Berlin and Kals am Großglockner – two places could hardly be more different. Sophie, our manager, knows the contrast well. She grew up in Berlin, came to MoaAlm Mountain Retreat a few years ago and stayed. Sometimes, of course, she still returns and then prefers to travel by train to and from her home town. Not only is the train more climate friendly than flying or driving. Sophie believes, it also helps her to acclimatise. If you want to know what happens between the German capital and the Austrian Alps, how to practise your Tyrolean on the way and what's so nice about this trip, read her travelogue here.
This morning at 7.04am I boarded the ICE Sprinter from Berlin Central Station to Munich. Since the opening of the high-speed line between the two cities, the train only takes 4 hours. I'm very lucky today, there are hardly any other people in my wagon and the woman from the on-board restaurant comes by a few times with coffee. I sit down at a window seat (seat reservation is recommended!) and watch the scenery whizz by at 250 km/h. The train runs on 100 percent renewable power and emits less than 1 g of CO2 per kilometre per person. There is free Wi-Fi and I can answer my emails undisturbed. If you want to check your environmental impact with the Deutsche Bahn, use their CO2Compass
At 11:11am I jump out of the ICE with my light luggage. I only have 20 minutes to change trains and I really want to get myself a Bavarian pretzel. I think of my friend who lives in Munich. Christine has already visited us at MoaAlm for a week of hiking and yoga in September. Next time I should plan some time in Munich and meet her. I dodge the oncoming travellers in the bustling platform hall and have to pass at least 12 trains to platform 6, where I catch the train to Venice. I've never been to Venice. On the train I bite hungrily into my pretzel and look at the man sitting opposite me. I am having fun imagining him travelling through the Venetian canals in a gondolier.
After a good hour's journey, I get off in Wörgl. Welcome to Austria! I have 15 minutes before the next train leaves for Kitzbühel. During this short train ride, the first mountains appear and there is more and more snow outside. Many people are wearing functional clothing and carrying long, bulky bags with skis inside. The nice thing about travelling by train is that you can see what's on the way. The world changes every hundred meters. I'm checking the weather forecast, which is usually Meteo Blue, in Kals am Großglockner and looking forward to being back soon.
In Kitzbühel I have a longer stay of 1.5 hours. Last weekend was the Hahnenkamm race, which makes Kitzbühel the centre of the ski world once a year. The best skiers compete on the famous Streif and fly distances of up to 80 metres over the steepest section, which has an 85 per cent gradient. I go to the station café and order a hot chocolate. I don’t drink hot chocolate in Berlin, it's only possible from a certain altitude above sea level. The friendly café owner charges my mobile phone behind the bar. I have never been in a business lounge at the airport, but I think hanging out here has more charm. I almost overlooked the sign "Stammtisch” and sat down at the table reserved for the older locals who regularly meet here for a beer. When paying, I round up the amount and say "passt scho". In Tyrol (but never in Berlin!), almost every question can be answered with "passt scho" ("it's okay").
At 2:35pm, I get on the yellow Postbus to Huben, the last and my favourite part of today's journey. We drive through the 5.3 kilometer Felbertauern tunnel, which works like the closet in the Chronicles of Narnia. It's the gateway to a magical world where it's winter from October to May, waterfalls freeze to ice on the steep slopes and the animals talk (the real reason why we're vegan at the MoaAlm ;-). Suddenly you are IN the mountains. There's Wi-Fi on my bus, as there is on almost all Tyrolean buses, but the road is too winding and the scenery too majestic to look at my phone. Read here about another 97 things that tell you that you are in Austria's most beautiful province. When I arrive at 4pm in Huben the light blue MoaAlm van is already waiting. If you travel by public transport to us, you will be picked up here, too.
If you choose to travel by train or bus to Austria, we recommend the website, OEBB You can search travel to either “Huben Ort” or “Lienz in Osttirol”. Huben brings you closer to MoaAlm, but Lienz is sometimes the easier connection. We are happy to help you finding the best connection to us. We offer a free group transfer from/to the bus or train station on Saturdays.
More and more guests are even travelling to us by train from the UK. Find out more about this here
How and where did you get to the Alps by train? Help us make our holidays more sustainable and share your experience and tips. We look forward to your email at email@example.com