12 Nov '09: After we left the Hotel on the bottom end of the Black Forrest we pushed for Salzburg in one day which meant we sat in the car for most of the day. The weather was not good anyway with nearly constant rain so in hind sight this was a good day to travel if ever we had to pick one. I had programmed that essential marriage saving device 'The TomTom' for the most direct and quickest route to Salzburg not realizing it was actually going to take us through 3 countries in one day!
Click on the map for a larger image
Shortly after leaving the hotel we came to a sign which said 'Zohll' which I mistook for 'Toll' as in paying to use the road. It was only when we saw the uniformed guards that I realized my mistake and became instantly aware that we were at a border post which are these days pretty rare in Europe.
We were briefly stopped by a border guard who enquired if we had anything to declare? 'Three women', I replied hopefully thinking he might relieve me of a couple.... He just gave me a knowing grin and wished me 'Good Luck' !
So now we were all of a sudden in Switzerland which has retained its own currency and has not joined the European community probably because a big part of Switzerland's economy revolves around their banking system which they would not allow to be opened up by the European Community laws on an 'Open Banking' system. Just too much black money is locked away in the Swiss bank faults and if that were to be drained off there wouldn't be much left for the Swiss to do other then exporting Cuckoo clocks. and sell chocolate!
Anyway, we proceeded on our way towards Salzburg of Sound of Music fame which lies in Austria but lo and behold after a few hours we came to another border crossing, this time back into Germany! Our TomTom obviously did not have any respect for border crossings and determinetly stuck to what it had been told to do, the quickest route to Salzburg! What an example?!
Our route took us to the southern outskirts of Munich where we had some hold up through traffic and then we turned South towards Austria. The only reason we were making such good time was due to the fact there is no speed limit on many sections of the German Autobahn and with no fear of being booked, a Mercedes Benz under my seat and 3 Ladies asleep for most of the time I wasn't going to spare those horses under the hood....
We came to the Austrian border in the afternoon and we basically drove straight through as both Germany and Austria are part of the European community and both have the Euro as their currency. This was a big difference from my childhood days when we still needed passports just to get from Holland into Germany!
From the border we reached Salzburg in about an hour or so and after circling the inner city a number of times to look for a parking spot and from there a suitable hotel we decided to give up on the parking spot and go straight for a Hotel hoping that any Hotel would also have some parking arrangement. Very quickly after we made that decision we found this near new Hotel very close to the center of Salzburg. The Star Inn Hotel http://www.starinnhotels.com/en/ was obviously not very old, well maintained and their staff was well trained.
Karen and Evonne took a standard room and Maxine and I took an upgrade to a business room that was furnished with an extra table and a couple of chairs which came in handy when we had a frugal dinner of cheese, biscuits and red wine in our room the next night. I sometimes wonder what the poor people are doing ... but not too often....
We hadn't booked any hotel in Salzburg as we usually do the night before because in our last hotel an internet connection was simply not available. Having learned from that mistake we made sure after that we always checked into a hotel which had an internet connection in our room. So as soon as we had settled in, I went back downstairs to reception to ask for my username and password for my internet access. Instead I received a full page warning in German agreeing to God only knows what before I would receive the required credentials. I did ask the young girl at the reception: 'So what am I agreeing to here' to which she promptly replied in perfect English but with a lovely German accent: 'that just means you agree not to go to illegal sites and we are not reponsible for any viruses'...and after I signed the document she continued with an absolute straight face: 'and now we've got your house as well!'.... It is those little funny moments that can make your holiday so special....