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Zell am see

Adorable Chick

HIGHLIGHTS OF EUROPE Diary : Day 9 to Day 13- 23rd April 2016 to 27th April 2016

As old as the 750 AD, the gracious town of Zell am See lies to the south of Salzburg city, in the foothills of the Schmittenhöhe Mountain, with a part of it caving into the western shores of the Lake Zell. Originally the town was only a market place. With the introduction of a railway connection between the mountain and the lake with the other regions, tourism slowly progressed. Today, the town boasts of being a highly developed tourist region with its sister town Kaprun pitching in. Together they host various water sports, lake esplanades, swimming areas, mountain hiking, biking and trails, sophisticated modern cable ways to reach the peaks, beautiful churches, waterfalls, and much more. The town also has a proven track record of the tourist population out beating the number of residents here, a few times.

Visiting Zell am see was based on a beautiful catalogue that I came across in a tour operator's office, when I visited them to check on the train Pass. The pictures of the town were mind blowing. The beautiful town is in a relatively central area by a lake side & well connected to other cities and towns, making it an Ideal location to stay put. Without further doubts, this was finalised as our hub for travel within Austria. The Eurail Pass eased our commutation.

23rd April 2016 : Day 9 : We left Dresden (read DRESDEN, Germany) at 6:45 am. The journey began by boarding a train from Dresden HAUPTBAHNOF (central station). The journey consisted of different legs : Dresden to Munich ; Munich to Worgl & Worgl to Zell am see. The adventure linked to these intermediate changes can never be forgotten by the group. We pushed ourselves to get into each of the trains within 3-4 minutes of getting off from the previous one, with all the heavy luggage we owned. The entire journey lasted us around eight and half hours. Tiring as it was, the first looks of our final destination of ZELL AM SEE, made it all worth, especially when the tracks curved around the shores of Lake Zell, offering outstanding scenery before halting in the town station. It was 3.30 pm when we got there. The accommodation was booked at PENT HOUSE ARI with ALPEN APARTMENTS directly on their website. The Pent house was at a 3 minute walking distance from the Station, right opposite Alpen Parks. It was raining. The key to the accommodation had to be collected from the Alpen Apartments office, which was at a 15 minute walking distance from the Station. The group waited in the station lounge while 2 of us walked in the rain to get to the office for the 'key' collection. Getting to the penthouse on the 3rd floor, with the luggage was easy. We were bowled over by its spacious living room cum kitchen, covered with glass on 3 sides, offering unbeatable views of the mountains. We spent enough time checking out the wooden floored balcony that stretched to the entire length and breadth of the living room. We settled ourselves down by 5 pm. The weather was cold, we were tired after the long travel. The home cooked meal offered some comfort. We watched some TV together and decided to call it a day. I must mention here that I suffered heartbreak as most of the pictures from these memories have been corrupted.

24th April 2016 : Day 10 : We woke up to find it snowing. The slowly collecting snow flakes on the floor of the balcony posed a question mark on the weather forecast of the day. A quick look at the 'accuweather' site revealed that it was expected to snow the entire day. I was feeling a little under the weather too. I just couldn't get myself to move around. A few medicines made me more drowsy. I decided to rest and let the other decide for themselves on the day's agenda. In the initial plan, the entire day was allocated to look around Zell am see town. I felt horrible, but considering that I needed to last another 10 days of the tour, I was advised by the group that it was best to rest. I went back to sleep after a hot breakfast.

Tidy Desk

I got up around 11 am to absolute silence. I trudged around to find all members asleep on their beds. I guessed that all had decided to rest for the day too. By evening everyone seemed to feel better, but the snowfall was followed by rain. We played a few indoor games and after dinner, called it a day.

25th April 2016 : Day 11 : The day seemed brighter. The sun was out and roads steered clear of snow in town. We were happy to feel fine and get back on track, sticking to our original itinerary. Though the weather forecast warned of continuing snow in certain parts, we decided to stick to schedule. The itinerary consisted of a half day visit to the Salt mine in Hallien followed by a half day self-tour of the city of Salzburg. (read HALLIEN & SALZBURG). We returned from Salzburg that evening after a fruitful tour. We spoke to a few taxi guys outside the railway station, to fix our next day's tour. After a warm & soothing dinner we called it a day.

26th April 2016 : Day 12 : We were happy to find the skies bright and blue that morning. (read KITZSTEINHORN, KAPRUN & THUMERSBACH in that order). After a fantastic day, we returned to ZELL AM SEE that evening. The skies were growing dark, but we decided to make good our lost day and walk around the town at least for a while. We walked up and down the streets admiring the surrounding mountains, Swiss style architecture, closed shops, flowering trees, clean cobbled boulevards, lamp posts & restaurants. We circled around Stadplatz, a favourite market place of the locals. A fountain adorning this square, displayed a stone sculpture of a little boy holding a fish.

There were plenty of Alleys where one could get lost as a newcomer. The hovering mountains provided some sense of direction, whenever we got confused.

With nothing much in the schedule, we decided to get to the lake side esplanade. We crossed the open train tracks that criss crossed the road facing the lake. We spotted the Elisabethpark at one end of the esplanade. The entire promenade offered unhindered views of the massive lake. We could spot settlements on the other side of the waters and looked out for the Thumersback view point, where we had just returned from. An approximate guess is all we could manage. The windy atmosphere increased the degree of chillness. After a few pictures we returned inside town.

We reached the tower of Tower of the parish church of St. Hippolytus. This dominating clock tower of the town, hosts the 10th century Pfarrkirche hl. Hippolyth , a Roman Catholic- parish church. History recalls certain archeological treasures that were abstracted here, proving its existence even before Christ. We were stumped by its height and its strong, arch shaped wooden entrance. We decided to pay a visit inside. There was no one but us. The interior architecture was more Romanesque, with several arches and a high risen nave. With two altars, one in the centre and one in the side, plated in gold and richly decorated with intricate sculptures, the church displayed the artistic talents of its creator.

A sculpture of the flagellation of Christ, moved us bringing the entire scene before our eyes. We seated ourselves on the benches, offering our prayers before getting back on the streets. The tours had been fulfilling. We decided to reach home for some yummy home cooked meal. This was the close of day 12 of our tour.