Austria, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia & Switzerland (3) – Views from a Train

The following photos depicts a very small portion of the beautiful terrain we saw on our train travels through Central Europe.  Out of the 450 photos I took with my iPhone, I deleted half of them due to a blurry object like a tree, a bush, or a sign post in the middle of the picture.   When you’re travelling up to 150kms per hour, you might get at least one good shot.  The trick with a camera phone is to press the phone right up against the window and snap away.    Some trips, I was able to capture numerous sights.   Some trips, it was lucky if I got one.


Zurich to Vienna

Close to the Alps and into the clouds


Vienna to Ljubljana


Ljubljana to Lake Bled

Acres and acres of cornfields



Ljubljana to Bolzano

Bad Holgastein, a ski resort town spread throughout a gorgeous valley


Outside Venezia (Venice)


Innsbruck to Zurich


Austria, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia & Switzerland (2) – Train Stations and Platforms

The hub of constant activity, train stations can be old and full of character or modern with excellent shopping.  We experienced them all and they all hold an important role in the daily lives of the individuals who depend upon the train.


Small and Simple

Portschach am Worthersee, Austria



Postojna, Slovenia




Judenburg, Austria



Borovnica, Slovenia



Large and Looming

Zurich, Switzerland



Salzburg, Austria



Budapest, Hungary


Interior and on the Platform

Salzburg, Austria



Zurich, Switzerland



Ljubljana, Slovenia



Wien, Austria (Vienna)



Wien, Austria (Vienna)



Budapest, Hungary



Innsbruck, Austria





Austria, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia & Switzerland (1) – By Train

Since our European trip relied so much on the train, I post this entry to give you an idea of what it was like.  We travelled over 2000 kms by rail.  A First Class Euro Global Pass allowed us to take as many train rides as we wanted.  Out of the 16 days we spent in Europe, there were only 5 days we did not take the train somewhere.

First class seating doesn’t necessarily mean the same on all trains.  Depending upon the train, you may have seat like a barcalounger in soft leather and electronic button tilt or you could end up in a compartment where the seats are falling apart with broken mechanical tilts (this only happened once on a “Zug” train).  However, we took the good with the bad as an adventure.

I recommend that a person reserve their seats for any travel that is necessary.  We always booked a two seater saloon style (two seats facing each other with a table in between).  This was our favourite.

The train tracks of the Zurich HB ran behind our hotel room.  I was mesmerized by watching these trains coming and going every ten seconds.  This particular shot had 5 trains moving at the same time.


A shorter commuter train with cars which allowed bikes



More commuters with graffiti artwork



Saw the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express at Venezia S. Lucia (Venice Main Station)




Front end view of four trains from four different countries at Venezia S. Lucia.



A shot of our favourite seating arrangement.  This particular four seater was across from our two seater.  The neat thing about First Class, is you get table service from the restaurant.  Only one time we indulged in this service when we returned to Vienna from Salzburg.  Our arrival into Vienna was late evening and we knew we’d be too tired to find a place to eat.



Some menu items on the OBB Train.



An example of tilt option.  These seats were located in a compartment style car.  Rooms, with sliding glass doors, that had either four or six seats.  If you were lucky, you might get a room all to yourselves as we were in this case.



An older style train called a “Zug”.  This was the worst of all the trains.  We were on our way from Vienna to Ljubljana and didn’t realize that we had to disembark at Jesenice and take a 40 minute bus ride into Ljubljana.  Because there were no PA system on this train, we had no clue where we were.  The attendant remembered us from our tickets and had to come and get us.



This is a local train.  These trains stop at every town outside a major city.  Mostly used by individuals who work in the city and live outside the city.   It may take you two hours to travel 100 kms because of all the stops it makes.




Video displays on most of the trains provide accurate information on the pending stops and times of arrivals.  You really have to be on the ball when disembarking and/or boarding a train.  Make sure you have your stuff and be prepared to get off or on as fast as you can.  They will not hold the train for you.



A shot of our last day of train rides, as we approach Zurich HB.  The great thing about these video displays is that they make sure you know where you are.  Zurich HB means the final destination, RJ160 is the train number, 25 means the car that you are in, 150km/h means the speed you are travelling, 15:27 means the expected time of arrival which obviously shows that we are late.




Zurich, Switzerland (1) – Aerial Approach

Tray tables up, seat in upright position, personal items stowed underneath the seat in front of me.  Nothing left to do but take some photos of our descent into Zurich.

















Saskatoon, SK Canada (10) – Canada Remembers Airshow 2017 (Dundurn)

It was a rain threatening day but it was the best backdrop for the Canada Remembers Airshow 2017 at the Dundurn Army Base.  We were honoured to be the witnesses of The Snowbirds’ first show of the season and a rare opportunity at the end of the show (as revealed in my last two photos).

Their first approach to the show.









Showing their Canadian colours with pride



Dispersing to reveal to show a display below






You wouldn’t know it, but there are actually three airplanes here



Two becomes three



Two right side up and two upside down









The plane to the left was performing loops around the three planes.  As you can see, one of the planes is upside down.



Performing a figure eight loop around the four planes






The Maple Leaf maneuver



Top view of the planes to end the performance



CAF SkyHawks gets to display their talents.  This is the first set of jumpers.






In recognition of our American allies



Starting at 3,000 feet in the air.  The second set of jumpers.






Our Canadian flag



From 3,000 feet to right on target (the orange mat beside the red and white sign).  An amazing feat as it was a really windy day.



Celebrating Canada 150, the CF18 shows its’ birthday colours.



While most of the people exited for home, the few remaining visitors were treated to a fly by as the Snowbirds head back to Moose Jaw from Saskatoon.  A rare occasion as it included all twelve instead of nine (you only see eleven as the twelfth one was off to the side videotaping the flight) and the CF18



An encore fly over that brought blue skies




Erfurt, Thuringia (2) – Octoberfest Carnival (Day Ten)

My last post of Germany 2016, ends with the Octoberfest celebration in “Erfurt” style.  An incredible children’s carnival filled with the most colourful rides I have ever seen.  Located next to the Cathedral, this picturesque carnival was quiet at the time, as these shots were taken during a weekday morning.  I’m sure by evening and the weekend, it would be bustling with energetic youngsters.








































Erfurt, Thuringia (1) – High cathedral of St. Marien zu Erfurt (Day Ten)

What started as a simple 8th-century chapel,  Erfurt Dom has grown into a beautiful Gothic style cathedral.  Martin Luther, father of the Protestant Reformation was ordained in this cathedral.