The cold snowy alps and more mozart madness...

Trip Start May 06, 2008
Trip End Jun 06, 2008

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Where I stayed
Hotel StieglBräu

Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do... Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Day 11 : 18th May 2008 (Sunday)  The cold snowy alps and more mozart madness...

We actually intended waking up bright and early to make the most of our one full day in Salzburg. Unfortunately, we slept in. By the time we were dressed and headed down to the breakfast area of the hotel, I suspected Ashok and Glynis were already out and about making up for lost time. We settled at this nice table for a leisurely breakfast and thought we'd take it slow, since we were already behind. At the table next to ours was this middle aged American couple, and as we sat chatting and planning our day, I noticed them going back and forth getting more and more food. I was thinking my gosh these people can really stuff themselves early in the morning (I'm not a breakfast eater) when I noticed the woman had a bag under the table and she was shoveling the food into it. Ha ha I thought that was funny, I guess they were planning a big picnic lunch somewhere.

Anyways, we took bus 25 to the Hellbrunn stop, about 20 mins from Salzburg over the main bridge and walked the 2 mins to Schloss Hellbrunn, which is a 17th century palace with a garden full of trick fountains built by this Archbishop with a wicked sense of humor. The ride and the entrance was covered by the card, and when we went in, there was already a group assembled. The guide came by shortly and we began the tour. It was fun, trying to anticipate where the next jet of water would erupt from. It was already a little drizzly so we didn't really get wet more than we already were. There was a stone table with seats that projected water except for the Archbishops seat. The naughty man. There was even a mechanical puppet scene powered by water and other grottoes and animals that spouted water. Gosh the man must really have been bored to come up with these ingeniously wet ways to entertain his guests. From here we exited into the normal gardens dominated by a large pond. We then headed to the cafe for some hot coffee and then the gift shop where I bought an umbrella and a few souvenirs. The card included entry to the castle as well so we ventured in and were given audio guides. There were some interesting rooms like an octagonal music room but we were a little castled out by now. The rooms were bare compared to some of the other castles we'd seen. There also was a folklore museum on the grounds but we were a little museumed out too.

We hopped back on bus 25 and headed to base of the Untersberg, a large mountain just south of Salzburg. There's a cable car that takes you to the top, which is also covered by the Salzburg card. We were literally the only ones to get off the bus at that stop, and the only ones in line to get into the cable car. In fact, I thought it was closed,there wasn't a soul in sight, and I couldn't figure out where the entrance was. Anyways, on the clear day, apparently, you get lovely views of the city from the top. Unfortunately, it was really cloudy, but we didn't have much of a choice. So we went anyways, and the views were truly lovely until we hit the clouds. Then it was just cloudy. Everywhere. At the top, it was freaking cold. We weren't really equipped with winter clothing, and there was snow everywhere. We did venture out and walked the trails a bit but after a while it was just too cold to be out. We saw a couple people all decked out in snowsuits coming up one of the trails. We headed back down, and again were the only ones in the cable car, which was nice. It took about ten minutes to get back to earth and then we went to find a bus to get back to town. There was an empty one waiting for passengers, and the driver was eating lunch while he waited, so we got on and waited with him.

Lunch was at a cafe in town and then we headed down Getreidegasse, the famous shopping street, where all the signs are made of wrought iron. All the designer brands had stores there, but we were only window shopping. Had neither space in the suitcase nor money to splurge. We went by Mozart's birth house, and ventured in. By now we were really Mozarted out too. We had a nice time walking about the town, and going to places the card covered, after all, we had to make sure we used it well enough to end up saving some money. That wasn't hard, the card covers literally everything to be done in Salzburg. We also went to the Miracle's Wax Museum, and while the wax figures weren't very realistic (I've seen better), some of the display was interesting including figures of Julie Andrews as Maria with the seven kids. There were lots of Mozart displays (of course) and street scenes of Salzburg during days gone by including a scene depicting a dentist pulling out teeth with no pain relief whatsoever. Gory. Then it was time to refuel again with a quick stop at a cafe for some much deserved caffeine. We went into the toy museum which had toys dating back to the Baroque period. There were toys, teddy bears, railways, the works. Its a good place to take kids to, I would think, and there were quite a few kids there already having a good time.

The Mönchsberg lift was in the vicinity, so we thought we'd go up before it got to dark to see anything from the top. There was a Modern Art Museum that we just sauntered through (not into modern art, I just don't get it), and then went outside. The views of the Fortress and city below from up were fabulous. There were some nice walking trails on the top, some going all the way to the Fortress. We walked about for a bit and then headed back down. It was time to head back to the hotel and meet up with the D'Costa's. They had had a fuller day. Not only did they go to Untersberg, Schloss Hellbrunn and the Fortress, they also managed to find time to do the Hallein Salt Mine Tour. They said it was very nice. That was on my list of things to do, but oh well, maybe next time... Salzburg had grown on me but I find I like bigger cities more. Hmmm...

After a quick dinner, we all headed to bed. We decided to take the 12:11 Regionalbahn that would take us about two hours to get to Munich using the Einfach-Raus-Ticket for the four of us. It had been a full and exhausting day. Tomorrow: Munich - here we come...

Steps walked: 14074

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