This week there was a guest blog article on this blog. It was themed around “picture perfect places to visit in Cornwall”. This blog normally concentrates on stories about visiting Central Europe, as this is the region I live in and have great knowledge of. But I believe that many visitors from overseas also want to see other regions of Europe and I want to show some places that are worth visiting outside my region, too.
I chose Cornwall as first example, as it is quite easy and affordable to get to England from my region and vice versa. Today I would like to give some advice on how to combine England with Central Europe.
Getting to England from Western Central Europe is quite easy. There are dozens of airlines which connect to London and other major English cities. I want to point out some of the connections I use, for my visits to England.
One of the most impressive natural wonder in Central Europe are the Rhine Falls. They are 150m wide and 23m high. The average water flow changes over the year. In Winter its going down to around 250m3/s and in Summer it averages at 700m3/s – and the more water runs the more impressive the Rhine Falls get. This year should become a pretty good year – there are loads of snow in the Mountains and when this snow starts melting in Spring and early Summer, the Rhine will receive a lot of water.
Visiting the Rhine Falls is always fun – but its best in summer when its hot and the water filled air refreshes you. There are a lot of boat tours – you can just cross the Rhine beneath the falls (going from the one Swiss province (Zurich) to another (Schaffhausen), you can take a ride towards the falls (these boats get pretty close) and there is on trip that takes you to a rock inside the falls, which can be climbed up (via stairs) and will provide you with the best views of the spectacle.
On both sides of the rivers are Castles – Schloss Wörth on the Schaffhausen side (featuring a restaurant) and Schloss Laufen on the Zurich side (with a museum about the falls in it).
The Rhine Falls were one of the first places in Europe that were visited regularly by Tourists. In my opinion it is still an absolute highlight and no one should miss out on that.
Visiting the Rhine Falls will take about half a day – afterwards you could visit the picturesque town of Stein am Rhein – more on that later!
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