Saturday, October 3, 2009

Salzburg - The Hills are Alive!

***We have been back from our vacation for 1 week as I write this - so sorry for the delay! This was a tough week trying to get back up to speed at work and I was very sick:( So without further ado...

Salzburg, Austria - Day 1

The day after the Alpabfahrt we headed off by train to Salzburg to start our trip. This was going to be the longest train ride of the trip (6 hours), but since our train rides in Italy were very enjoyable I figured it would be a nice relaxing, scenic trip. Wrong!:) It was so freaking hot on the train we all thought we were going to die. No air and no windows! At one point my mother was actually pouring water on herself to cool down - good times!:) We were very excited when we finally arrived in Salzburg!

Doesn't my mom look comfy in her backpack? She said it really helped with her posture:)

We were staying at the Crowne Plaza which was a short walk from the train station. I was thinking - hells yeah - Crowne Plaza! Plush - right? Well yes plush, but.......when we got to our rooms we found out that the air was broken (this was even worse b/c we had just gotten off that hellish train)! We got maintenance and the guy who came to our room said "This happens on the 5th floor sometimes". They tried fixing it for a while, but said it wouldn't happen because it was Sunday and every one was off. Okay - then can we get another room? On the phone the front office said yes, but when we got down there they told us they were fully booked. Then we said "But you just told us we could." So then they told us it wouldn't matter where we stayed b/c "It's too cold outside for the air to work." WHAT?! "Yes, when the outside temperature gets below 80 degrees the air doesn't work in the whole hotel" Well my Dad wasn't buying into that crap and said he wanted a new room anyway. And guess what? The new room had air! Go figure! I guess they just didn't want to move us....hmm! Of course, Nathan and I stayed in our unairconditioned room b/c we are used to that but at least the parents were comfy!:) Now on with the trip!:)

So after that little set back we decided to spend the rest of our day wisely and go to the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Our hotel was in the Neustadt (new city) across from the Mirabella Gardens (so beautiful!) so we got to walk through there every time we headed to the Altstadt (old city -i.e. where eveything is located).

The fortress was really cool and it has a GREAT view of the city! (Great View as in lots of steps Bob:)) The fortress had a cool Welt der Marioenetten (Marionette Museum).
View of the Fortress from the Altstadt

View of the Altstadt from the Fortress

The Von Kratus Family inside the Marionette Museum

Nathan rocking the marionettes!

The guys enjoyed the Rainermuseum, a military museum displaying armor, swords, and other war type stuff and the Burgmuseum (fortress museum) displaying weapons used in revolts and a collection of medieval torture devices.

Chastity Belt -yikes!

Since it was a Sunday everything else was closed by the time we left the Fortress so we decided to go to dinner. Most restaurants were closed, but we stumbled upon the Sternbrau. What a find! The food and beer were really good! And we sat in the cute outside beer garden! Great find and I defintely recommend it! All of our meals were excellent but I think the Beef Goulash was the best:) Of course we also had to try the traditional dessert, the Salzburger Nockerl! We weren't sure exactly what it was when they served it but basically it is a dessert souffle - excellent, but in small quantities:)

Salzburger Nockerl - straight sugar! Mmmmmm!

After leaving dinner we took this great photo of Salzburg at night (at least I love it)! Salzburg is such a cute little quaint city!

Salzburg - Day 2
Friday afternoon I decided to book a Sound of Music Tour b/c I know how much my mom loves that movie! Rick Steves said he thought Bob's Tours were the best so I decided to go with that (he had not steered us wrong up to this point - so why not? Right) Well.....I had gotten a confirmation on Friday night saying that Bob's Tours would pick us up at the Crowne Plaza between 8:45 and 9:30 am Monday morning. But I started to get a bad feeling around 9 am so I called their office, and the slightly rude women who answered the phone said she didn't have a reservation for me and therefore would not be picking us.....oooh - wait a second...sorry Mrs. Becker I have it right here. You did it after closing on Friday so I didn't get it until this morning.

I understand mistakes, but if you are going to allow your website to continue to take reservations after closing, don't you think someone should be following up with them? Especially when the website sent me a confirmation email saying they would be picking us up at our hotel! Anyway, I only tell you this, so if you try to book a tour - do it before closing time on Friday! So after a lot of "sorry we can't fit you in" to "we will book you on a competitors bus" to "now we have room" - we actually ended up on Bob's Tours with Bruno as our tour guide!
So although the day started out with a little drama the tour was very nice and it was cool to see all the places they filmed the Sound of Music! My mom and I also sang ALL the songs! I don't think it bothered the other tourists.....well at least not that much:)! Surprisingly Nathan has NEVER seen the Sound of Music! (Actually I wasn't that surprised to find this out, I already knew he grew up under a huge rock.:)) So I think we are actually going to watch it tonight! You HAVE to see the Sound of Music at least once - right?! Especially when you've been on the Sound of Music Tour! Loved the tour and if you are in Salzburg it is a must!

Start of the Sound of Music Tour - Mirabelle Gardens

The little gnome Nathan is with was in the movie - he is the one sticking out his tongue. We didn't remember this in the movie but we loved the little guys!

Gazebo at Hellbrunn Palace.... I am sixteen going on seventeen:)

Church on Mondsee where Maria and Mr. von Trapp got married

After the tour we spent the rest of the day walking around the Altstadt and ended up at a very cool cafe restaurant - which of course I can't remember the name of now - but the most important part about it was that while we were sitting there drinking beer and having a great lunch my mom and I wanted to find a Trollbead Store in Salzburg. (For those of you who don't know - we sell Trollbeads at Swagger. They are bracelets that you fill up with collectible gold, sterling silver and/or glass beads. We are completly addicted and wanted to find some cool "one of a kind beads" in Europe. They started in Denmark and Europe has the best selection of one of a kind beads!) Anyway, I digress. So as I was trying to find stores (in German mind you) on the Austrian Trollbeads Website and then possibly trying to map them - I was about to give up when Nathan goes "Hey isn't that the name of one of the stores?" Holy Crap! The largest Trollbeads Distributor in Salzburg was actually right behind us! Yeah! They had a beautiful selection and we bought way too many:) I know some of you guys are also collectors so if you are ever in Salzburg head over to Perlenwelt.

That was the end of our time in Salzburg so we headed back to the train station to catch a train to Vienna. We actually made a friend in the station - Nubby! Nubby definitely deserves a mention in the blog:) Poor bird only had one foot but don't worry... Nathan fed him (and then the other 20 birds that flocked our way when he started giving out food:)) and we all wished him well! Hello Nubby whereever you are! Good Luck!:)

Nubby! ..... Yes we are sick:)

So even with all the little "issues" we had a wonderful time in Salzburg - Next up Vienna! Coming VERY soon.... love ya, Mandy

p.s. - we are watching the Sound of Music right now! It is so cool to pick out all the places we went!:) Doe, a deer. A female deer....... :)

The rest of our pictures from Salzburg.

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