EUROPE -SWITZERLAND, AUSTRIA, FRANCE

Itinerary September 2018

We finalized our trip and made airline reservations, hotel and apartment reservations. We’re flying Swiss Air again to Zurich where we’re spending three nights at the Helvetia Hotel. Then we’re taking a five hour train ride to Salzburg spending three nights at the Arthotel Blaue Gans (The Blue Goose).

So far we have tickets to a Mozart-Vivaldi-Giuliani concert at the Mirabell Palace in Salzburg. After Salzburg we’ll take a two hour train ride to Vienna where we rented an apartment through Airbnb. We have tickets to the Vienna Boys Choir one night and will try to get to another concert during our six nights there. We should be able to walk to the old town and all attractions from the apartment. On October 9 we head to Paris to 96 rue Archives where we’ll stay until October 21. We found the apartment through VRBO. We decided to cut Prague from the itinerary after reading some travel alerts for Americans on the US Government website. It would have been a lot of schlepping around so maybe it’s just as well. This way we’ll spend an extra four nights in Paris which is fine with us.

I picked up a tip to share. From all reviews the Salzburg Card is worth the price for 24-48-72 hours depending on your length of stay. It will get you into museums free and allow you to use public transportation free including the funicular up to the Salzburg Fortress plus a river boat ride. Keep in mind when buying the card that many museums are closed on Mondays. We are planning to buy the card at the main train station in Salzburg so we can get to our hotel on the public bus from the station. In addition, if you plan on a Mozart concert at Mirabell Palace or other concerts, email the ticket websites directly to tell them you have a Salzburg Card (office@skg.co.at) and you will get a 10% discount on tickets. You will be required to show your card at the concert. It seems like a good deal.

Our plans in Salzburg are to have breakfasts at the Cafe Mozart on Getreidegasse 22, Cafe Bazar at Schwarzstrasse 3, or Cafe Tomaselli at Alter Markt 9 instead of spending 25 Euros per person at the hotel for breakfast. Besides, going to a different cafe every morning will give us a better chance to review different breakfast places.

I made dinner reservations just to be on the safe side. On September 30 we’re eating at Pasta e Vino on Wolf Dietrichstrasse 31, October 1 at Zum fidelen Affen on Priesterhausgasse 8, and on October 2 at Das Restaurant Wasserfall, Linzergasse, 10. Reviews will follow.

Our Paris rental fell through at the last minute and we appear to have lost our deposit. The manager stopped responding to my emails before we made our final payment. We initially made a 100 Euro deposit to reserve the apartment and our balance was due two weeks before arrival. Since the deposit was made directly to the manager via Pay Pal instead of  through the VRBO site I thought it likely we would never get our deposit back. I then had to quickly find an alternative before we left for Europe. There were many trade shows going on in Paris during our dates there and everything was already booked. Fortunately, there was a last minute cancellation for one apartment that met our needs. It was double the price of the first one. It was $270/per day but in a prime location on Ile St. Louis at Quai de Bethune. We made the reservation through Guest Services. We had never used this agency before but it seemed legit and professional with a bonafide contract. 

We left for the Miami International Airport around 4:00 pm for a 7:40 pm flight on Swiss Air. If there is anything to be said for the airline, it is definitely punctual but is sorely lacking in comfort for economy passengers. The seats were extremely narrow and uncomfortable. When the passengers in front of us reclined their seats we were trapped. The dinner they served was overcooked mush masquerading as pasta. The breakfast consisted of yogurt, a croissant and a piece of cheese. By the time we arrived in Zurich we couldn’t wait to get off the plane.

 

 

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