Yup, you read that right.   We did a last second day trip to another country today!

So, how did this all happen?

Well, let’s rewind a few hours back to last night.

The original plan

The original plan for today was to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle which lies about 130km southwest from Munich.

I had places marked on the map and knew which trains we’d be taking today.   I had it all figured out.

Last night, I wanted to refresh my memory of what the plan for today was since I had looked all this stuff up a couple of months ago.

I started reading a couple blogs and spent a good half hour to an hour mapping out where the shuttle buses were and anything else I needed to know about today.

I also read that it’s better to not book your ticket to enter the castle on the day you’re visiting as you may not get the timeslot you wanted and would have to wait.

So, to get ahead of the game, I went onto the castle’s website to book the ticket online.

Sold out!


I never even once considered entry to a castle would be sold out.

I mean, in all the castles I’ve gone to, I’ve never once been faced with one being sold out.   Sure, there were some special rooms or buildings that you had to prebook but not the actual entry to the castle.

Well, that sucks.

When Shawn came back from karaoke at 11pm, we broke the bad news that our plans for today had fallen through.

We now were faced with a free day with nothing planned.

Time to get to planning…

Ideas for today

I won’t lie, I wasn’t too bummed about our plans falling through.

I mean, I’ve seen alot of castles so missing this one wasn’t going to kill me.

And I got to go back into trip planning mode which is what I live for.

I simply love planning out trips to different cities.

Now, granted, I usually am not doing at midnight the night before but here we were.

We looked at nearby destinations we could go to that were within a couple hours of Munich.

Me, being me, also looked at possible cheap flights out of Munich today to a random city in Europe bringing back memories of my day trip from London to Oslo, Norway a few years ago.

We first looked at Innsbruck but it’s more about hiking and skiing.

And then we punched in Salzburg and, wouldn’t you know it, there were cheap flix buses running the two hour ride in and out of there every hour or so.

Looks like we found what we were looking for.

So, with a destination now in place, it was just a matter of figuring out what to do there.

Here’s what we did today…

A rushed breakfast

I was up at a respectable 9am and out the door just a half hour later.

There was 1 1/2 hours until our bus to Salzburg would leave.

Plenty of time for breakfast, right?

Well, once you subtract the 15 minutes to get into town and another 15 minutes to get from the restaurant to the bus station as well as the 15 minutes FlixBus asked you to arrive early, our time for breakfast was cut in half to 45 minutes.

Still plenty of time though, right?

My original plan to go to a place that serves gluten free pancakes was thwarted when I saw it would be an additional 20 minutes of transit to and from the restaurant.

In the end we ended up swinging by California Bean again this morning.

There was a line yesterday and I didn’t have time to wait but today, with 45 minutes, I had time to wait if need be.

And wouldn’t you know it – no line.

We got one of the last two tables in the restaurant and not long after there was a line at the door.

So, I guess we found that nice sweet spot of 9:45 to be sat right away.

Still though, it only gave us 20 minutes to order and eat breakfast.

I ended up getting a pan of crispy fried potatoes with 2 fried eggs, grilled sausages and bacon.

A quick chow down of our breakfasts and we were out the door heading down the street to the bus station.

Our great Salzburg adventure was beginning…

Journey to Salzburg

Salzburg, on Austria’s western side, is much smaller than Vienna which I previously visited.   It’s home to about 150,000 people while Vienna has a population of 2 million.

The 2 hour bus ride into town was pretty seamless as I spent much of the time putting together yesterday’s blog.

In fact, our bus even arrived 20 minutes early.   Turns out, while we’d be cheering the early arrival right now, FlixBus would find a way to even that out later on.

The bus stops at the South Bus Station so you have to catch a local transit bus into town which takes about 15 minutes.

It was sunny and hot today at 20C and those pants I was wearing were soon switched out for shorts.

The plan was to walk around for a bit, grab some lunch, see a show, and go to a fortress.

We had 5 1/2 hours.

A rushed lunch

We got into town around 1pm and somehow time just got away from us.

A Mozart piano recital we had purchased tickets started at 3pm and we were waltzing into a busy restaurant at 2:15.

Here we were again with very little time to enjoy our meal.

Which is a shame because we were sat on a patio overlooking the river dining on schnitzel and wine.

But, alas, no concert waits for any man and we actually asked for our bill when the food arrived.

20 minutes after receiving our lunch we were out the door heading to take in some Austrian culture.

A piano recital

The recital was taking place in a tiny room in the corner of a museum.   Inside the room there was the piano and 24 chairs.

An intimate affair to be sure.

And it turns out only 9 of us were here for it.

Our pianist, surprisingly a Korean man, played non stop for 45 minutes.

After his first song ended we started to applaud only for him to instantly continue onto the next song.

Oh, should we applaud?

Then it happened again and we all just kind of didn’t applaud the rest of the way and there were certainly a couple of spots where he paused long enough where I was thinking “damn, we probably should be applauding here”.

It was a strange performance but I like these times where there’s nothing to do but just sit back and take in the music.

I find it’s a great time to think about things going on in life and with traveling and just an all around good time to reflect on things.

And then, our Korean friend got up from his piano bench, we applauded, he bowed and left the room.

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Hovering over the city was the Hohensalzburg Fortress.   This would be our substitute for missing out on the Neuschwanstein Castle we were supposed to see today.

It’s right on the edge of town and you could easily walk up to the foot of where the fortress is.

Again, an option was in front of us.   A 10 minute steep walk or a quick funicular ride.

Yeah, we took the funicular.

I mean, it has “fun” in it’s name so, obviously, we’d go that route.

There are different tickets you can buy to explore the fortress and we had bought the “all-inclusive” ticket last night online for €18 which included the funicular.

At 4pm we were atop the city overlooking the landscape of Salzburg down below.

I will say out of all the castles and fortresses I’ve visited, this one seemed the most disorganized as far as direction signage.   It just seemed like we were going in a haphazardly random way from room to room and building to building.

There was some cool stuff in there and the view overlooking the town below was spectacular.

Money well spent.

Bus (mis)adventures

We left the fortress at 5pm and didn’t have to catch transit back down to where the FlixBus would be taking us home for 45 minutes.

We walked around a bit and then I left Shawn so I could tend to business at a nearby hotel if you know what I mean.

Once I was done, I saw a message from Shawn telling me he was at a gelato shop.

I just assumed he had crossed back over the little bridge to the main section of town so I walked back as well and just messaged him that I was heading to the bus stop.

Shawn didn’t reply.

So, I sent some more messages.

Time was ticking.

I didn’t know what to do.

Do I try to find this gelato shop?   What if I do and Shawn is walking towards the bus stop and we miss each other?

In the end, I knew he knew what time we had to leave and he had Google Maps to show him the way to the bus depot where FlixBus was departing from.

He’d show up in time I kept telling myself.

Time was ticking though.

And then, with 3 minutes before we were to catch the bus, he finally replied.

A frantic back and forth of messaging took place over the next few minutes.

And then the bus came.

I mean, I had to catch it and hope that Shawn would catch the next one.   At least I’d be able to hopefully persuade the FlixBus driver to delay his departure a bit and wait for him to arrive.

Now the messaging was really frantic.

Shawn was pissed I didn’t come to the gelato place which, in hindsight, would have been the smart thing to do.

I don’t know, I just figured he’d see my messages and meet me at the bus stop.

In the end, Shawn ended up catching an Uber to get to where we needed to be.

Turns out he was on a phone call while I was messaging him and, for some reason, my messages didn’t ping him while he was talking and he never looked at the time to see he had to get to the bus stop.

Oh, and after all that, the FlixBus back to Munich was delayed over an hour.

I sat down on a bench and Shawn went somewhere else to, I assume, cool down.

At 7:15, our bus finally arrived to take us back to Munich.

A late dinner

The ride back was long.   Along with our bus being already delayed, we also had a couple of police officers come aboard to check passports as we crossed back in Germany and there was some accident closing off a lane on the freeway.

Shawn and I sat in separate seats as I had pre registered a first row seat for $3.99 and he opted to just sit wherever there was a free seat.

After having time to reflect on the mess up this afternoon, I shot Shawn a message as we approaching Munich apologizing for the f*ck up and offering to pay for his Uber ride he had to take.

We got off the bus shortly after and we went across the street to one of the few places around still serving food   this late on a Sunday night.

The place, Augustiner Keller, actually has a notoriously large beer garden attached to it but, as with the other night, we headed inside to the restaurant.

First question:   Do you speak English?
Second question:   Is your kitchen still open?
Third question:   Can we have a table?

Yes, yes, and yes!


I won’t lie, I was really worried about finding dinner tonight since we were arriving back as late as we were.

For dinner I chose the meal under the sausages section described as “A little bit of everything”.

Sounds good to me!

Sure enough, I was soon face to face with a plate full of different sausages with roast potatoes and sauerkraut.

And that was the day.

A last second detour to another country because, hey, we crazy like that!

Tomorrow, we’re off for a day trip to Nuremburg and afterwards Shawn and I will part paths as he continues on to Prague and I prepare for my journey home via London.

Only a couple more days left…

Germany Trip 2024, Trip Journal, Munich, Germany, Salzburg, Austria
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