‘Perhaps, it wasn’t such a good idea.’ I wondered as I stood freezing near the Salzburg lock bridge in the middle of the night. It was around 11:30 and he was supposed to pick me up an hour ago.
Couchsurfing had never really worked for me and it wasn’t often that I went with it. As my host’s dorm was bit outside the city, we had agreed on a rendezvous point. Standing at the bus station and walking nervously up and down, I was regretting every minute of the decision to leave the hostel. Though Salzburg seemed safe but as I had learned, in the night no place is safe.
I went to the phone booth one more time to see if I could connect to him. I was so tensed that it took me good twenty minutes to find a public phone; I went around in the neighborhood only to come back to the bus stop and find it next to it. Damn!
‘Vidyut?’ Someone called for me.
I turned around and a guy with broad smile greeted me. He apologized for being late as he was struck with some work in the university. I smiled back and let it go. We walked around the river for couple of miles before we reached his hostel building.
Kabir came from Pakistan and was doing his PhD. in computer science. With glitter in his eyes he told me, he was proud to make it so far. He cleared a (extremely) competitive exam which fetched him a scholarship to study abroad. Dreams! We all dream of better tomorrow. The next day he invited a Korean girl for dinner. Turned out that he moved her out to a friend’s place to accommodate me, all because he wanted to host an Indian. That was moving…
The top draw of Salzburg is the city itself, located by the turquoise blue water of river Danube. Salzburg is also a home to the musical genius, Mozart and is the filming location of great american classic, Sound of Music. Both of these attract tourists in hoards. The hostel I stayed in ran the movie every single night. Even I sat through it for a bit, mostly because it was the only A/C room which gave you some relief from the sultry summer.
In the very same room I met Alexa, who had a very interesting story to tell. She was working in a farm (there are websites that can help one land a job) from where she had to run away. Why so? Because it turned to be hotbed of some kind of cult. The worst thing was the owner forced her to follow the same regime and rules like every other member. She barely managed to escape. Phew!
The day trips outside the city were as exciting as being in the city. For two consecutively days I went out. First one was ice caves in Werfen, which tough quite touristy was great fun.
The second trip was to unforgettable landscape of Bavaria, Germany. Yes, you can just cross the border sitting in a bus, no questions asked. There is a lake in the town of Berchtesgaden that you can tread on a boat. You can spend days and days and Bavaria and not even know it. The scenery is so stunning, and there are plenty of activities for everyone to indulge in.
From where the boat ride ends you can go on a short hike to a second lake. I was running against the clock, I didn’t want to miss the last ferry ride which was the only option to get out of the island. I had no intention to spend the night there just in case it turned out to be… zombie infested zone.
I took the decision to go around the small lake, there is a small restaurant at the end for people who have time to sit idly and soak in the nature. By the end of it I was sweating so profusely that even though I didn’t have change of cloths I could hardly resist to take a dip in the clear blue water. Damn!
As usual (read my other adventures), I was just in time to find a big queue waiting for the last ferry. Luckily, there were a couple of ferry and every one got to get off the island.
When I got back to Salzburg, I was well in time for my night train to Slovenia. I thanked and said goodbyes to my host, and picked up my backpack for next adventure.
So, long Salzburg.