March 6, 2012 · 23:41
Today I arrived in Berlin, where I will attend the ITB, which starts tomorrow.
I wrote a post about my decision, to take the train to Berlin some weeks ago and it was a long journey, but it was a pleasant one.
Some remarks about the Deutsche Bahn: the staff is very friendly and they know what they are doing. I especially liked the guy from the board restaurant, who invited the passengers to visit his restaurant at every stop, in a quite funny way.
What came as a surprise to me was, that the Wifi was not for free. Its rather difficult for people who are not customers of the German Telecom to use it.
I was especially impressed by the Frankfurt Skyline, which can be seen from the train rather well.
I have not seen to much of Berlin so far, as I only checked in at my Hotel and visited a sports bar to have some dinner and watch Arsenal vs Milan.
Tomorrow I will visit the first day of the ITB – so stay tuned …
February 14, 2012 · 07:36
Today I would love to introduce you to a very convenient way to travel Austria – by railway. A lot of the major cities, in Austria are connected that way.
I just recently wrote a guest article at Voyage Articles – Three Cities to visit in Austria. There I wrote a short review about the three major Cities, tourists visit in Austria. The nice thing about Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck is, that they are very well connected – not only by car, but also by train. They are all part of the Westbahn-Trasse, which connects Bregenz (Vorarlberg) to Vienna – this route is one of the backbones of the Austrian railway system. This way you can go from Vienna to Salzburg in approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. Innsbruck – Salzburg are another 2 hours and to go to Vorarlberg you will need another 2 hours. But it is well worth the way, as the railway tracks between Innsbruck and Vorarlberg run over high bridges and through narrow alpine valleys.
A lot of trains are on international routes – there are a lot of trains from Vienna to Zurich (via Feldkirch, Innsbruck, Salzburg); there are trains from Munich to Rome (via Innsbruck) and from Munich to Vienna (via Salzburg) – others run from Bregenz to Budapest (via Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna).
There is a second major route – the Südbahn. It takes you from Vienna to Carinthia (via Graz) and connects to Venice.
Visiting Europe by train is a very good alternative, as it is convenient, safe and gives you a lot of opportunities to see rural Europe. I love to travel by train, as it gives me time to read, to meet people or to work (I prefer it to flying – check out this article) There are international train tickets for Tourists who want to use the railway system in different countries – you can find information for international visitors at Eurails Homepage – European Travelers can use the Interrail System.
Image via Wikipedia
Other important links:
ÖBB (Austrian railways) Route planner: click here
Westbahn (private operator from Vienna to Salzburg): click here
Filed under Traveling in Europe
Tagged as Austria, ÖBB, Bregenz, eurail, Graz, Innsbruck, interrail, Munich, postaday, Salzburg, Train, travel, Vienna, Vorarlberg, Zurich
February 12, 2012 · 18:42
In March I will attend the biggest tourism fair worldwide – the ITB Berlin. I am really looking forward to this, as I have never attended this fair before and I never visited Berlin, either. I will use the ITB to meet potential partners for my company (www.happyheartofeurope.com)
Today I was planning my trip to Berlin and after checking flights and connections I also checked the train schedule.
This was my outcome:
Best way to get to Berlin by Plane is via Zurich Airport: It will take me 5 hours 30 minutes to get from my place to Berlin City Center and it will cost me €310 (with 15 minutes estimated from arriving at Berlin Tegel to leaving the Airport)*
To go there by Train it will take me 9 hours and 10 minutes – for €88. This is possible due to a special offer of the Austrian Railway Operator. I am not allowed to change my schedule (but I am not allowed to do this on the plane, too).*
* both options with my house as starting point
I went for the train option – for several reason:
- Costs – €230 are good money, and as I am setting up a company, this is something I have to consider.
- I do like train rides – I have always plenty to do: read a book, have some coffee, work on my net-book or prepare my appointments… if the train is not too crowded, a lot of work can be done. Moreover I will be able to SEE a lot of Germany, just by passing through it – and I am looking forward to that.
- My carbon footprint – train rides are more ecological. I did some very long flights in December (to and from India) and I believe its time to be more aware of my carbon footprint again.
- Social aspects – I somehow tend to be get drawn into interesting conversations, while taking the train – and I can remember only one conversation to a stranger on a plane. This might be connected to my
- Slight feeling of shakiness, whenever I am flying. I know its safe, I know nothing will happen – but still I am getting nervous during when starting, during landings and whenever we hit the slightest turbulences.
As you can see, the time factor was not my decisive for flying. As I am using my train time to do some work, I do not feel I lose that much time, that it weights up all the other upsides of taking the train.
So, what are your thoughts … is time so valuable that you always take the fastest options? Have you suffered too much on trains to consider them (I have friends who tell me just that)? Are you a airplane enthusiast? – or would you have made the same decision?
Filed under Talking about Tourism
Tagged as austrian railway, Berlin, Germany, happy heart of europe, ITB, itb berlin, Plane, Tourism, tourism fair, Train, travel, trip to berlin