2022

Day 21 – I seem to be in Germany

Salzburg to Bad Reichenhall, 22Km

Brauereigasthof/Hotel Bürgerbräu, 76 euros

Today was a wet wet day. The forecast had an amber alert for rain and suggested a day in bed but I set off anyway in my best wet weather gear which, like the iPhone, is completely waterproof, except in rain.

I declined the 20 euros breakfast option in the hotel. No doubt it was impressive if the squeals of delight from the Austrians were genuine but I only really want a croissant early in the morning. Instead I stopped at a cafe and made myself a large cappuccino and took a croissant for 4 euros.

I then entered the Cathedral to get my credential stamped. The official turned his nose up at the hotel stamp. People always assume the only reason you walk across Europe is because you can’t afford a bus. I wish I’d got a stamp from the Hotel Bristol.

After that it was a grim walk through the suburbs, past the airport and out into the dripping woods but fortunately Jakobsweg was well behaved and kept to a cycle way along the road. I came to a humble cafe run by two ladies and took a cappuccino. They were so kind. They closed the doors and turned the heat up even though I wasn’t cold, just wet.

Next came the German border. I thought I’d taken a wrong turning in the rain but then I remembered there’s a tiny bit of Germany which pokes into Austria and so I’m in Germany tonight at the spa town of Bad Reichenhall. Of course there were no border formalities. It’s just a few quaint signs, like passing from Virginia to West Virginia. There may be a difference between the Germans and the Austrians but I can’t describe it beyond saying the Germans are far more German. And they’re better at football, which reminds me: Germany v England tonight, up the road in Munich. As an Engerland fan I might smash up the bar if we lose. Or if we win.

Would you mind if I set you some homework? I’m going to the Passion Play in Oberammergau on 19 June. It’s a once in a decade spectacle but it’s far too difficult to explain in a few words. So, check it out and hopefully it will make sense when I get there.

Electric bus. No batteries. No charging. No catching fire
I’m Innsbruck bound
Salzburg airport
I’m a bit rusty on my angels. Is this one of the archangels? Michael perhaps?
Late lunch in Germany. Look away if you don’t like sauerkraut
My hotel is a serious beer drinking tavern

10 comments on “Day 21 – I seem to be in Germany

  1. Hi Tim,
    That angel looks like a Michael to me!
    Isn’t it strange you can still just walk into one country from another without anyone batting an eyelid. Is that what the European Union is all about? I did wonder.
    Anyway, I am pleased you reminded me about the football as I will make an escape from the TV screen as the rest of my household become glued to it! (Cat excluded although she does jump when she hears those loud roars).

    • It’s so normal to put a Biblical scene on the side of your house in this part of the world. The border question is a Schengen thing. You can move between countries without restrictions. So, I’ll move back to Austria tomorrow then into Switzerland (not in the EU) then into France, all without border controls. Then when I return to the UK I’ll have to line up to scan my passport which the machine will inevitably fail, just to get back home. Pleeese….

  2. I had booked to see the Passion Play in 2020, now rebooked to see it in September, so will enjoy reading your comments after your viewing on the 19th June. Did you plan your pilgrimage to include the Passion Play?

    • I look forward to hearing your impressions too. I planned the Pilgrimage and the Passion Play together and was fortunate to book an arrangement at the right time. How’s your German? I don’t know a word!

  3. Peter Mastenko

    We are also going to see the Passion Play in September, after it was cancelled in 2020. A good guide is ‘A Pilgrim’s Guide to Oberammergau and its Passion Play’ There is a synopsis of the Play included. Look forward to your impressions.
    Saw the 2nd half of the match on tv here. England saved by Harry Kane’s penalty.

    • You’re excused the homework! Thanks for the reference. Jerome K Jerome’s “Pilgrimage” is an enjoyable account of his visit, available free on Kindle. It will be good to hear your views afterwards

  4. Tassie Kaz

    Tim,
    Are you sure after all the walking you’ll be able to sit through the Passion Play?…I’ve heard it goes on for hours. I predict a numb butt & twitchy, restless legs.

    Also beware of Xmas stores in Innsbruck; they decorate their steps & handrails rendering the former impeded & the latter unusable, causing one to fall snapping ankle ligaments (yes, plural…) trying to negotiate a path, the ambulance can’t fit up the cobblestone alleyway, you have to pay the ambulance bill before they let you out at the hospital (don’t worry if you don’t have enough cash on you…they’ll put you in a wheelchair & wheel you to an ATM) & then source your own crutches to hobble onwards!!
    Fail to heed my warning at your peril….

    • That sounds like you’re not planning a return visit to Innsbruck anytime soon. I’ll avoid Christmas shops. Thanks for the tip

  5. There aren’t many German jokes that are funny, but the ones about their sausages are the wurst.

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