An 18 mins bus trip and another 13 mins on a train (Austrian precision) got me to Kufstein. That was my choice on a Sunday – the 20th of Dec, when the sun was on my side 🙂
Right when you’re out of the train station you can see the medieval castle and the road that goes to town. There is no chance to get lost, even if you wanted to. And there you have me – desperately searching for a map or stuff to get some direction. Didn’t know I wouldn’t need one.
So, I started on the road with the sunshine. There were a lot of tourists, every one of them trying to take pics or read signs and little stories they found around. I had my mind set on the castle cause I was supposed to meet someone and also be able to catch the bus and train back to home. The last bus was at 17 hours. This is one of the things I’m gonna have to get used to, around here. Buses and trains, no matter how punctual they are and no matter how much I appreciate that, they make you shorten your schedule. I mean, come on, if I really take a free day to visit places and meet new people, I would like to enjoy my whole day of 24 hours. You know what I mean?!
Once I got to the castle, I couldn’t help but notice they got wifi (yey!), which was a great deal for me, given the fact that my internet at home was off in the last days. So I paid the 6 Euros and let the cable car take me up.
The first thing I noticed in the castle yard was that they had it decorated for Christmas – and God, it looked lovely! I got a map of the fortress and just went for a walk to visit. I didn’t get to see everything there was, but I had an amazing feeling about it.
I enjoyed the green place that had benches you could sit on and enjoy the view from high.
I was in the garden where they had over 100 types of plants and flowers – that was called ‘Anna Battery’ 😀 Also here, they had benches and stuff you could sit on and relax, just feel the harmony.
I couldn’t help but notice and be really happy for the respect they have towards dogs. You could see dogs everywhere around the castle, with their owners. All shapes and breeds and colors, just heaven!
At some point, I saw this kinda creepy tunnel. Everyone was looking curious at it, but nobody was brave enough to go and see what’s that about. So I thought – what’s the worst that could happen?! – so I went in. The tunnel was built in the 16th century and helped the underground communication. It’s rock-cut and in the 20th century was used as shelter in tough times.
One interesting thing was the Torture Chamber and its museum. No, I haven’t got any pics from the inside. They clearly said at the entrance that the scenes inside are not appropriate for children. So no, I didn’t visit it. But the history of torture really got my attention.
Even at the beginning of time, people would use different methods to gain power over others and get information or material things instead. In the past, torture had political or religious base and the death of victims was accepted as part of the whole process. The victims often disappeared without a trace. Until the 13th century, torture was not explicitly forbidden by church law and in the 15th century it became an essential part in witch trials. Austria abolished torture and death penalties in 1787, under Emperor Joseph II.
One thing I only heard about but didn’t see – Kufstein has the world’s largest outdoor organ, 4948 pipes. Everyday at noon, 12 hours, they play a small concert, that works as a reminder that peace is possible but must be actively pursued. I got there at 12.48, so I didn’t hear the organ play, but I am sure it is wonderful and can be heard in the whole town.
Also, inside the castle, in Josefburg Festungsarena, there was a Christmas Market that was really lovely, with many Christmas trees and Austrian specialties. And, of course, mulled wine.
I then met a local. Me and Wolfgang went to one of the few open places on a Sunday – where we drank tea and had the most amazing mulled-wine-cake.
I stayed there until the last train. I talked to Wolfgang about everything and nothing, shared stories and he even told me about his passion and showed me a little preview. I’ve got no words for this, but this guy’s singing is amazing! Click here to listen what I’m talking about. Everything that’s there – instruments, voice, recording, production – everything is him. I was truly impressed, maybe also because I like singing but got no talent in the field. Make me sing and you’ll get broken glasses… There comes a time when each of us have to go back home, so I had to say goodbye to Wolfgang and his amazing songs.
Once I got into the train station, I couldn’t find my platform. Only until a group of hippies got my attention cause of the many luggage they were carrying! They were waiting for the elevator that connected the platforms. So I went next to them and somehow, they managed to also make some room for me so we could all use the elevator at once. That led to talking and joking:
– Oh, so you speak English?
– Yes, is it that bad?!
– Oh yeah. You see, we don’t know any English, so I don’t know how to talk to you. (And the whole conversation was in English)
Haha, hihi, so I helped them carry the luggage. They really had many snowboards and skis and backpacks with them. And they were only 3 people – 2 girls and a guy. But I really had fun with them!
On my last ride to home, I made friends also with the bus driver. We talked for the whole 18 mins and he told me how his time in Romania was. He was there 5 years ago, as a driver for a group and he was really scared of driving at night, because he couldn’t see the holes in the pavement and he had to look after the company’s car. Oh, and he really loved Brașov. He gave me ideas and recommendation for future trips in the Tirol area. Close to the station I was supposed to get off, he told me to stay on the bus and he’ll show me the next town also. I could only see it from the bus cause he had no break, but it was really nice to have a night tour of it.
At the end, I felt like a VIP when the bus detoured just to drop me off right in front of the hotel. I was like a princess enjoying a special ride! 😀
I like it here, I met some great people already, in just one week! And the feeling I was telling you about at the beginning of the story is simply described by peace. You know that moment when you feel in complete harmony with yourself, with people and everything that surrounds you? When you feel so zen that nothing in the world could make you feel bad?… Well, that was me. And I had no idea how much I missed it and how far away I was from it. You could say that I was feeling myself again.
I really can’t wait to discover what the next few months have got for me!
The pics used were taken by my finger pressing the button of an iPhone 6. No edit, cause I was just too anxious.