Salzburg and Vienna

Trip Start Aug 27, 2007
Trip End Sep 17, 2011

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Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Saturday, June 7, 2008

 Hello Everyone!

Well its been almost a month since my last trip so I thought it was about time that I updated my blog. My latest trip was a quick four day dash to Salzburg and Vienna with Kim, a friend from work.

Our trip started in Salzburg which I absolutely fell in love with. The only thing I was dissappointed with was that the weather remained grey and cloudy all day meaning I never got a glimpse of the beautiful mountains that the city is famous for.

A cheesy as it sounds my must do for the city was to go see all the sites that featured in the Sound of Music. This meant that the first thing we did on arriving to the hotel at 11 at night was book ourselves on the first Sound of Music tour we could find.

We meet  the following day and were whisked away in a tour bus plastered with Sound of Music pictures and labels...anyone would have spotted we were tourists a mile away but despite the embarrassment factor I was right in my element singing at the top of my lungs to all the songs. Im just glad that Kim shared my enthusiasm for the show and was either tolerant or too polite to mock my tone deaf singing.

Our tour took us to see the Von Trapp house and to see the lake. I had the typical cheesy pictures taken outside the gazebo where Liesl once sang "sixteen going on seventeen" and also hiding behind the trees on the road where the kids in the movie are playing.

My Sound of Music tour was topped by watching the movie at the hostel we were staying at ...I swear it must be the 100th time I have seen the show..oddly enough Im still not sick of it.

We also managed a quick orientation walk around the city that day. I think it was the beautiful old buildings with flower boxes that made me love it so much. I loved the fact that the locals still wear their traditional national clothes and that its normal to see men in Lederhosen and women in Drindl's. It gave the city such atmosphere.

Our walking tour lead us to the beautiful Mirabell Gardens which is booked up years in advance for weddings. Its so popular that you can only book 15 minute slots......i was amazed at the idea of speed dating but speed weddings are just crazy.

The following day we took an early train from Salzburg to head to Vienna. We were greeted by not only good weather but also by thousands of Croatians in town for the Euro 2008 games. All you could see for miles was a sea of red and white checked shirts followed by loud singing. I have to say by the end of our stay in Vienna I grew quite fond of the Croatians with their loud chanting and big sense of comraderie. Despite the football culture and the drinking there was no rowdyness or misbehaving. I even felt like I knew the words to half of their songs.

I liked Vienna but I felt like it could have been any city from anywhere round the world. It didnt have the same European or small town feel that Salzburg had.

Kim and I spent the majority of the day walking round the city and seeing the sights. By early evening we decided to go back to our hostel to freshen up before heading to see an opera at the Opera House. At EUR2.00 for standing tickets it was worth it just to go see inside the Opera House. We gave up about halfway through as our feet were killing us and only being able to see half the stage combined with it being Italian meant we really didnt have a clue as to what was going on. Well, it was that and the fact that the guy next to Kim kept farting that made us leave and head out to tea instead.

After a visit to SchonnBrunn Palace we headed out to see the Hundertwasser Haus which I have been dieing to visit ever since I was 8 and my godparents sent me a postcard from there. For those of you who dont know Hundertwasser was the guy who designed the freaky toilets up in KawaKawa.

I was so determined to see his house in Vienna that before I left NZ I made Mup come with me on roadtrip to see the loos back in NZ so I could compare his work.

Seeing that house was the highlight of my trip. It was one of my must dos for my OE and it felt so good to actually be there standing in front of the building.

We had an early night in as we had an early train back to Salzburg the following morning. Our final day in Austria was very busy as we hurriedly made our way trying to visit all the sights we hadnt managed to fit in our first day in Salzburg. We visited Moazarts birthplace, Nonnberg Abbey as well as the fortress on top of the hill that dominates the cities skyscape.

I enjoyed seeing all the sculptures around the city and just milling about people watching. I was amazed by the amount of Nuns and Priests wandering around. Back home or in England you may see one every now and then but in Austria they were everywhere you couldnt walk for 15 minutes without seeing some.

That afternoon I spied a Swiss food stand inside one of the Euro2008 fan zones. Poor Kim got dragged in and had her bag searched all just so I could go have raclette. I was just in grilled cheese heaven....potatoes, salami, bacon, gherkins and pickled onions. I was one happy camper. I dont even eat gherkins or pickled onions but man did they taste good that day.

After filling our tummies with Raclette and in Kims case Apple Strudel we headed back to London and back to reality.

And so until next time...take care and know that I miss you all!

Next Chapter: Bruxelles.
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