Chapter Wanderlust: NH Heidelberg

After a train ride on the ICE from Munich, I arrived in Heidelberg, the next city on my list of travels. I have always wanted to visited Heidelberg, a city near Frankfurt which is famed for the amazing view and chill lax vibes. I won’t called it a town because it feels much more crowded and larger than a usual town. The city revolves around the Neckar river and on both sides of it lies lush greens with the famous Alte Brucke connecting them. The old bridge which have been in existence since 1788 and also the castle overlooking the old town is one of the main points that I am visiting Heidelberg. I choose NH Heidelberg as it is one of the few choices in town, it is also a solid 4 star hotel in the area, the location was perfect as well. It was in between the main area of my activity, the old town and the train station. While you could take the buses, I opt to simply rely on walking during my time there. It wasn’t that bad with baggage, probably took me a good 15mins walk there.

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Chapter Wanderlust: Munich

This post and sharing is going to be kind of short since the weather was extremely bad on the days that I was in Munich. There was some kind of storm going on in Northern Europe and the wind were really gusting and it kind of rain the whole time I was there. It is kind of a turnoff when the weather hits on your travels. However I should probably be prepared for it given the length of my travel, somehow delays, strikes, cancellation, rain, you just get use to it. On the bright side, on a long travels it is somehow good to have kind of a midpoint where you can rest and repercurate. To put it on point, somehow you have been heading out everyday for the past few weeks. It was my second time in Munich, probably the reason where I was kind of more chill. Thankfully I also did couchsurfing which kinda mix it up, Thanks Jessica! I also get to check out the Nymphenburg Palace and tried one of the local dish!

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Chapter Wanderlust: OBB RailJet Vienna – Munich First Class

I would like to share with you all the crown product of the OBB Railways. The first class cabins on the OBB Railjet. Railjet are the Austrian high speed trains that can go up to 230km/hr. They operate both international rail lines as well as internally within Austria. Some of the popular routes that they operate are Munich to Salzburg or even all the way to Vienna. In fact you can reach Salzburg from Munich in 90 mins and from Salzburg to Vienna in 2.5hr. They are comfortable and spacious. In fact train are such an efficient way to travel in Europe. No liquid limits, no need for long security lines and check in. Stations are usually right smack in town. The amount of baggage that you can bring is only limit by your strength itself. While I usually write only about my flights, I will like to differ a bit from my usual and share a little on the product since I took the first class cabin. In the future, I will also be doing a comparison on the rail products in Europe!

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Chapter Wanderlust: OBB Lounge Wien Hauptbahnhof

Welcome to another lounge report of Seeing The World In Steps travel dairies. As with the DB Lounge in munich that I have shared earlier with you peeps. I felt that train lounge are great and perfect, especially for the travellers that are not used to travelling by train frequently and also the travellers out of the country. The are a great use to leverage on the refreshments, toilets and a safe place to keep your baggage at times. As a traveller the most hurdles that I faced are finding complementary toilets in train stations and also a “safer” place to put your stuff when travelling alone! The use of it even increase especially when you are making transfers or miss a connections. The previous lounge saved my life while travelling through Munich! Access are usually given when you have a loyalty card or are travelling on a first class train tickets. When buying in advance, the price difference are not that much of a different, so you can put this into consideration when making the purchase.

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Chapter Wanderlust: Vienna

Vienna was the last city that I visited in Austria after visiting Salzburg and Hallstatt. It sure live up to its reputation of being clean, efficient and modern. Everything seems to be working that way that it should be. I am also kind of glad to be back in the city after visiting a couple of small towns. It is whoops, crowded to the max and people rushing here and there when I step out of the underground. Tourists everywhere, selfie sticks here and there. Kind of nice to see everyone out in the day and laughter on their face. Just to start this with a little thoughts of mine on Vienna, it is so beautiful and so clean, coming from Singapore it felt like home, a surrounding that I am used to, except that there is so much more charms and history to everything, the buildings, the people, the little horse drawn carriage that you can see right in the heart of the city. And of course the St Stephen is such a representative icon of Vienna.

 

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Chapter Wanderlust: Cafe Central Vienna

Simply when you are in Austria, especially in Vienna, you can miss out on the opportunity on visiting one of the cafes. Cafes in Austria are not just a place for food and coffee but a way of life for the locals, the Austrians. If you need a good measure of Quality of Life, this is one way you can see how. As a local coffeeshop down the block of the public housing that I have back home here in Singapore, Cafes in Vienna are a good place of seeing how the Viennese life and pass by everyday. The rush every New Yorkers felt every work day when they take the subway to work. The buzzling and steam you felt at a teahouse in the morning in Hong Kong. The slow pace of life with whispers of chat over coffee and cakes in a Viennese cafe or the mens reading the papers over a dose of caffeine. They are a way of life around the world! One of the best place to experience the Viennese way is at Cafe Central Vienna.

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Chapter Wanderlust: City Pension Stephansplatz

This is one of the best accomodation that I had in Vienna. In fact it wasn’t my first choice since it is a little more expensive that my other choice. Blame on me for not pulling the trigger on the other one. Given that this trip of mine is a little backpacking kind like and I really want to save on the accomodation side, I did not stayed at very nice hotels and stuff. City Pension Stephansplatz can be said as one of the nicest place that I had in the whole trip. Although it is a Pension which is a bed and breakfast it literally felt like a 4 star hotel simply without a nice lobby. A strong 4 star contender for the price of a 3 star. Modern, clean and new it is just like its city Vienna. Just like the name of the accomodation, it is located just around the corner of the Stephansplatz which is the most iconic St Stephen Cathedral and central location of Vienna! A Little gem in the heart of Vienna!

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Chapter Wanderlust: Brno

The last stop of my Czech adventures would be in Brno, the second largest city after Prague. While Prague is gorgeous and amazing, I am really keen to see how the rest of the life outside Prague would be like. After checking off Brno I believe that I can say that I am finished with Czech Republic! I have seen all my wishlist in the country Prague, Brno, Cesky Krumlov and Ceske Budejovice. Brno is also another city where I did couchsurfing! I stay with the lovely Marie and her dad. I really felt so warm and at home with the cosy little family. The meals and the hospitality that had shown to me were close to making me cry. Giving up the room for me to stay in, preparing dinner and breakfast for me. That is true friendship and true hospitality. It doesn’t have to be anything grand or expensive but that little thought of Goulash and Potato Pancake were warm enough. At this point I was a little 3 weeks away from home but I felt that was were I was when I was in Brno. I will share my thoughts in a separate post itself on Couchsurfing! Coming from a couple of small towns, I was ready for a city life. Brno is larger, it can be said as a student town as well, I am really looking forward since it had not been discovered by mass tourism yet!

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Chapter Wanderlust: Ceske Budejovice & Budweiser Budvar Brewery Tour

I was on the way to Brno, another main place to visit while I was in Czech Republic. Brno is a city with a lifely student populations. It is a nice place to head to and although it is kinda quiet though! It has a balance of standard of living and also price since Prague is more expensive. I was leaving Cesky Krumlov and taking the bus to Brno, which requires a transfer in Ceske Budejovice, another city in South Bohemian. It is larger than Cesky Krumlov and only 30mins away by bus. To get around Czech Republic, one of the best way is to take the Regiojet also known as student agency in the past since it is started by some Czech students for affordable travels. The bus were nice and good, prices were cheap, which I will do a comparison of bus operators in another post soon. Since I was going to connect here, I was like, why not head to the city for a walk? Another selfish reason was also to visit the famed Czech beer brewery, Budweiser Budvar Brewery and also learn about the production.

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Chapter Wanderlust: Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov is another dream came true from me right after Hallstatt, it is pretty awesome to plan them both right after each other since both of them are way up on my list. To be very frank, I can’t seems to compare them against each other since they are both so different! While I love them both, both towns are so distinct from each other. I like that both are small, peaceful, dreamy and relaxing. The vibes are just that different from the cosmopolitan and city life that I am used to having. Back to Cesky Krumlov, previously I touch a little on the background of this small little dreamy town. It is located in the south, roughly 3 hours from Prague. Also located by the Vltava River it is as dreamy and gorgeous as you can expect. It is just a small town located after driving through winding hills and roads. Perfect as it should be since it is like a little gem to be discovered and hidden by the hilly region. While the Czech doesn’t appears to be the most friendly person on earth, they are just cold outside, but definitely warm and friendly once they open up. Seemingly by staying in this small little town, I felt home!

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Chapter Wanderlust: Pension Danny Cesky Krumlov

After two amazing days in Hallstatt, it is finally time for me to be heading to the next location to continue Seeing The World In Steps. Cesky Krumlov, another bucketlist of mine! I have long seen those tempting pictures of Cesky Krumlov at numerous places, a little dreamy red roof houses in a small town. If you guys had not heard of Cesky Krumlov, it is this little Czech town about 3 hours out from Prague. It is a little pretty Bohemian town. Austria borders Czech Republic, which makes it perfect to explore this little place right after Hallstatt. While I could probably take the ferry and the train which is so much more troublesome. I decided to take the car transfer from Hallstatt to Cesky Krumlov straight. CK Shuttle provides shuttle services to many places in the Austria, Germany and Czech Republic region. Their prices are fair. It isn’t really comfy after realising that the shared shuttle is being packed to the brim.

A private transfer does cost more, being the budget me, I paid about 55 SGD for the transfer which takes me from the bus stop at Hallstatt, right outside my hotel, to my hotel in Cesky Krumlov. It is really fuss less. They usually do a pickup at the same area for Hallstatt then drop you at wherever you are staying at in the old town.

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Chapter Wanderlust: Hallstatt

Finally this is the moment where I get to share with you guys HALLSTATT. My favourite city of all time right now. The reason that I say right now is because, come on, there are still so many cities that I had not step foot on and explored. But right now my heart stays in Hallstatt. There come a point where you simply spend all your time aimlessly staring into blank space while sited on the bench. Yup, that is basically my go to activity while I am in Hallstatt. It is simply that amazing and the kinda simple life that I wish I could spend every afternoon doing. I believe that one day I will definitely find another place that will be better than this, but right now, this is where I wanna return to. I can still recall that little excitement that I had when I first lay my eyes on the town. The very first moment when I alighted the train and hop on to the ferry. The 5 mins ride across Lake Hallstatt. I am sure Hallstatt isn’t something new to all the wanderluster and travellers around the world. It sure isn’t something hidden after the internet and all the sharing from other travellers. But trust me, it is sure different when I finally saw it in person for the first time. The cute little wooden huts and houses, the alps, the greens the lake. The environment is so amazing with the cool alps following pass you, the colors of all the flora around. Peaceful! That’s the adjective for Hallstatt. I still remember the moments where I used to not be able to sleep when I am taking a plane for the first time, when I am going on a holiday, when my parents promise to bring me somewhere new. I felt exactly like a kid and that happy when I reached Hallstatt. Now! Let’s take a journey back this gorgeous memory lane of mine!

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Chapter Wanderlust: Dachstein Ice Cave and 5 Fingers Lookout

Hello 2018! While 2017 have been totally amazing for me and this blog as well, I have been to countless cities and countries, I am so looking forward to an equally amazing 2018! While I do not have any concrete travel plans at this moment since the main concern for me would be getting a job and university! Some of my travel aim would be Penang, Hanoi, Bali, Taiwan, Japan and New Zealand. If I am more adventurous I might even head to Isle of Skye or to chase the northern lights! Back to Hallstatt now! In the previous posts I mentioned that besides the town of Hallstatt itself, the two main attractions that you have to head to would be the Salt Mine and the other one would be Dachstein Ice Cave and 5 Fingers Lookout. Even though I have plan for a two night stay in Hallstatt, I really wanted to take a step back and enjoy the town, stroll around and experience the whole place. That actually leaves me with only a full day to take an excursion. Between the salt mine and the alps, I choose the later. The ice cave, 5 fingers outlook are all part of the attractions of Dachstein Krippenstein, which is an Austrian alps located near the town of Hallstatt.

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