Trip Report: Reflections on Austria

Longtime BikeTours.com clients Anne and Jim Jesse and Geta Jackway traveled to Austria for tour BikeTours.com Tauern Bike Path (Salzburg-Salzburg). Check out what they had to say of their trip!


We’re here in Austria on a bike tour arranged by BikeTours.com and it’s almost like normal life. Businesses are open, restaurants appear to be fully staffed, families are out enjoying the weather.

We can’t forget that there’s a worldwide pandemic, but this country has dealt with it intelligently and it appears to be paying off. Sixty percent of Austrians are fully vaccinated. On public transportation, most people are wearing masks and wearing them correctly. When we check into a hotel, enter a restaurant or attend an event, we are asked to show either proof of vaccination, negative test result, or proof of recovery from COVID-19. Once that’s been established, there’s no requirement to wear a mask or curtail activities. Occasionally we are asked to fill out a form for contact tracing, but only one of the three of us has to do so each time.

Austria just recently opened up for foreign visitors, and those visitors must meet strict criteria: fully vaccinated and from only approved countries. Previously, visitors had to pass a recent COVID-19 test and quarantine for a period of time. These precautions appear to have paid off.

Salzburg is bustling with tourists, and souvenir shops are bursting with offerings. Organized walking tours clamber over the cobblestones. Tours are mostly in German since foreigners are still a rarity. It’s touching to hear how delighted hotel staff, shop keepers and restaurant servers are to finally be able to practice their English again. We are regularly “upgraded” to a level of accommodation that I know from extensive past experience is way beyond what we’ve paid.

In the skiing/hiking resort town of Zell am See, families are out in full force, biking, hiking, shopping, boating, swimming, camping, sightseeing. The town was gearing up for a big Ironman competition. The walk to the nearby Krimml waterfalls on a beautiful day was packed with bodies who had all been screened. The screening didn’t dampen their fun in the least!

Anne and Jim Jesse, Geta Jackoway

 

See all Austria tours here!

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