Category Archives: Train

Planning Two More Trips This Year(2017)

With our next trip fully planned, a 14 day driving jaunt of 4000 miles that covers thirteen states, I have been planning two more trips.  One a 9-day cross country visit to the Washington D.C. area and a four day 100th birthday party trip for my Dad in Minnesota. 

Washington D.C. Trip

Image result for photo washington mallWe decided to stay in the United States this year as the flights to Europe are such a pain.  If I could afford first class air fare, things wouldn’t be so painful but, the cost for this addition doubles the price of the trip.  What a pain. 

So instead, we decided to head to the center of our Federal Government, Washington D.C..  This will be our third trip there but we feel we have barely scratched the surface of the things to see. 

This trip will be very different from prior trips.  We will not have a car.  We will be using Uber, We rented a one bedroom apartment in the suburbs within walking distance of supermarkets, restaurants and the train system that will take us directly into Washington, D.C. within in 20 minutes.  The cost of of our apartment is 1/2 or less than a hotel in D.C., we will be saving a chunk of $$$$ on food with our own kitchen and no rental car or parking costs.  This is how we do it on our trips to Europe so we figured we might as well see how it works here the United States.

100th Birthday Party(Minnesota)

20170429_121009We will be making our third trip this year to Minnesota, this time for Dad’s 100th birthday.  Four days with our daughter, we traveled there with our son earlier this year,

The cost for airfare to Minnesota is more than to Washington D.C.. Plus, renting a car is key as we must drive 100+ miles to the small farm town where Dad lives. 

We are all looking forward to this trip as we are expected see a good part of the community who are always supportive to family and friends. 

More later. 



Austria 2016, Days 10, 11, Thursday, Friday

I am sitting on our houses’ veranda looking at the world of Golling, Austria.  Surrounded on all sides by the Alps now partially covered by the clouds.  To the left our hillside is covered by roving chickens busily eating insects .  About a 100 yards beyond the busy state highway, 2 lane, LOL where the cars and commence  of this area flows. The last butterflies of the year are busily looking for nectar before the first hard freeze hits here in the next week ore two.  If there is a paradise, I think we have found it.  Following is the a resume of the past two days activity.

Day 11, Friday, A Day of Rest and Errands

We had quite a day yesterday as you will see and we really needed today.  Up about 6 a.m. 10 hours of sleep.  Made breakfast and then cleaned up the kitchen and did a garbage run to the garage where the cans are kept.  Our landlady who lives below us came down and made sure we had all of the sorting done right…close but no cigar…they are really fussy about that stuff here.

20160923_123722Went grocery shopping, a 1/2 mile walk on what could be our last trip there.  They are getting to know us.  You have to be very organized about food in an Austrian Village as every store including restaurants close at 7 p.m. and Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.  Forgot to go shopping?  You starve.

We then headed down town, another 1/2 mile the opposite way for banking, miscellaneous and lunch at a restaurant in a hotel that opened in 1350.  Oh the20160923_121032 stories this place could stay if it could talk.  We each had a bowl of soup and bread for lunch. Oh yes, a small beer as well…mandatory in Austria.

We re-learned a lot here again on this trip.  Why Europeans are so thin is because they eat basically the same kind of food we do in the USA but the portion is so much smaller and they walk a minimum of 5 miles a day every day!  We walked up to nearly nine miles the other day.  Oh yes, we stopped on the way home for a gelato cone on the way home to balance off the very health meal.  Very small but oh so good. 

We then took a two hour nap and now are having a cup of tea.  Such a good life. 

A quiet evening tonight and then the longest day of the trip coming up. 

Day 10, Thursday, Lost in the Austrian Alps


We headed off at 9 a.m. for an hour and 1/2 long train trip through some of the most spectacular mountains in the world, the Alps, to a world renown lake and skiing center in the world, Zell Am See.  The play ground of the millionaires…the t0wn was IMG_0421 (2)full of middle eastern families who had their vacation villas there.

We cruised the lake and sat in the high mountain sunshine sharing a sweet and drinking lattes and cappuccino’s.  We didn’t filled in with the oil millionaires but we enjoy it for an hour or so.  T

They flew in with their helicopters and we boarded our train…and promptly got lost!  We missed our connection and headed down the wrong valley an it took us two hours to get turned around, thanks to the Austrian train riders who spoke enough English along with our minimal German to get on our way back home.  A long day.

Maybe it was a payback for the cruise we took on a yacht with the oil magnates. 


They let us aboard, for a price of course.  An eventful day. 

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Posted by on September 23, 2016 in Austria, Train



Austria 2016 Day 2, 3

As I write this, I am sitting out on our balcony as the sun slowly sinks in the west.  Lets start with Day 2, Wednesday an then on to Day 3,

September 14, 2016 DAY 2, Wednesday

We landed at the Frankfurt Airport on time…1130…and started through a miserable 90 minutes of security lines.  The security was horrendous.  We nearly missed our flight because of it.  I am not saying they shouldn’t have security as they let over a million middle eastern people in their country in the past year..  Germany knows they have let in at least a 1000 or more vicious terrorists who want to blow up as many planes and people as possible so guess who play the price?

Our contact from Untours, Vera, was waiting for us when we landed in the tiny Salzburg airport after our 40 minute flight.  The weather was hot 82 and humid, 80% and she drove the 30 minutes to our apartment in Golling.

We had 3 hours of sleep total in the 24 hours of travel from home to Golling so you can imagine that we had jet lag when we arrived at 3 p.m..  We stay up till 6 p.m. after we walked to small grocery store to get some dinner(supper) and we knockwurst, potatoes and a fresh apple strudel cooked for us by our landlady who baked it for.  Then to bed.  Slept 11 hours till 5 a.m.. In and out of course.  Typical travel day to Europe.

September 15, 2016, Day 3,  Thursday

The weather was clear and windy when we got up.  We had leisurely breakfast of cereal and cheese/cold cuts and apples.  We were picked up by Vera again and we went to her house  where she gave us coffee and a about 90 minutes things to do while we were in Austria;  Very helpful.

We then walked to the train station about 1/3 of a mile from our apartment and missed a couple of trains because we didn’t quite understand which track we should be on.  We finally asked a young fellow who helped us out.  25 minutes later we were in Salzburg.  We grabbed a sandwich to eat for lunch and explored the train station and did some more grocery shopping.


The train back to Golling, 85 degrees, packed away groceries and took a well deserved 2 hours nap.  I made a pasta dinner with fresh bread and mushrooms and finished up the Apple Strudel.  Cleaned up  and are getting sleepy.  Rain expected the next 7 days.  Clouds coming in. 

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Posted by on September 15, 2016 in Austria, Train, weather