TRAVEL BOOK REVIEW: Pöstlingberg, Linz Austria (Lonely Planet Guide Book)

19139471A few years ago I received the Lonely Planet guide for Austria as a birthday present. Now that I have lived here for 2+ years, I decided to do a review of the suggestions in the book.

Today’s subject is Pöstlingberg. The book recommends Pöstlingberg as a “lookout” spot. “Linz spreads out beneath you atop Pöstlingberg (537m), which affords bird’s-eye views over the city and the snaking Danube.”

Tripadvisor also recommends taking the Pöstlingbergbahn (tram) to the top of the mountain. The Lonely Planet guide states that “This gondola features in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s steepest mountain railway – quite some feat for such a low-lying city!”

However, I also wanted to get in some exercise, so instead of taking the tram, I decided to walk up the Kreuzweg, or “cross way” in English. “Cross” meaning in the religious sense. The bottom of the Kreuzweg starts out in Linz, and the top ends in Pöstlingberg, near to the Pöstlingberg Kirche (Church).

Total walking time: 1 to 2 hours depending on how many times you want to stop to take photos or to enjoy the view.

Experience Level Required: None. I would classify the hike as “easy”.

Price: Free to walk. I think that the tram costs a few euros.

General Satisfaction: High.

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Along the way (about every 100 meters), there is a religious monument which depicts the story of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The battery on my phone was getting low, so I only ended up taking photos of the first few monuments.

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What I really liked about this walk was the scenery. At various points along the way you can see the entire city of Linz and the Donau river. The snow gave it an extra special atmosphere, especially when the sun came out. Unfortunately, my battery had already died by then, so all my photos are when the sun was hiding behind the clouds. I also was unable to take photos of inside the Church, but if you are interested, you can find some photos of the Church on Tripadvisor here.

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Across from the Church, at the top of the hill was the lookout point mentioned in the Lonely Planet Guide. The sight of the mountains in the distance was a nice touch.

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Additionally, if the walk up the Kreuzweg gives you an appetite, you can also stop to see the Pöstlingbergschloss (Castle). There is a restaurant there, but I have never been inside, so I cannot give any recommendations. My boyfriend tells me that it is a little expensive, and the food is good, but “nothing special”.

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Business Trip to Stockton-On-Tees, England

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Last week I went on a business trip to Stockton-on-Tees in England, UK. The great thing about living in Europe, is that you can pretty much get anywhere else in Europe in only a few hours.

One of the things that I found particularly interesting, was the fact that there were two faucets in the sink, one for cold and one for hot. This meant of course that the cold gets really cold, and the hot gets really hot. Since the faucets are so far apart, the water basically never mixes unless you first hold your hands under the cold water and then move your hands under the hot water. Washing your hand and face in this manner becomes rather inefficient, if not down right annoying.

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Another interesting fact is that Guinness is served “extra cold”. I was always told that Guinness was served “warm” in the UK, but nope this is not the case. I am not complaining, however, because the extra cold Guiness was really good. From my understanding, there is very little gluten in Guiness, although there is some. Since I am gluten intolerant (but this mostly seems only to matter with solid foods rather than liquids) I waited until the last night of my trip (when all I had to do the next day was travel) just in case there was an issue. I am happy to report that all was well.

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I drank the Guinness in this pub call the George and Dragon. You may not be able to read it from the picture, but apparently the George and Dragon was the meeting place of the Promoters’ of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in February, 1820.

According to Wikipedia, the Stockton & Darlington Railway “was a railway company that operated in north-east England from 1825 to 1863.” According to my English colleague (and the sign outside of the George and Dragon), this railway was the first public railway in the entire world. Additionally, the building where the pub was located used to be a market inn and coach house, with stables for horses. Lastly, this pub won the “Cask Marque”, which pretty much means they pour a freaking great pint of beer. I can attest to this because the Guinness, as mentioned above, was really good.

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My colleagues and I stayed in the Best Western Parkmore in Stockton-on-Tees. The hotel was sufficient for our purposes, but wasn’t anything fancy. About a fifteen minute walk from the hotel was this cute little town called Yarm. According to Wikipedia, “Yarm is a small town in the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, England. The town is on the south bank of the River Tees and is historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire.” I found it really cool that they still had the old style red telephone booths (on the right of the above picture) and the red post boxes (on the left).  The red post boxes had the initials “ER” on then, which means “Elizabeth Regina”, for the Queen of England. Yarm was a gluten-free paradise. We ate at restaurants called Muse and Cena. Since I was in England, I had to get the rice pudding at both places — the one at Muse was much better. At Cena the gluten-free pizza is simply amazing — you would never know it was gluten free.

resize.20190119_0925371194758444When we got back to the airport, we were rather surprised that we had to pay 6 pounds as an “airport fee”. Durham Tees Valley Airport is a very small airport with only 3 gates or so. I am not sure why they require this additional fee from people who are flying out of the airport. Maybe it is seldom used or doesn’t get proper federal funding? Whatever the reason it was annoying because the fee machines only accepted EXACT change. I only had a 20 pound note and a 5 pound note, so I had to get change from a change machine — which only dispensed 1 pound coins. Sigh. As an interesting aside, the 5 and 10 pound notes are made out of plastic rather than paper, just like in Canada.

All in all, I would say the business trip was a success. The training I gave to my colleagues went well, and I was even able to get in a little bit of site seeing. Stay tuned for the next business trip installment: Japan and China.