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 Post subject: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2019, 18:45 
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I've finally decided to stop waiting for someone to be able to come with me and actually take a trip to the Tyrol on my own. The question is where would be best to go? I'd like to go to the Achensee if possible and also Innsbruck but would like to see Salzburg as well. Maybe a day trip to Acheensee from Innsbruck with a few days in Salzburg? I'm hoping to go for a week or so - could I fit it all in? Also, I'll be a lone traveller with no German at all - would I be able to get by or would I be better sticking to the larger cities where English might be more common? (I got on fine in Vienna a few years ago, but most people seem to speak English there or were very willing to go along with pantomiming).


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2019, 00:39 
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When are you planning to go? I'm expecting to be in the area from mid September to late October.


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2019, 09:01 
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Sorry, forgot to say I'm planning in advance and plan to go May/June next year.


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2019, 11:50 
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That would be fine I think. You can get the train from Innsbruck to Jenbach and then the steam train to the achensee - and you can get a combi ticket for the steam train and the lake steamer. Or you can probably go by bus.

English is widely spoken so you shouldn't have a problem. The railway stations have ticket machines that speak English and the trains have English announcements so it's very easy to get around by rail (and the Austrian railway app is very good if you want to buy tickets online in advance). Most restaurants have English menus. Innsbruck has good buses and trams and I think you'd be okay with them (I do speak German and it's a few years since I was last in Innsbruck so my memory is a bit hazy as to how much English signage ect they have)

You could easily have a few days in Innsbruck, daytrip to Achensee, and then take the train to Salzburg and have a few days there. Munich is also very easy to get to from Innsbruck and Salzburg, flying to Munich is an option if you are struggling otherwise. I've been to the region on my own several times so no worries about solo travel, I've always felt safe.


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2019, 13:26 
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It's a very touristy area, so you'd be unlucky to have problems with people not speaking English in the towns and cities.

Unless you book well in advance, the Austrian trains are quite expensive. (Innsbruck to Salzburg is nearly €50 and takes an hour and threequarters.) There's a cheap day ticket for €34 called "Einfach Raus", but unfortunately there have to be at least two people travelling. The German equivalent, "Bayernticket" €25 (Deutsche Bahn) includes the S and U Bahns and trams, or "Guten Tag Ticket" €23, trains only (Meridian), can be bought as single passengers and include travel to Kufstein and Salzburg. You can't use the express trains on any of the cheap tickets though.

If you'd prefer to stay in one place rather than a few days here and a few days there, staying somewhere like Kufstein might be an option. It's pretty much in the middle of the Munich/Salzburg/Innsbruck triangle. Munich is an hour away on the train, Salzburg an hour and threequarters, Innsbruck 45 minutes or so and Jenback around half an hour. A local tour company, Astl, have an office right by the station and from May onwards do very good value day trips that usually include Achensee. They dropped the one to Innsbruck last year, but I'm hoping they bring it back as it was half the price of the train if you're on your own.

My plans for next year are a bit up in the air at the moment. Normally I have 6 weeks at the flat in the Spring and 6 weeks in the autumn. However, from February 2020, Lufthansa are starting direct flights from Newcastle to Munich, which should not only cut the cost, but be far quicker too. As a result, I'm thinking that I'll probably make shorter trips, but more often.


Last edited by Annied on 31 Jul 2019, 18:11, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2019, 14:23 
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You can get spar preis tickets in advance and they are pretty cheap - and the regional/city passes aren't bad. But I agree the base fares are high.


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2019, 00:44 
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I've no German and managed perfectly well. May/June is when I visited Achensee and it's between seasons - you might want to stay over somewhere and just enjoy the village. It's very quiet.

I went with my daughter and we flew into Innsbruch and spent just one day there - in retrospect, should have stayed longer. We enjoyed the Hungerberg funicular. Then we took a train to Jenbach and (of course) the little railroad up to the boat. That's not the most efficient route, but definitely the most CS! (We bought the round trip so returned the same way, and we purchased steamer tickets to go round the lake.)

From there, we took the railroad to Salzburg and spent a day there. The Sound of Music tour is totally touristic but we enjoyed it, and the Mozart House is very cool. From Salzburg, we went to Vienna, where I had to attend something for work, and we spent a couple of days there. Neither of us has anything but the most basic German and we had no issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2019, 23:28 
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I know this thread is about Tyrol and not Munich, but my mum and I went to Munich a couple of years ago and while I speak German, she doesn't, but she managed to get around OK. A lot of people do speak English there and you can go on English tours of places like Neuschwanstein Castle. And if you get the chance to visit Oberammergau, go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 07:07 
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I usually try to learn a little bit of the language before going anywhere - OK, a few lines from a phrasebook won't enable you to hold in-depth conversations, but "Do you speak English?" and "Where are the toilets?" are particularly useful questions to be able to ask :D .

If all else fails, I've seen people looking on Google Translate on their phones!

English tends to be widely spoken in tourist areas, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 08:58 
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I suspect that at least none of us would look nonplussed at the words "Tee mit milch?" spoken by a member of railway staff with a tea pot and etcs on a trolley... I saw/ heard that on a holiday in the Harz mountains.


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 21:38 
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Noreen wrote:
I saw/ heard that on a holiday in the Harz mountains.

Just out of curiousity where were you Noreen? I lived in the Harz for two and a half years when I was first married, working at an International Conference Centre founded just after the war by a German schoolteacher to reduce prejudice and promote European unity and tolerance.

Sonnenberg still exists, though in a somewhat changed form. Its motto of
"Speak together:Overcome prejudice:Understand one another:Act responsibly" wouldn't go amiss today really....

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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 22:21 
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Well, it was a railway-based holiday, so lots of steam train journeys. On the way there we had one night in Wuppertal so that we could take a ride on the 'Schwebebahn' suspended railway next morning; once in the Harz we then went on to Wernigerode for several nights, with rail excursions to Goslar, Quedlinburg, a trip though the forests to Alexisbad and a ride up the Brocken (and came back via Cologne, with a stop just long enough to see the cathedral). All very enjoyable, and very friendly people - it was a bit reminiscent of the CS at times, though, as we were in a fairly large escorted group and there was a good deal of counting heads and luggage to make sure nobody got left behind. :roll:

cestina wrote:
Sonnenberg still exists, though in a somewhat changed form. Its motto of
"Speak together:Overcome prejudice:Understand one another:Act responsibly" wouldn't go amiss today really....
Yes indeed!


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 21 Aug 2019, 21:22 
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Thanks Noreen. I worked there in the days when a barbed wire border ran through the middle of the Harz. The Brocken mountain was in East Germany and we could only point it out from the bus as we did the Harz Rundfahrt during each conference.

Many years later I visited towns like Wernigerode and others that had been on the far side of the Russian-manned border. It was a bit like going back in time; they had frozen during the Communist years.

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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 21 Aug 2019, 23:21 
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The subject of the years of the division into East and West was still very much discussed when we were there (2008), Cestina - unsurprisingly, of course. There were still people apparently hankering after the 'guaranteed employment' of the Communist era, and others grumbling about having to pay more taxes to help the economy, as well as the almost palpable sense of relief that the wall had come down and was no longer a cause of tension and separation. You'll have seen that even more clearly than we did. But then people of different nations are more like each other than they suppose, as I think we've discussed before.

The trip to Alexisbad was to see two historic steam engines leave the station, something billed as 'Double Departure from Alexisbad'. I still can't quite believe that that isn't the title of a spy novel...


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2019, 20:52 
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I've just got back from my honeymoon in Pertisau. The bus from Jennbach is free if you are staying in the area - you get an Achensee card from your hotel which gets you free bus travel and a discount on the circular steamer boat trip. You can just show your hotel booking reservation for your first journey up there before you check in. I've done the rack railway too but to be honest I preferred the bus as you get a much better view in my opinion and you can see a bit more of the small towns as you go through. It's much easier with bags too. I presume this is the case for every hotel. We stayed in the Furstenhaus to get the full Chalet experience! The receptionist in our hotel used to live in Leeds and said the weather is pretty similar to Yorkshire! We had perfect walking weather, bit overcast and not too hot.

I don't speak German but husband does a bit and we managed fine. Nobody spoke to us in English much bit they happily took the time to get through his basic German.

The one thing we weren't expecting was how early things close. We went out to eat at 8 the first night there and struggled to find somewhere still serving hot food. A lot of places stopped at around 6.30/ 7.00. It was also much quieter than we expected. We actually preferred it like this so I'm not complaining - I'm very antisocial - but if you're after night life you'd be disappointed.

I'm still recovering from walking to Gaisalm past the dripping rock. Very proud of myself for doing it despite being very scared of heights!


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 Post subject: Re: Visit to Tyrol
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2019, 21:02 
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Good to hear from you again, sunshine_daisy, and glad you had what Joey would undoubtedly have described as 'a ripping time'.


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