Today was the day none of us were looking forward to. It was time to pack up again and farewell Europe. It has been an incredible few weeks and the crazy amounts of snow have made the last week extra special. I never imagined that a low altitude Austrian resort would give us the amazing winter experience we’ve had. The skiing was great, but it was all the other Austrian experiences that made the week so wonderful.
Zell farewelled us with a few inches of fresh snow and it was still snowing as we waited for the taxi. We knew the trains were running out of Zell but suspected the journey would not be as straightforward as planned. Fortunately we had all day to get to Munich for our late night flight, so the thought of delays was not stressful at all. We were scheduled to leave Zell at 9:45 and arrive in Munich at 12:25 with one quick change at Worgl station.
Our first train was 20 minutes late so already we knew we would miss our connection. Usually cheap tickets are for specific trains, so I had a quick chat to the ticket lady and she issued us with a voucher to ride any train. Our first train ride was short-lived. We managed one stop then transferred to a connecting bus. We thought Zell had a lot of snow, but the bus ride from Saalfelden to St Johaan was a whole new level of snowy. The snow walls were higher that the poles and so many things were buried. It’s amazing the Europeans managed to keep roads open in these conditions, they must have a huge team of staff and some impressive equipment to make it happen.
It was slow going along the bus section with some parts down to one lane and frequent stops to wait for snow clearing machines. That just gave us more time to enjoy the wonderful snowy scenery before leaving the Alps. Eventually we arrived in Worgl and had time for a quick lunch stop before catching another train to Munich. This was our second compartment train, but there was no party this time and we got a compartment just for us. We finally rolled into Munich over two hours late, but grateful that we made it at all.
There was enough daylight left to have a short look around Munich. We left our bags in the lockers at the station and jumped on the S-Bahn to Marienplatz to see the old buildings and the market. It was mostly blue sky but lightly snowing, but the snow wasn’t settling. It was strange to have no snow on the ground after our week in Zell. We couldn’t leave Munich without a quick visit to a beer hall, so walked down to Hofbräuhaus. Given that three out of four us don’t like beer and there were no tables free anyway, we were happy to just walk through and watch the action.
We passed the rest of our time at a steakhouse near the station, then retrieved our bags and caught the S-Bahn to the airport. Our flight was delayed while we waited for connecting passengers and got de-iced, but we landed in Hong Kong only 5 minutes late. We all managed to get enough sleep on the plane to keep going for a few hours after arriving in Hong Kong. In a city known for its tiny rooms, I somehow managed to find a huge room for a great price. It’s 42 square metres with two bedrooms and quite a large kitchen. The kitchen isn’t a huge amount of use – apart from a fridge freezer the only equipment it has is 4 mugs and 4 teaspoons. Still pretty handy for keeping drinks cold and cleaning teeth though. And who really needs a kitchen when there are hundreds of places downstairs to eat. We picked a random Chinese restaurant for a quick dinner then crashed for the night.