This post is written by Katie, about her solo trip to Belgium, Germany, and Austria.
I awoke at 9:30am, and attempted to cook breakfast in the kitchen. I started my four eggs boiling in a pot in the two-burner stove, buttered a roll, and oped my milk. A couple started trying to cook oats on the other burner, and the stove completely shut down and refused to start. I had to throw away my half-cooked eggs, since there was no way to cook them. 🙁
I packed up all my things and checked out shortly before 11am. Gästehaus Kaiserpassage (Euro 41.80 for two nights in a 6-bed mixed dorm on Booking.com) was not terrible, but I would not recommend it. The positives are the large lockers with a shelf and hangers, provided bedding and towel, cleanliness of dorms, halls, and bathrooms, and price. The negatives include (1) not nearly enough power outlets, (2) a common area/room besides the kitchen is needed, (3) since reception is not available before 11am or after 7pm, a fact sheet with the closest laundromat, grocery store, ect would be helpful, (4) only having 1 woman’s/handicap shower is rough since showering in the men’s bathroom is awkward with the lightly obscured glass, (5) the kitchen was usually dirty and was too small for more than 1-2 people to use at once (cleaning seemed to clean once a day from about 10am-noon). My room had two bunk beds and two single beds. It would have been preferable to have 3 bunk beds as this would not give some people significantly more space than others. Finally, and this is not a fault of the hostel really, but there were some creepy men as well as some guys who seemed to have turned the hostel into a long-term home.
Once at the train station I made reservations at a self-service machine for my trains from Karlsruhe to Munich on IC 2261 and from Munich to Salzburg (non-stop!) on RJ 67. Then I went and waited at platform 7 for my 12:06 IC 2261 to arrive. It arrive about 25 minutes before its scheduled departure, which gave me plenty of time to settle in. The train was pretty empty (at least in my wagon) when leaving Karlsruhe. We picked up more people in Stuttgart, but there was still plenty of space. The entire approximately 3 hour ride was excellent. My wagon was relatively quiet, the scenery was nice, the bathrooms were clean, the train was on-time, and I made some progress on writing up an AAAI extended abstract submission.
I made the approximately 30 minute connection to the RailJet easily. The Rail Jet was very nice as expected (comfortable seats, good video displays), and the views out the window were like post cards. It took about 80 minutes to make the non-stop journey from Munich to Salzburg.
Once in Salzburg I grabbed a city map and an information sheet for traveling by bus to Berchtesgaden. Then I bought a 24 hour city bus pass and waited on the 170 bus for about 30 minutes. Once on the bus I went 9 stops and got off at the stop by Eduard-Heinrich-Haus (Euro 47.20 for two nights in a 6-bed female dorm on Booking.com). I completely missed that the street right by the bus stop was the one I needed and hence ended up having to turn around and try again. I struggled a bit to find the hostel, but eventually found it after asking a local. You have to walk through a very residential area to get from the bus stop to the hostel.
Eduard-Heinrich-Haus is a youth hostel, and there are indeed many groups of high school boys and girls. They give you sheets when you arrive and you have to make your own bed. My room had four beds made when I arrived (and no one was around), but was neat and clean.
I plugged in my laptop to charge and went back out in search of dinner. Both markets nearby were closed, so I tried My Indigo, a sushi, noodles, soup, and salad place with an upbeat yet relaxed vibe. My miso soup with noodles and vegetables and cranberry drink (Euro 8.60) were great!
Then I headed back to the hostel and used the free wifi (Euro 2 for 4 hours if not booked through Booking). The wifi was slow, so once it died I decided to shower and go to sleep. I was in bed by 10:10pm, as were three of the other women. I have not seen the fourth yet, and we still have one bed open.