A comedy of errors

A tweet by the British Ambassador reminded me of a comedy of errors that happened when we holidayed in Tyrol in the 1990s.

Back then, we used to make accommodation reservations through the local tourist board. A phone call to them, back in the days when PTA (Post Telekom Austria) had a monopoly on voice services, was about ATS 7 a minute during the day (yes! Over EUR 0.50 a minute!) so it was no wonder that we would confirm by writing a letter and receive a letter back with a Zahlschein.

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Curmudgeon heads to the hills.

As the school year drew to an end, my wife bade a retiring colleague farewell at the end of a long teaching career, and so our thoughts turned to holidays. We’d decided to go for getting some down time, with fresh air, walks and scenery and decided to explore the Pinzgau and then come back through the Murtal. Continue reading “Curmudgeon heads to the hills.”

This is the age of the (privatised) train…

In the early 1980s, British Rail spent a lot of time and effort trying to shrug off a reputation for a lack of investment and the failure of its Advanced Passenger Train (APT) as well as heralding in the age of the train. Now disgraced “entertainer” Jimmy Savile advocated the advantages of cheap day returns and Intercity 125 services connected the main lines of the UK. After a descent into chaos, with privatisation of the railways in the 1990s and trains and tracks run with varying degrees of success and inefficiency by all sorts of companies and with varying degrees of bail-outs, the next step is a project called HS2, to bring Birmingham closer in terms of time to the capital, while Cross Rail or the Elizabeth Line will relieve pressure on the Tube and allow services to go through London from West to East in what is a landmark engineering project.

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The Schnellbahn gets a make-over

I’ve become rather keen on the Schnellbahn of late. Some friends had always made Döbling to be “a bit out of the way” and “difficult to get to” by public transport. One laboured the point with his app, Qando, which looks very useful if you need to know if there is a low floor 38 tram coming any time soon, but systematically thinks the Schnellbahn … Continue reading The Schnellbahn gets a make-over