While we were on the train on Tuesday night and the ticket puncher came by he asked us where we were going. We answered Salzburg and he told us the train was not going there. I was sure it was and got out my train schedule and pointed to Sulzberg. Then he nodded and moved on. So we arrived in Reutte in Trivol and transfer to our next train. We fell asleep on the train and woke up about 15 minutes before Sulzberg. At our stop we exited the train as a young man stepped on board. We seemed to be in the middle of no where and were surprised because we were under the impression that Salzburg/ Sulzberg was a fairly large city. There may have been a moment of panic that surged through me as I watched the train continue on down the track, but knowing that Ryan and I were together and that I had complete faith that God was protecting us made that feeling very brief. We found a sign that pointed down a dark road that read Sulzberg 2 km, so off we went. We passed homes some completely dark and some with only a few lights on as people prepared for bed. It crossed each Ryan and my minds that we may end up knocking on a strangers door or taking refuge in a barn for the night. After this experience I honestly feel like I know what Mary and Joseph felt like when they were alone and looking for a place to stay the night baby Jesus was born. I can't think of anything else that better describes what I was feeling. But the whole time I had faith we would be fine and even thought back to the way God took care of Michelle when she was in need along her journey through Europe.
We finally arrived in town and found everything to be closed. As we continued on we saw lights, as we peered in the windows we found a restaurant still with people in it. We went in and were able to ask in English for the nearest hostel. They did not either know what that meant or there was not a hostel in the area. So I begged for anywhere they knew of we could spend the night. The man we were speaking with turned to a young woman, spoke to her in German and then she put on a jacket and motioned to us to follow her. She led us out the side door of the restaurant and to a separate building out back, up a couple flights of stairs and opened a room with a key. Apparently this restaurant was also a hotel. Praise God we had a place to stay. And for a very reasonable price we also got breakfast included in the morning. The room was very nice too with a flat screen tv and a bathroom. I found a map in the room and had a look at it. I found Salzburg, which was spelled with an 'a' and indicated to be that we may not have reached the destination we intended to. I was not even sure were Sulzberg was. We were relieved just to have found a place to sleep and very tired, soon we were fast asleep.
The next morning I finally found Sulzberg on the map and yes in deed we were on the western side of Bavaria and very far from Salzburg. We had agreed to be back in the restaurant at 10 for breakfast, so after we were ready for the day we headed down. We both asked for coffee, which was some of the best coffee I have ever had. Then they sat down on our table a cutting board full of fabulous looking salami, prosciutto, ham, and dill Havarti. With a garnish of lettuce, cucumber, and tomato. Although I do not each these animal products I can still recognize good quality and these were. We also received a basket full of what appeared to be an entire loaf of wheat bread with small packets of jam, jelly, and nutella. We were quite impressed that this spread only cost us 6 euro for the two of us combined.
After we finished eating we asked for an recommendations on things to see or do in Sulzberg. We learned that Sulzberg was a very small town with little to offer tourists except some castle ruins further up the road. So off we headed in search of what we now refer to as "our castle." It was a bit of a walk (but that is all we do anymore is walk), and we dredged through quite a lot of snow, but finally reached the ruins. It was awesome! We scaled the side of the castle to get in after finding the main gate locked. Took a lot of pictures and explored as much as we could, but finally decided we would need to crawl under the locked front gate to see more. So Ryan and I can now say we broke into a castle. How cool is that? :) Unfortunately there was no way to break into the tallest tower to climb to the very top, but maybe someday we will return to Sulzberg int he summer and be able to go all the way up. Although then they'll expect us to pay.
After the castle we headed back to the train station. We decided to continue going West to the end of the line in Kempten and see if we could find any cheap tickets out of Germany. So Trish, without even meaning to go there we did. We didn't know anything about the town though, which is why we didn't stay and explore there. I'll have to look more into it and then maybe we can go back and find some family history for Ryan to appreciate as I did in München.
In Kempten the man helping us said it would be about 300 euro to go anywhere except Salzburg, so we decided to actually go to our original destination. I am still not sure why it would have been so expensive to go to Switzerland even though we seemed very close, but whatever. We just bought another Bayern ticket. We had an hour before our train left, so we got treats at the bakerei a the station. I have a weakness and it is the bakerei's that you pass every third store. Oh my gosh! Ryan had some sort of a twisted cinnamon role thing with hazelnuts on top. I had a filled doughnut, not typically my first choice, but this had a chili on top and it made me curious enough to try it. She said it was filled with pudding, but that turned out to taste just like chocolate mousse and with the spice of the chili and the smoothness of the mouse it was fabulous. MMMMmmmmmmmmm!
Then I saw a sign for internet and thought is might be wise to get directions to our hostel we knew of through a co-worker. We had directions and headed off to the train feeling satisfied from our treats and prepared for when we arrived in Salzburg.
We had a great compartment on the train that had six seats and a door to close it off from the hallway. Ryan thought it was like Harry Potter. I read most of the way. I am really getting into Dirk's book. Anyone who likes mysteries should look up "The College" by Dirk Barram. He was one of my business professors at Fox. When our stop came be got off and started following the directions we had from the internet. After awhile we were not able to find the street we needed. Probably after 15 minutes of walking we saw an open Hertz rental car place with people inside so we stopped for directions. Guess what we learned here? We were not even in Austria! We were still in Germany in a town called Freilassing. Oh my gosh how did we get off the train to early. Apparently the reader board was a bit to fast when it said nächstes halte(next stop) Salzburg because we hadn't stopped in Freilassing yet. But thankfully we were being looked out for again and the couple in the Hertz returning a car was from Salzburg and offered us a ride, it was only 10 minutes away. So instead of arriving by train we arrived by car thanks to a nice lady and her dog Maxi.
We easily found our hostel and had a great 6 bed room with lockers and a sink for only 18 euro each. For some reason I felt like we should go out since I knew our adventure would be ending soon, so I thought it would be great to go get dessert. As we were walking and I realized how cold it was I did not know what made me think that, but eventually we came across a cute wine bar. We shared a much to large slice of flourless chocolate cake and a glass of Austrian wine. The cake was rich and heavy and more than I had wanted (I was originally thinking more of apfel strudel) and although I liked the wine on it's own I thought it was an awful pairing with the chocolate and I had asked for a recommendation of what would go nicely. Sometime the language barrier gets tiring. After that we headed right back to YoHO hostel and fell asleep fast.
I forgot a part of the trip from Kempten to Salzburg. We had an hour layover between trains in München. I had been recommended a place from someone I worked at at the athletic club and I'm pretty sure it was Augustiner and place also recommended in Ryan's book. So I figured that if we ran there and ran back we would be able to grab dinner in that hour. We made it and I'm so glad because I had the best dunkel bier I've had yet and incredible potato salad that I globbed deli mustard on top of and ate inside a roll. They didn't have much "Emily friendly" food, but what I found I thoroughly enjoyed. Ryan had wieners and potato salad. He was less impressed with the salad, and wished he'd gotten the other sausages instead of his which were pretty much just four skinny hot dogs, but agreed with me on the quality of bier.
So that was our Wednesday. Ryan and I both LOVED Sulzberg and are SO glad we went there evn though it was an accident. I'll try again to do pictures, but they never want to load. With so many people in this building the internet isn't always the best. But eventually I'll get them. And I've got one more day to tell you about too.