We hopped onto the 12:34 from Vienna to Salzburg, delighted as usual with our Eurail passes.
At Salzburg station, though, we spent the most depressing time of all.
I was 17; my sister was 19. We had spent a long time away from home already. We had little money and less experience. We had been making decision after decision for several days, and we were exhausted.
“No, there are absolutely no hostels available for tonight at Salzburg.”
Florence was fresh in our minds, and we did not want to repeat the horror of a night outdoors.
“Maybe we should go to Munich. Let’s leave out Salzburg altogether and just take a train out.”
We called the Munich hostels whose numbers we had, and they were available, but cost the earth.
“But what do we do? Should we do it anyway?”
“What train should we take? Does it need a reservation?”
“Where do we go? What do we do?”
Frustration bordering on despair mounted within us. We were tired, we wanted to be comfortable! Was that too much to ask?
Like little children, we bought a telephone card to call our mother.
The card didn’t work.
A stranger came and helped us. The card worked immediately.
We were almost in tears, but decided, finally, that spending the night in the waiting-room was all we could do.
Then another depressing occurrence followed. Somewhere along the line, we had misplaced our Eurail schedules and our apple pie, which was our lunch for that day.
We visited all the phone-booths. No. Nowhere.
After much thought, we went back to the Tabak were we had bought our telephone card. “Um – excuse me … Did we leave an apple pie here?”
The grin we got lightened our moods.
“Yes, young ladies. And let me tell you, no one has ever reclaimed an apple pie at a tobacco shop before!”
We grinned back and thanked the gentlemen behind the counter.
Food was back, our tummies were full. The Eurail schedule was back, we felt safe again.
We were going to make things better. We had to spend the night at the station, but we would make sure we had a bed later, at least for Berlin.
We made our reservations and the world became a nice place again.
And then we called our father, who told us to do The Sound of Music tour no matter how expensive it was. What were we in Salzburg for? Make the most of it!
Feeling delighted with the world and our lives, we made our reservations …
Salzburg, even if we lose apple-pies and Eurail schedules, even if we have to spend the night in the waiting-room, we’ll make the most of you, whatever you throw our way!