We'll be in first class on this trip as we were offered an upgrade for an additional $10 a person. Each ticket was 36.3 euros, about $49, plus the seat reservation fee.

    Leipzig photos start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-Eur...0555&k=2CzXjGK
     
    uggboy likes this.
  6. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    after two nights in Munich, now in Salzburg

    Hello this Saturday evening from Salzburg, Austria. Just in from dinner and it's started snowing for the first time today (blue skies when we arrived).

    In Munich it snowed most of our time there and when we went out for breakfast on Friday morning we passed a digital display showing a temperature of -4C/24F. It was cold and even I had to break the gloves out for this part of our trip. This morning at 1048 we traveled on a regional train for two hours from Munich to Salzburg at a special weekend group rate of 10 euros each ($13.25). Very good value on a double decker regional train. We were on the lower level as there was nowhere upstairs to accommodate our luggage. Most of the passengers got off at the first stop along the way which might have been a gateway to a ski resort.

    THURSDAY

    We departed on an ICE (Inter City Express) train at 0915 from Leipzig in light snow.

    As we got about 2 hours out we had to go over a mountain pass in heavy snow and a locomotive switch was required.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This put us about 20 mins behind schedule and we missed our connecting train at Nuremberg (had an original 15 minute connection there to get a nonstop Munich train). Not to worry, though, as the train we were on was also going to Munich but it made two more stops and ended up arriving in Munich about 45 min later than our original routing.

    We were in first class on this ICE train. Instead of 4 seats across, this cabin provides 3 seats in a 2-1 configuration. There is also a wide aisle making it easy to walk around. There are also some small compartments with glass doors that can be closed. We were not in one of those and sat at a table for three at the end of the car. Personnel from the restaurant car did come by and take orders for food or drink (not free—you had to pay for your order). I had a two liter bottle of water along and didn't order anything. Jim and Zennie walked up to the restaurant car for a sandwich.

    First class cabin:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On arrival in Munich, we walked about 4 blocks to the Tryp Hotel. This was booked on AA.com for just under $100 a night. A number of travel sites offered the same property for twice that price, so very happy that AA's tour provider had a decent rate here as other hotels I was looking at were $130-150 a night. Breakfast buffet here is 19 euros ($25—we passed). Wi-fi is available for 5 euros/$6.50 for 24 hours. I did buy one day of wi-fi. The lobby had a nice seating area until the hotel decided to rip it up on Friday afternoon as part of a remodeling project. The only places left to sit were at the lobby bar.

    Walked about town, entering via an old city gate, visiting a church(Asamkirche)and shops (they had a Columbia store with a 50% off sale that we popped into), as well as the square at Marienplatz where the Rathaus (town hall) is located. It does have figurines that come out of the tower on the hour, but those figurines take the winter off and do not move at this time of year.

    Asamkirche interior:

    [​IMG]
     
    suenam and uggboy like this.
  7. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Dinner tonight was at the Hofbrauhaus. I hadn't loaded the google map for Munich on the tablet yet, so we were dependent on a tourist map and guidebook map, both of which did not have the level of detail we needed to navigate about. Took a good 15 mins of circling to find the Hofbrauhaus, though once we circled the corner where it was I remembered the building from a prior visit. We all had one liter beers. Tom had half a chicken, Jim a sausage plate, and Zennie pork knuckle. We all had pretzels.

    [​IMG]

    Pork knuckle, anyone?

    [​IMG]

    FRIDAY

    Back into the city center/old town to find somewhere for breakfast. Found a Galleria Kaufhof that was open at 0930 and went up to the top floor for breakfast. We had a selection of muesli, rolls and sandwiches. I paid 70 euro cents (about US 90 cents) for one packet of butter for my pretzel bread. Butter is not free here. With muesli with yogurt and a hot chocolate my bill was just over 7 euros ($9).

    Toured about the city center until noon time with another church visit (Dom/Cathedral, known as Frauenkirche-Church of Our Lady, where Pope Benedict was bishop for a short time 1977-1982), and then bought a day pass at the Odeonplatz train station (5.8 euros, about $7.70) for the trip out to the Olympic Park.

    Restaurant across from the Dom:

    [​IMG]

    HOPE TO HAVE SECOND PART OF THIS UP IN THE NEXT HOUR OR TWO--last of my photos for that part are uploading
     
    suenam and uggboy like this.
  8. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Munich stay...continued

    On arrival at the Olympic Park station we immediately walked over to BMW Welt which has an exhibition hall and museum, as well as a plant across the street. The hall features lots of cars----BMWs, Mini Coopers and even two Rolls Royce Phantoms. Plenty of photos. We didn't visit the museum but did enjoy all the new cars. There was also a section with BMW motorcycles.

    Should I get a Rolls Royce Phantom?
    [​IMG]

    A BMW?
    [​IMG]

    Or am I a Mini Cooper kind of guy?
    [​IMG]

    Or a BMW motorcycle?

    [​IMG]

    Next stop was the Olympic pool where Mark Spitz bought home all his medals.

    [​IMG]
     
    suenam and uggboy like this.
  9. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Forgot to mention we hit another church (Theatinerkirch) with an elaborate interior as snow was still coming down before the trek to the Olympic grounds.

    [​IMG]

    And a stop in a park behind the train station there:
    [​IMG]

    On return to the city center made a pastry stop off Marienplatz at a shop with donuts that would put Dunkin Donuts to shame. Walked around the city a bit as snow continued to fall.

    [​IMG]

    Back to the hotel where we met my friend Robert, at 1700. He works in the IT field for a radio/television network. Walked over to the other side of the mainline rail train tracks to Vapiano's for dinner. I have been to one of these before for a FlyerTalk even in Frankfurt. They give you a debit card on entry and all your purchases, as you visit the various stations, get scanned and added on. When you leave you present the card at the register and pay the bill. Pizzas and pasta were very reasonable (7-9 euros/$9-12). I had cheesecake for dessert and Jim and Robert has tiramisu. Very enjoyable evening.

    Dropped the Coughlins off at our hotel and I went out for an hour walk over in the old town, walking in fresh snow while new snow was coming down in the shopping district. My kind of vacation.

    Munich photos start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-Eur...6321&k=HT2CKfx
     
    autolycus and uggboy like this.
  10. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    after two nights in Salzburg, now in Frankfurt homeward bound

    Hello this Monday night from Frankfurt where it has been raining---our first rain of the trip (we've had some variety of snow every day we've been here until today). Took 6 hours to get here by train from Salzburg on a Euro City train in first class. Our total fare including upgrade to first class and seat reservations was just over 40 euros each ($53).

    [​IMG]

    We departed at 0951 and stayed on the same train until arrival at 1550, a delay of 10 minutes. We're at the Holiday Inn Express not far from the train station at 90 euros/$122 per room including breakfast and wi-fi (Platinum benefit).

    SATURDAY

    Got pastries at the bakery in the Munich train station and went over to Starbucks to eat them indoors with hot drinks (plus free wi-fi). Caught the 1048 regional train from Munich to Salzburg, arriving about 2 hours later.

    [​IMG]

    Our hotel was the Crowne Plaza, about a 15 min walk from the train station, in bright blue skies. It's a gorgeous property inside. Checked in around 1300 and headed right back out. I paid 79 euros/$108 a night with 21 day advance purchase. I was upgraded to a junior suite that would have cost 60 euros/$80 a night extra. We were offered free deathly-slow wi-fi (took 9 hours to upload 200 photos after arrival, most of the time while I was out of the room, on one of the slowest connections I have ever seen in a hotel). I added the hotel buffet breakfast onto my rate for a discounted 10 euros /$13.25 a night, regularly 15 euros. Coughlin's rate included breakfast.

    Part of my room:

    [​IMG]

    We walked past Mirabell Palace, along the river, and then crossed over into the old town area. There you find shops with traditional metal signs hanging over the doorway indicating what kind of merchant it is. Lunch was at Noordsee, a seafood chain found all over Europe, where Jim and Zennie had fish sandwiches and Tom had a box of breaded shrimp. Popped into some shops, including one with hundreds of Hummel figurines, the Dom (Cathedral), visited a cemetery, looked up at a castle, and then head back to the hotel.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    By the time we headed out for dinner, those blue skies had disappeared and been replaced with snow. Walked across the river again and then uphill to the Augustinier beer hall for dinner. Tom had BBQ ribs, cole slaw, and a baked potato for 8 euros ($10.50). We all had beers. Back down the hill in snow and across the river to our hotel. This was probably the heaviest snow we've walked in this trip and one of the few times I had to put the hood on.
     
    suenam, autolycus and uggboy like this.
  11. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Horse-drawn carriages outside the Cathedral:

    [​IMG]

    Tom enjoying the snow:
    [​IMG]


    SUNDAY

    This hotel very clearly brings in a large crowd on the weekend and the staff in the breakfast area could just not keep up with the quantity of people. You had to time your visit to the buffet area in relation to when employees were arriving with hot food. Want scrambled eggs? Wait for the person carrying that bowl. Want waffles? Wait for the waffle person. A roll? Wait for a new basket to arrive. Employees were doing the best they could but just looked overwhelmed. Don't think we starved, though, as they did have sliced meats and cheeses, fruit, juice and tea or coffee, so you just had to rotate your meal around what was available.

    Headed back into old town via Mirabell Palace and got photos of the garden behind the palace, covered in snow, looking towards the castle.

    [​IMG]

    Arrived at the Cathedral just in time for 1130 Mass.

    [​IMG]

    After leaving the cathedral we again walked about the old town, though being Sunday most of the shops were closed. We did stop at a McCafe for pastries and hot drinks (Tom had chocolate cake, one of my weaknesses when traveling, and a white hot chocolate). Wi-fi was also slow here, to the point of being unusable, so they may have the same provider as our hotel.

    Back out Sunday evening for dinner at a pasta/pizza place on the second story of a building on the main pedestrian shopping area. Tom had spaghetti, Jim pizza, and Zennie pasta and shrimp. Total bill for all of us, with wine or beer, was 49 euros ($65), so we continue to dine at pretty reasonable prices on this trip. I had dined at this same place a few years ago and enjoyed it, and it was still an excellent choice. Walked back to the hotel in light snow and ended up our day with a visit to the very-empty hotel bar (the crowds of folks at breakfast must have all checked out).

    MONDAY

    Hotel breakfast at 8am was a lot less rushed than the day before. Don't think there were more than a half-dozen tables occupied and we could make our food selections leisurely. I had scrambled eggs, bacon, a roll with butter and preserves, cheese, salmon, one pastry and orange juice. Left full.

    At the checkout counter they wanted to charge me 20 euros ($26) extra because they had changed my room rate from 79 euros to 89 euros and added 20 more euros for breakfast. This was resolved when I presented my paperwork on the booking and it was determined that my rate change, from 79 euros to 89 euros, included the 10 euros for breakfast, but that in addition to that a separate line item entry was made for breakfast, in effect charging me twice each day. Resolved to my satisfaction and another reason I always bring my hotel booking receipts along.

    After arrival in Frankfurt walked over to our hotel and set off by foot to the Zeil, the main shopping area of the city with department stores, cafes and restaurants. Had dinner at the Bull and Bear Restaurant (tip: if asked if you want fries with your 9 euro/$12 burger, you will be charged 6 euros/$8 more for those at this business). Only real mistake of this trip and an inexpensive one at that.

    We were back at the hotel at 2000 and called it a night. Back to the USA on Tuesday morning. Took 3 mins to upload 150 photos here--I'm impressed.

    Salzburg photos are here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-Eu...stria/28138555_7wxGXK#!i=2381703934&k=FFvVC3P
     
  12. Jadene Yeo

    Jadene Yeo New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    15
    informative and interesting post. I will be visiting Berlin this June for the 1st time. Love the photos that you have posted.
     
    uggboy and tom911 like this.
  13. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    The hardest part is sorting through my photos and picking out just a few for my trip reports. I hope you have the time to look at others on my website. Just booked a 10 day London/Dublin trip for next month so won't be home too long.
     
  14. tommy777
    Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Status Points:
    4,570
    Great trip report again, Tom. Thanks so much for sharing!
     
    autolycus and tom911 like this.

Share This Page