Luring Zell AM See, an Austrian Marvel

Reji T Achenkunju
Sunday, February 18, 2018

Natures’ luring beauty haunt victim’s soul his memory fades completely. Haunted minds live in unforgettable colorful memories they had pass through in their great excursions. As time goes the real experience they had turn into dreams. The journeys handover the dream’s baton for a new trip as the charm renews in soul every moment. The more we far from the momentum of a tour’s joy the color not fades but rejuvenates.

Started gathering all required documents for Schengen visa application almost 3 months before the Journey. On the day of appointment, I had a mild tension whether application will be rejected due to a reason could be insufficient fund in bank, family visa renewal date simply all sorts of negative thinking ruled my mind. Desire for watching the land of fantasy tales and witch stories deep-rooted at a corner of heart and had a wish all this come true. Alps glaciers Danube were so familiar names as if I were lived in these valleys centuries ago. Have made some research and packed all stuff, maps travel information weather dresses gloves dry fruits in two bags, ready to fly. After long wait, airplane wheels whammed on Munich Airport runway. Only five or six immigration check counters and three officers but are dedicated for a particular gate and flight. Thorough checking was done for each passenger’s passports hotel booking and return tickets.

The research done have helped to spot Eurail ticket counter in Airport, secured family ticket for us costs around EUR 500 and collected timetable, route maps and rushed down to the train bound to München Hauptbahnhof (Munich Main Station). Tidy small but bit old train moved slowly from the Airport Station which is located in Airport’s basement. the first views of city started as we gazed through the train window light rain drops scattered over the glass windows and small meadows started falling into the scene. Reached Munich Main station almost 45 Minute away from the Airport. I must get a train as soon as we reach Munich otherwise all my plans will ruin. Reaching late night in Vienna is risky as I am travelling with Kids. Searching for the Hotel I have booked around a city like Vienna doesn’t seems good for a stranger like us. Journey to Vienna takes almost 2 hrs from Munich. Munich station is so gigantic and was so busy, lots of shops restaurants but the signboards make the station so user-friendly. From the information counter collected platform details and moved slowly to the platform. Restaurants, groceries flower shops, apparel shops are plenty in the station shops. It’s very difficult find shops anywhere in city on holidays but everything is available in these station shops and no hike in prices. I was bit confused whether the train directly goes Vienna or to change another one in the middle as the display board shows Salzburg which it’s passes through.

The train was almost empty may be since it’s Easter Sunday tomorrow people prefer to be in some Easter market rather than a Journey. The journey through the heart of Austria was very pleasant, bought some refreshments from the train pantry which is always in the middle of European trains. Good wifi in train helped us to chat with parents from home had some clear video calling.

Well spread meadows wooden planked houses pine trees and the picturesque was so restful for eyes. After a very long tiring journey we reach from Vienna. Night fallen the streets are almost empty picked a cab to the Hotel which was bit far from the station. Decided not to go out today as I am not sure where the restaurants are. Wake up early morning and had free lavish breakfast with all European breakfast cuisines and rushed to the bus station to catch the “Hop-on Hop-off” bus. Most of the shops are closed but that was an advantage as we could skimmed through the city without crowd and disturbances. Elegant gothic royal building cover up the whole city, didn’t see much skyscrapers as most of the buildings are in similar fashion as the unanimity was so vivid. Parliament in the Ringstabe boulevard and state opera buildings are remarkable construction amuses. These buildings have constructed in the last quarter of 19th Century. The city buildings portray architectural extravaganza and the richness of cultural enthusiasm in European medieval period. Cleanliness blended in their culture and it seems they do not compromise either personal hygiene and tidiness of their surroundings. Weather was so chilled but the sightseeing bus has glass rooftop and large glass windows which makes no veil to the spectacular serene view. The bus moves on slowly and the information of the places pass through played through headphones which is available free in these buses. Street sidewalks are clean and tree shades resembles royal roads. Every turn we could see the Danube and at harbors boats anchored. Boats are there for a Vienna Cruise and day tris to Bratislava for cheap prices. Trams, trains moves comes across in between. Not possible to read time seeing the sunlight as it’s so pleasant from morning 6 until evening 6. We must keep ourselves alerted by watching clocks for keeping time. Fortunately, clocks available at most part of the city and I think watching the beauty of the city anyone could slip off timings. Cool breeze falls in as bus windows are opened by driver. The dream journey is about to finish. We moved on to next station.

Zell am See, a new name I came to know while googling for Spring snows in Austria, I had a deep desire of going into the alpine snow not for skiing but to see the white land and just to walk over it. The season in April is a mix of winter and autumn can’t expect either much snow or may be good sunlight. It’s a gambling. We reach Zell am see in the evening chilled wind and a drops of rain welcomed us. It’s a very small train station. Train Station is almost empty except few rail staff just roaming around without a purpose. I have a slight fear in mind that my research in internet went wrong altogether its not a tourist area might be some small Austrian Village. In such case language will be a big villain. Just moved out of the Station through an unmanned gate. Approached a taxi driver as guessed he doesn’t know English. Fellow cab drivers joined the scene and tried to start reading from the Map I carried. My research in google was slightly failed the Hotel was bit far from the station. Got in the Cab and on the move the driver started talking in German, I just nodded and smiled to show that I agree with him for everything he said. It’s a small town roads are almost empty reason could be the rain becoming more heavier. Thank god reminding me of carrying umbrellas. After couple of minutes we reach at the entrance of an old house. The wooden name board of the hotel hanged on a chain façade resembles an old abandoned wood planked house. All I could see old furniture bird cages and hanged rolls of grass mats. My heart beat soared I wanted the cab to wait until I comeback after checking if everything alright, otherwise I should find another place for this night. We knock the door rang bell after a couple of minutes a young man welcomed us greeting in German. I told him about the bookings he was just looking at the computer screen with a smile on the corner of his face. He called someone else, she speaks English and handed us room key. The building is not the usual multistoried hotel building but the building style matches the village construction fashion of Austria. Reception area resembles a motel bar lobby but the interior decoration was marvelous. My fear turned into joy. Room located in the Ground floor near stairs. That evening we just walked around the town, temperature was freezing slightly raining but daylight not faded until 9. The town was amazingly beautiful, surrounded by frosty mountains and a beautiful lake where swans swim through. Houses and hotels are not very tall but all in similar style. Restaurants are plenty. It’s a dreamland small town many houses are on the slopes of mountains. There is no rush in the face of the people they are relaxed people are not staring I found this a dreamland. We found few good restaurants chosen somewhere where more people are gathered. I imagine mostly these people in are tourists. Just pointed for few items from the Menu without knowing what it is.

After breakfast we gathered for prayer moving balcony curtain aside I saw white flowers falling where mountain with yellow flowers in the background, but later the shower turned to heavy flow. Oh God It’s snow! First time I see this glorious scene. We packed quickly, asked for chances on going Kaprun and the cable car services. They show me TV live from Kaprun as the visibility has reduced a lot and the cable car services are stopped for the day. But more surprisingly, the snow today is first in the year. Even in December snow didn’t fall as we are so lucky to be there at the scene. We moved out of the hotel had taken so many snaps and jumped over the snow. All tree leaves covered with snow flakes, in short time the town had become in white color and even sunlight also become so whitish. Locked our bags inside the station locker freed hands and the whole day we spent in Zell am see in restaurants and lakes watching heaven showering snow on earth.

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