New Year, new cities! JoZa reunited for awesome fun at the well-known entertainment arcade of London Stansted and set off for Austria!
Although we have both been to Austria before, neither of us had made it to Linz. Before now…
Linz, and half of central Europe, was smothering in snow, so landing was interesting! We then waited at the airport for a bus to the centre, and began to make our way slowly to our hotel. (For some reason, a super swanky hotel on the banks of the Danube was rather cheaper than the hostels – probably because fewer business folk out on trips over the New Year?!) We had lots of stuff with us and it was literally and metaphorically freezing.
|Linz airport in snow!|
We arrived at the hotel at lunchtime, checked in, collapsed on our beds for a good half hour – we had both been awake and on the go with heavy baggage since 4am – and then walked back along the edge of the Danube to the city centre. It was cool to see the big barges moored, and Zara was amazed that most of the barges had cars on as well!!
Linz isn’t a particularly big or touristy city, but it was interesting to wander around and get a few bearings. The Danube snakes through the middle, and is spanned by several strikingly beautiful bridges. Chunks of ice falling from the barges and bridges were carried down in the current, and its surface was dark and suspiciously smooth.
|Bridge over the Donau|
|View out of our hotel window – towards the Postlingberg|
|Posing over the frozen city|
|JoZa reunited once again!|
Linz does have a very nice public transport network – TRAMS! The Danube riverside path led us straight along to the Hauptplatz, and then we wandered up and around the centre, admiring the (closed) shops and trying to find something to eat. One square is called Taubenplatz, which was a bit misleading given the distinct lack of pigeons anywhere… but maybe that was just the snow! Anyway, typically for us we ended up in a supermarket and nomming a leberkäse!!
We decided to get the tram up to the Postlingberg, but missed one by a minute and had an hour to wait, so we explored up the altstadt and discovered the city museum, but it was also closed and looked far too big and interesting to squeeze into 45 minutes, so we enjoyed the view and then wandered back to the Taubenplatz again.
The Postlingberg tram was quite an exciting adventure, as trams go. The route winds up the hill, and the low cloud and general snowiness meant that our supposedly spectacular views were rather obscured, but at the top we could just about make out the skyscrapers and church spires in the vicinity of the Hauptbahnhof.
Lots of families and groups of young people were tobagganing around the hill, which made us quite envious! We walked around the top of the hill and then because it was so cold, hopped back on the tram for the way back down again.
|Top station of the Postlingberg funicular tram|
|Church and viewpoint on the Postlingberg|
Zara basically snored her way back to the hotel; within three minutes of sitting on the buses or trams, she would be happily dozing! To be fair, it was already dark at 4pm and we had been both awake since 3am and carried quite a lot of luggage from England with us!
|Hauptplatz at 5pm on the 5th January.
Snowy, dark and festive.
In the hotel, we explored the fitness and sauna room but got a bit confused and decided it would be a bad idea to get too tired before finding some dinner. We went back to the city centre to find a meal and eventually chose an Italian restaurant by the old city hall. The portions were HUGE and very tasty indeed 🙂
More about the next day coming…