Night Train Brings Adventure From Florence To Salzburg

My older brother and I watched people stroll through the Florence train station as we patiently waited for our train to arrive. To save precious adventure time, we decided to rent a sleeper car on the night train to Salzburg, Austria, combining necessary travel and sleep to fuel our 24-hour push through the Sound of Music city on our way to the 200th anniversary of Munich’s Oktoberfest.

We hopped on the train with our hefty bags in hand. The attendant led us to our car and asked if we wanted coffee or tea along with our wake-up call in the morning. I didn’t hesitate to request coffee, knowing the 4 a.m. arrival time in Salzburg would be brutal.

Our train car door opened to reveal six beds stacked in threes. The two opposing middle bunks remained open, as four other passengers already occupied the top and bottom bunks. They slept loudly and their baggage took over all of the storage space and more.

My brother and I threw our bags on our bunks. The six-foot-long bed shrunk by two feet immediately. I curled up into a fairly uncomfortable (and apparently funny-looking) position, causing my brother to laugh at me for the next fifteen minutes. The couple on my brother’s side of the car resided in Vienna, Austria. They told us all about Salzburg before we finally fell asleep.

The train attendant woke us up with fresh coffee in-hand. We sleepily stumbled out of our bunks, trying not to step on our four car mates. We exited the train and stepped into the brisk, dark atmosphere surrounding the Salzburg station.

Anxious to continue sleeping, we trekked to our hostel that appeared to be only a ten-minute stroll from the station. We arrived, only to find out that we couldn’t check in until noon. The friendly owner of the adjoining pub asked us if we wanted to crash in the establishment. We accepted.

He cleaned the pub benches (as the bar closed only 30 minutes ago). Using my sweatshirt as a pillow, I fell asleep on the wooden bench, which proved significantly more legroom than the night train bed. The sun came up a few hours later and we were on our way to conquer the city.

By: Tom Malone
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