Saturday, 30 June 2012

San Marino

The Republic of San Marino, founded in 301AD, claims to be the oldest republic in the world.  It is a small independent state with about 30,000 inhabitants.  Its landmass of 61 sq kms (24 square miles) is surrounded by Italy.

Within San Marino, there is a small local bus network of 9 routes.  Services are infrequent with each route generally operating 5-7 journeys a day, fewer on Saturdays.  Despite the sparsity of the service, the timetables appear to require 8 buses in service, although it is only in the early morning and around lunchtime that all are operating simultaneously.  Timetables (in Italian only) are here 



As well as the bus network, there is a cable car linking the settlement of Borgo Maggiore with the old town, perched 750 metres above sea level. This operates daily, all year round.

The main public transport link into San Marino is a bus service from Rimini, around 17 kms (10 miles) away on the Italian coast.  This service runs daily with a bus every 75 minutes.  Duplicate vehicles are provided when needed to cope with passenger numbers.  The route is shared by two operators – Bonelli Bus (Italy) and Benedettini (San Marino).  In Rimini, buses pick up opposite the railway station while in the summer season they extend into the hotel district on Rimini’s seafront.  The summer timetable is here while the timetable for the rest of the year is here 

These images were taken in Rimini, a city to which I will return in a future post.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Salzburg, Austria

(Updated May 2013)

The Austrian city of Salzburg is firmly established on the European tourist trail.  It is famous as the birthplace of Mozart and was also the setting for The Sound of Music.

The city is dominated by a castle, the Festung Hohensalzburg, which overlooks the city from its perch on Mönchsberg.

A funicular railway climbs from the historic city centre to the castle. 

The streets at the historical heart of Salzburg are narrow and partially pedestrianised.  A minibus service negotiates its way through them.

Beyond the confines of the historic centre, the streets of Salzburg host an extensive trolleybus network.  4-door articulated vehicles are standard.




Some of the trolleybus routes pass through a tunnel through the Mönchsberg.

The Mönchsberg itself is a good vantage point for aerial views of the trolleybuses.


Salzburg has operated trolleybuses since 1940.  This one (below) is liveried to celebrate 70 years of trolleybuses, and still carried the livery when I photographed it nearly a year after the anniversary.

The trolleybus network is complemented by a number of bus routes.  Around half the buses use conventional diesel, the remainder are powered by bio-gas.  A mix of standard two-axle, three-axle and articulated single-deckers is operated.



Bicycles can be carried on Salzburg buses and trolleybuses, except before 09:00 on Mondays to Fridays, subject to space being available in a designated area on board the vehicle.

Tickets for single journeys can be bought on board the vehicle from the driver, but it is cheaper to buy them from roadside ticket machines where these are installed, or from retail outlets.  Mobile phone tickets are also available.  A ticket for a single journey allows interchange between buses if necessary.

Austria’s extensive Postbus services complement the railway network, generally providing longer-distance connections to towns not served by rail.  A number of Postbus routes operate into Salzburg, terminating outside the railway station.  As with the city buses, I found a mix of two-axle, three-axle and articulated vehicles in use.


Salzburg lies within a few kilometres of the border with Germany.  Not surprisingly, some services come into Salzburg from across the border such as these, operating under the DeutscheBahn/Oberbayernbus and Berchtesgadener Land Bus brands. 

A hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour operates using single-deck coaches.  Some have retractible roofs and can operate as open-top when the weather is good.

Tours start and end at Mirabellplatz, close to the Mirabell Gardens, but also serve the railway station.

Further information about the hop-on, hop-off tour is here.

Finally, for sightseeing in the heart of Salzburg, where the narrow streets are inaccessible to coaches, horse-drawn carriages can be hired.

The public transport network in and around Salzburg is coordinated by Salzburger VerkehrsVerbund (SVV) The Postbus website is here, while further information about cross-border services into and within Germany can be found on the DB Oberbayernbus site (German language only).