How Having “NO Plan” Worked Out
In Austria (Part 2)
As I mentioned in the first post about Austria, I boarded the plane in London without a plan for the week ahead. I just had a few “to-dos” which I used as a rough guide to travel by.
The beginning of the journey was directed by listening to travelers, locals, and a very friendly customs officer who all pointed toward Salzburg and Flachau as a starting point for experiencing some History, & Snowboarding a huge range of mountains.
After a few days carving (and falling on) the slopes, and exploring Salzburg’s Old Town & fortress with some new traveler friends, the freedom of having “NO Plan” presented me with choice to make.
Where To Next? And How?
Packed & ready to go – I posted this video on Instagram to ask readers: “I’m going on an adventure! Where to next?!”
The Response (collected from Instagram & in-person at the hostel): INNSBRUCK
Try Hitchhiking (Kind Of)
“My first BlaBlaCar experience was a raging success with stimulating conversation; a friendly atmosphere; some speed on the Autobahn as we crossed through Germany; and even yielded a great Suggestion for What Should Baz Do?”
I want to preface this section with the acknowledgement that I DO NOT believe it satisfies the full requirements of “hitchhiking”. Part of the excitement and appeal of hitchhiking, for me anyway, is the unknown: Of not knowing where exactly your ride will be heading; and without any way to be sure if you’ll wait/walk for ten minutes, or ten hours. However, I didn’t have endless time to burn in Austria, so I dipped my toes into the world of hitching with a pseudo-hitchhike experience.
Have many of you heard of BlaBlaCar? It is a pretty awesome little app which links drivers who have spare seats, with hitchers who want to go in the same direction. Basically, it takes the guess work out of whether you will get a ride or not. You can log on, see when and where seats are available, and guarantee a seat for a fraction of the cost of a train or plane. You also gain at least one person to “Bla Bla” with. II found a ride heading to Innsbruck later that day, packed my gear, and had a relaxing afternoon of cups of tea and speaking nonsense with my Canadian companion (Luisa) till it was time to make tracks.
Being in a foreign country, I was a little concerned there might not be much “BlaBla” going on for the trip to Innsbruck with my host driver. I needn’t have worried, as over 50% of Austrians speak English quite well as a second language, and my driver was an intelligent, articulate engineering technician at Innsbruck University, with interesting thoughts on loads of topics – from European politics to technology and the universe. My first BlaBlaCar experience was a raging success with stimulating conversation; a friendly atmosphere; some speed on the Autobahn as we crossed through Germany; and even yielded a great Suggestion for “What Should Baz Do?”!
A SUGGESTION FROM MY AUSTRIAN DRIVER: Cycle across Eastern Europe (multi-country) experiencing & learning all I can about revolutionary political change in Eastern Europe. Challenge: Choose & Learn a handcraft, then teach as many people as I can along the way (focusing on those in need).
Have you got a better idea? – Put In Your Two Cents
Innsbruck: A Very Short Stay
An Unexpected Invitation
Arriving to Innsbruck in the middle of the night meant that I wasn’t able to see the surrounding landscape till morning. But when morning broke, and I stepped outside the hostel for the first time, some pretty breathtaking scenery was awaiting. Innsbruck is nestled into a cradle of towering snowy mountains, which flank the city on all sides like sentinels keeping watch. With the mountains so close by, my intentions here were to stay and board for a day or two, find a lake to swim in, and then make my way back to Linz in time for the flight back to London.
“I believe plans should ALWAYS STAY FLEXIBLE. So when a family friend invited me to stay in Vienna for a day or two, I hoisted the mainsail and set a new course for what could arguably be the best, and certainly the most productive, couple of days spent in Austria.”
However, I believe plans should ALWAYS STAY FLEXIBLE. So when a family friend invited me to stay in Vienna for a day or two, I hoisted the mainsail and set a new course for what could arguably be the best, and certainly the most productive, couple of days spent in Austria. I’d already been snowboarding in Flachau, and figured the train ride would be filled with amazing scenery in the daytime, so after a massive Austrian breakfast for mere pennies, I made my way to the train station and was on tracks for Vienna by 1:00pm.
HOT TIP #005: This one is probably just a reminder, because it is pretty obvious… Stock up on snacks and a big water bottle BEFORE you get on a train! Prices on there are #redonkulous!
Innsbruck was truly an amazing looking city, and deserved more than the sleepover and late brunch I afforded it. But cutting the trip fine for time meant having to say “adios, for now” and earmark it for a longer visit in the future.