Day 1 – July 8, 2018 (Sun) – Toronto to Vienna to Salzburg

Salzburg – July 8
Steps walked: 13,631         Floors climbed: 21 Distance walked: 9.5 km
Details Time Notes
arrived at Vienna Airport 8:00 AM
got all luggage 8:40 AM
left big suitcases at baggage service 9:00 AM €4 per bag per day
waited for OBB Train RJ640 9:30 AM
boarded Flughafen Wien Bahnhof → Salzburg HBF 10:25 AM
arrived at Salzburg HBF 1:48 PM
lunch at OBB Lounge at Salzburg HBF 1:55 PM 1st class perk
Taxi to Hotel Goldener Hirsch, Salzburg 2:20 PM €10,80 fare + €1,20 tip
check in at Hotel Goldener Hirsch, Salzburg 2:40 PM
walked to Tourist Info at Mozartplatz Sq. from hotel 3:00 PM bought Salzburg Card
Salzburg Cathedral & surroundings 4:00 PM
funicular up to Salzburg Fortress 5:10 PM Fortress tour
VIP dinner at Panorama Restaurant 6:30 PM
VIP concert at Golden Hall 8:30 PM walked 137 steps up
funicular down from Salzburg Fortress 10:30 PM
walked from Old Town to Mullner Steg for night shots 10:35 PM
back to hotel 12:20 AM

We used Austrian Airlines for the first time, mainly because they have direct flights to Vienna from Toronto. I chose to redeem my Aeroplan miles but still had to pay $600 tax for an economy round-trip ticket. Regular price was around $1500 return. I also paid $110 extra to get the preferred seats both ways with extra legroom located at the emergency row 19 (on a 76W aircraft). I brought my inflatable foot stool along so I had no problem sleeping for 6 out of the 8 hours’ flight. It was like sleeping on a lounger…very comfortable. I found it even more comfortable than the premium economy seats. However, the food was SOOOO bad, only the dessert and the coffee were good. Chicken was dry and pasta quite tasteless.

Arrived in Vienna at 8:10 am, got my luggage at 8:40 am, then went up to the departure level in Terminal 3 to leave our big suitcases at luggage storage. Only €4 per suitcase per day. We only took our carry-on’s to go to Salzburg.

Went down to Level -1 where the Vienna Airport (Flughafen Wien) Train Station is located. Our 10:33 am direct train from Vienna Airport to Salzburg Hbf left from Platform 2. Though I already bought the ticket online, I still checked the ticket price on the machine and to my BIG surprise, a 1st class ticket like what I got cost €104 – instead of €29 that I paid online 3 months ago.

I also prepaid €3 per ticket to get a seat selection on the OBB train site. The compartment that I chose was in the last car (Coach 27) where half the car is 1st class and half the class is business class. We ended up having the whole compartment to ourselves for the whole 3-hour journey. In that compartment, only seats 61 & 62 and 63-66 have fixed tables, others are fold-up ones like those on the planes.  The picture below shows the seats that I reserved for DH & myself, with seat 61 facing the direction of the journey. Being a morning train, seats 61 & 62 did not get the sun. Party of 4’s can book Seats 63-66, as they also have a fixed table (odd number seats facing the front of the train).

Screenshot (40)Upon arrival at Salzburg Hbf, we went to the OBB Lounge to get some free drinks and snacks (a 1st class passenger’s perk).

Then we took a taxi and paid €10 + €2 tip to get to the hotel in the Old Town, Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a 5-star Luxury Collection Hotel. I totally love this old hotel originally built in 1407. As an SPG Gold member, I got a free upgrade to a Festival room of over 40 sq. metre, overlooking the famous pedestrian street, Getreidegasse, but without any street noise from Room 44.

IMG_5404

The furniture is all wood which I like a lot to preserve the authentic look, but the mini-bar, the safe, etc. are all quite new inside those wooden cupboards.  The best part is the bathroom which is spacious and loaded with good bath products. There are the double sinks, a bath tub with a hand-held shower, a separate shower stall, a toilet and a bidet.

IMG_5406

After check in, we walked to the Tourist Info Office on Mozartplatz Square located 7 minutes away from the hotel at the end of Getreidegasse. There we bought our 48-hour Salzburg cards (€37 each) and used them for Salzburg Cathedral & to go up the funicular to the Salzburg Fortress. I attended the VIP dinner and Mozart Concert there.

Being an SPG gold member, I got the original Mozart chocolates (recipe created by Furst in 1884) as a gift from the hotel. We were told that these hand-made “originals” are wrapped in blue-silver tin foil. All the others, usually wrapped in red-gold tin foil, were just cheap imitations.

mozart chocolate

It’s getting really late now, so I’ll continue the blog tomorrow.

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