Trip Start Jan 04, 2010
5Trip End Feb 05, 2010
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Where I stayed
The bus ride lulled me to a rest as we got out of Vienna. We stopped at the town of St. Florian where our guide gave us a great tour around the abbey. The library there was enormous and beautifully decorated. We tried the café there, which we weren't sure how they were able to stay in business in such a remote location but they had a steady stream of customers during the off-peak time. I tried an Austrian soup with ground sausage and an elderberry soda, which was refreshing. A couple of hours later the bus made it to Salzburg. The hotel was situated just outside the city but right across from the public bus stop so it made it easy to get into town.
The first full day there we were very fortunate with the weather and had clear skies that made this old small city really come to life
While walking around on our free time, I got to see some of the winding streets and enjoyed the open air food market where you can sample the fresh cheeses. There were dress shops, boutiques, and restaurants every other storefront. I felt like I was constantly taking pictures everywhere I turned because of all the ornate architecture and landscape with the river and the snowy mountains in the background. Our official Sound of Music bus tour up to a small mountainside village was wonderful. It was almost magical seeing several familiar sights, such as the gazebo, the church from the wedding scene, and the convent. The guide and our professor also taught us some about the real Von Trapp family, who really were successful touring around Austria, but after the war moved to Vermont and started a ski resort and music school. We also saw the palace by the lake that was featured in the movie and was given a nice guided tour through and explained how after royalty was done using it, the director Max Reinhart used to own it before the war and now it has scholars’ seminars and events. They had a cool library too, with a hidden door to the balcony!
On a gray afternoon, we courageously climbed to the top of the fortress which for almost a 1000 of years has protected the city
On the free day, I went with some of the others to see the Modern Art Museum (on top of a cliff) which featured lots of Kirchner’s many styles of artwork. I really liked some of his color woodcuts which were really impressive. Getting up to the museum was easy because of the elevator, but afterwards I decided to take a nature walk behind the museum where there were some rolling hills and could see to the top of the mountain’s peak. I loved the fresh air and decided that I had just enough time to make it to the bottom of the cliff by continuing the path. It was great to see a different part of town than the usual main few streets. I made my way to the river and followed it along to the center square with the Dome and took in the last moments there.
We had our fair shares of adventure in this trip that made it so memorable. The train ride back to Vienna was only two and a half hours, and then returned to the comforts of the homestay.