Villach Travel Blog› entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
Leaving Bruck an den Mur, the train began a traversal of southern Austria, first through the Mur River valley. We criscrossed the Mur to Leoben, the next stop, and then passed other Styrian towns and villages. Stift Göss could be seen perched on a hilltop, just after Leoben. This was mainly farming country, with mountains rising in the distance.
Leaving the Mur Valley, the train now picked up the Glan River Valley and entered Carinthia. Off to one side and sitting on top of its own knob of a hill was the 16th Century castle Burg Hochosterwitz. The train continued to follow the Glan Valley towards Klagenfurt. After the stop at Klagenfurt, I decided it was time for lunch and made my way to the cafe car. The cafe counter attendedant asked me what I wanted. I summoned up three weeks of toying with German with a "Zwei Coca-Cola, bitte." The attendant produced two cokes! Amazing. But, then he continued on in German. Oops. Well, I managed somehow to indicate that I wanted some sandwiches, too. Back to my seat to take in more scenery.
Indeed, there was much more scenery to come as the train had begun to ascend back up into the mountains on the way to Villach. At Villach, the train diverged sharply to the south, then crossed the Drau River and more streams while gaining altitude, and headed directly for the Italian frontier amid the Julian Alps.