Trip Start May 28, 2008
Trip End Aug 2008

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Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Sunday, June 1, 2008

Yesterday, mom and I hopped a train from Munich to beautiful Salzburg, Austria. The ride was about 2 hours long, and we woke up early at around 6am to make sure we got there before the crowds. The night before, we finished The Sound of Music and were singing "Edelweiss" to get in the mood. Upon arriving, I may have made a wrong turn and directed us in the exact opposite direction from the Alstadt (Old Town) and all the cool sites. But we found our way back to the Mirabel Gardens, where part of "Do-Re-Mi" was filmed. Nearby, we stopped by the Mozart museum and followed the audioguide tour. The site of the museum is the house where Mozart grew up between 1773 and 1781 (he was born in a different house across the river in 1756--don't worry, we saw that too). After crossing the Salzach to Alstadt, we followed our trusty Rick Steves travel book for a self-guided tour and saw several beautiful "kirchen," or churches as well as many Romanesque monuments and platzs. On our way through an open-air markt (german for market, how convenient) in the street, we stopped at a truly awesome pretzel stand that had everything from chocolate-covered pretzels, not like Flipz but like a giant hot pretzel covered in chocolate, to asiago cheese and olive covered pretzels. We ordered a chocolate one because we hadn't eaten anything since our Philadelphiarings in the morning. It tasted like a doughnut. The tour ended at Mozart's birthplace on a very quaint but extremely tourist-infested street called Getreidegasse. Here, every store is required to have a wrought-iron sign (even McDonald's). We had a popular local "hot dog" type dish called a "bosna." It was a sausage with parsley, onions, and LOTS of curry in a semmel, or bun. It was alright, but neither of us would order it again.

During the Middle Ages, Salzburg was protected from the north by the Salzach River and from the South by the mountains. Above the city, the Festung Hohensalzburg (high salzburg fortress) guarded the city from the expected Turkish attack. We rode the funicular up to the castle and saw some magnificent views of the Alpine surroundings. After taking lots of pictures, we enjoyed a small lunch at a cafe atop the mountains and then toured the medieval cannons and other artifacts. Instead of taking the funicular back, I convinced mom to walk down along the Monchsberg mountain ridge. She wasn't all that excited--especially after our long detour in the morning--but she toughed it out anyway. yay mom. We took in some more Alpine scenary (a continuing trend) and took a break for an apfelstrudel that we bought earlier in at the markt. We FINALLY made it to the bottom despite our constant complaints of tired feet and legs (and knees for mom). We both slept on the train ride home and ordered doner at the train station. Doner is basically a gyro, the perfect blend of my heritages: a middle eastern dish served German-style on a fresh semmel. At the hotel, we packed up and crashed at about 10.
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