Trip Start Jul 22, 2013
Trip End Aug 06, 2013

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Monday, July 29, 2013

Today we had a choice of 3 optional tours Salzburg, Cesky Krumlov or Romantic Austria. Based on the descriptions we elected for the last one. We visited a Romantic Cemetery, Romantic Church, Romantic Town and had a romantic time.

Following breakfast it was all aboard on another coach (we are suckers for punishment). We first went to Gmnden to visit the cemetery and church, then to St Wolfgang visit the town and have lunch. Following lunch it was on to Passau to rejoin the boat. Passau is in Germany so it is Auf Wiedersehen Austria and Hallo Germany.

In St Wolfgang is the home where Edward and Mrs Wallace honeymoned after he decided to abdicate the English throne. It looks (from the outside) very luxurious and has its own private beach on Lake Wolfgang.

The St Wolfgang area has been the home of many of the classical composers including Mozart, Schubert and Liszt. On our way to the boat we passed the bike path and church where some of the scenes for the Sound of Music movie were filmed. Unfortunately the schedule that was set did not include any time to get off the bus and visit these.

The lakes and forests on the trip certainly outdid anything that I have seen in Australia and are similar to those we saw in Switzerland. It is certainly nice to be somewhere where there is enough water to support lush farms and forests and a green countryside.

We returned to the boat at 5:30, had a coffee and went to the briefing for tomorrow. By the time this finished the boat was in a lock. We stood on the top deck and watched the lock fill (we are still going up river), the gates open and the boat begin to sail out.

After dinner we watched (for a short time) a man play an electric violin. He was quite good and provided some enjoyable entertainment.

The wether has finally changed. Today was cloudy and cooler - about 27. There was a heavy shower tonight and tomorrow is forecast to be similar.
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Anne on

July 29
This morning we prepared for a full day bus tour which was titled "Romantic Austria". It was to include the Salzkammergut region, shared between the provinces of Salzburg, Upper Austria & Styria- the famous Austrian Lake District. The tour title was true to its name. We were encompassed by picturesque mountain lakes, luscious green hills &fields, striking mountain cliffs & the mandatory romantic villages. Such surrounds probably account for why numerous writers, composers & artists have found inspiration in this magnificent landscape for centuries. We also ventured into a beautiful Catholic Church constructed during a period when Gothic architecture was at its peak (1180-1550)
Everything was ornate, bright & colourful. Outside, was a small cemetery, which is still used today, & it too was very colourful- the Austrians (like the Swiss) plant masses of colourful flowers like pansies, petunias etc on top of their graves & then carefully maintain them. They are quite a lovely sight!
We were also taken to see where a couple of the scenes of the long time favourite musical, A Sound of Music, were filmed- Maria & the children riding their bicycles around the lake, just after she had sewn them all new clothes from curtains & the church where the wedding ceremony took place. It certainly brought back vivid memories.
The literal translation of the Salzkammergut is "salt chamber estate" & refers to an area where salt was mined & which was formerly under the control of the Imperial Chamber of Vienna. Today, it is considered one of the loveliest holiday regions in Central Europe with over 50 lakes, which are of drinking water quality & range from turquoise to emerald. However, as pretty as it was, I think Switzerland is still prettier. Meanwhile, the boat had travelled all day & when we rejoined it, it was in Passau, Germany.

5 on

Austria, Hitlers home

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