Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 10 - Salzburg Austria

Another day in Austria.
We woke in Aschach, Austria, a very pretty town. We had our own alarm clock outside our window.
 Yes, it is 6:50AM, our bus leaves at 8AM for Salzburg. It was another glorious sunny day!!

Today's agenda

We're on the optional tour to Salzburg along with Lee and John. It's a two hour drive with a stop along the way. 
 First glimpse of the snow-capped Alps.
 Coffee break I wish our highway stops were as pretty as this. Landzeit own and operate the restaurants and hotels along the autobahns in Austria.
 Their restaurant serves "real" food, not the greasy burgers we get here. I wish I had taken a photo of the restaurant, however, I had gotten yelled at when I took the photo of the pastries so I was afraid to.
 MMMM so so good Kaiser melange coffee and we were given a coffee mug.
From the terrace of the coffee shop -Mondsee lake and mountains from opening scene from Sound of Music!!!!!! Have I mentioned recently how huge a fan I am? "The hills are alive...."

Back on the bus and we get a fleeting glance at the church used for the wedding in Sound of Music.
It's a good thing DH is quick with the camera!

Salzburg is the city of Mozart and Maria. It is a very picturesque town of 
It is contemporary and yet old-fashioned. The women love to wear the traditional "trachten" outfits however the young girls wear theirs as minis. Wearing a dirndl or leather trousers in Salzburg is chic, stylish and classy. Traditional costumes are more than just fashion,dressing in the traditional alpine way - for work, for shopping.
Our guide met us as we got off the bus to take us on our walking tour, Salzburg is also a pedestrian friendly city like most of Europe.
We begin with a stroll along the gardens of Mirabell Palace. Modern Salzburg′s city hall is still as attractive as it was when Fräulein Maria and the Trapp children danced between thousands of flowers around it.
In the film, Maria and the children danced around the fountain singing "Do-Re-Mi". The Pegasus fountain next to the 17th century palace can also be spotted in the movie.
The stairs leading up to the rose hill were part of the choreography as well.
That's me in green.

 The children copied the pose of these statues in the movie.
 Me, again.

As we left the park we saw a house where Mozart lived.
 Also the house of the scientist who in 1842 discovered the so-called "Doppler effect", the principle for velocity measurements and a number of other applications, including radar technology, distance estimates in astrophysics or automatic doors.

As we crossed the Salzach river there was a tour boat performing a waltz!! I tracked one down on YouTube. Click on the arrow to play.
This is the waltzing boat we watched
 Hohensalzburg Fortress up on the hill.

 Me, in green again. Look at all the padlocks along the bridge.
It’s been happening quietly for years, beginning when soldiers going to war would leave locks on the road leading out of their hometown, as a promise to return. But the trend really caught on, and turned romantic in 2006, when a movie based upon the novel, Ho Voglia di Te (“I Want You”), was released in Italy and became wildly popular. There is a scene where the couple writes their names on the top of a padlock and attach it to a lamppost with a chain.

The Getreidegasse is probably one of the loveliest shopping streets in the world: a wide range of shops are found behind the elaborately decorated façades, in the traditional passageways and inside the landmarked buildings. I could have spent the day taking photos of these elegant signs.

 Would you believe this is the McDonald's sign, the town wouldn't allow the garish yellow arches to be mounted.

The house where famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born (Gerburtshaus). 

A mime

 The building with the green striped umbrella is Cafe Tomaselli on the 'Alter Markt' the oldest, longest serving cafe in Austria.
Cafe Tomaselli is an institution which has hosted musicians including Mozart and members of high society since 1852.
"Alter Markt" means "old market" and this is exactly what it is: the old market square of Salzburg, just between the Getreidegasse and the Salzburger Dom. It was built in 1280 and unites a number of attractions.Look to the right between the green and white building is number 10A the smallest house in Salzburg.

This 30 foot tall yellow ball with a man on top called Sphaera is an odd sight in front of these medieval churches. Sphaera is a sculpture made in 2007 by artist Stephan Balkenhol and is locally called Mann auf Mozartkugel (the “Original Salzburg Mozartkugeln” are still produced manually by the confectionery Fürst according to the original recipe and using the original technique: First, a ball of green pistachio marzipan covered in a layer of nougat is produced. This ball is then placed on a small wooden stick and dunked in a dark chocolate coating. Next, the stick is placed vertically, with the ball at the top, on a platform to allow the chocolate to cool off and harden. Finally, the stick is removed; the hole that it leaves behind is filled with chocolate coating, and the ball is wrapped in blue-silver tin foil by hand.)

Balkenhol is well known for using this same man in a series of statues throughout Europe

It was then time for lunch which was included as part of the tour. This is a pet peeve of mine, especially since this one wasn't even good and took forever to get served, wasting valuable sightseeing time!
We decided, that in future, we would skip the "reserved" and dreaded group lunch and find somewhere local to eat.
The location St. Peter's Stiftskeller, the oldest restaurant in central Europe was wonderful but the meal was mediocre, weinerschnitzl with boiled potatoes and a meringue for dessert. There was no appetizer, salad or vegetable. We were served a beer each with no chance to order another even though we waited over thirty minutes for our food.
I did check their standard menu and it would probably be much better than what we had thrown at us.

 Have I mentioned lately how I hate being herded around?

We finished lunch and we split up with the other couple to spend some free time wandering the gorgeous streets. We contemplated going up to the fortress but felt we didn't have enough time for everything.
Outside the restaurant is the lovely St. Peter’s Church Cemetery. It is the one that was reproduced in Hollywood for use in The Sound of Music escape scene.

Our next stop was to the lovely Salzburg Cathedral. 

We then went to Residenz Square where the famous fountain with the Stallions is located. Sitting at the former site of an ancient Roman forum, Residenzplatz square still shows off Salzburg's Italian ambitions. The square is bordered by the Old Residenz (Alte Residenz) to the west, the New Residenz (Neue Residenz) to the east, the Salzburg Cathedral (Dom) to the south and historic private houses (Bürgerhäuser) to the north. 

The huge fountain (Residenzbrunnen) in the center of Residenzplatz is complete with Triton which really does match Bernini's famous Triton Fountain in Rome.

Amedaus Mozart Salzburg his home for the fist 25 years of his life (1756-1777) and his statue dominates the center of this square which bares his name. The highlight of Mozartplatz may actually be the beautiful pink church of St. Michael which overlooks the square and dates back almost 1,000 years before Mozart, to 800 A.D.

  Time for some window shopping.

And then it was time to get back on the bus for our return trip to the river boat.
As we drove we crossed the border into Germany. With the EU it is no longer necessary to have border guards.

The boat is now docked in Passau, Germany. It had sailed down the Danube to meet us.
 Germany uses a huge amount of solar power, we saw fields like this everywhere. The government subsidizes it.

We arrived in Passau which looks like another pretty town, but we don't have time to visit as we are sailing shortly.


  1. Great, great post! The Sound of Music is my all time favorite movie!

    How is that mime hanging in the air like that??

  2. Great post, Great pics of Salzburg.!!


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