I'm excited for Derek to be here

Trip Start Aug 16, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Where I stayed
Gasthaus Stadtalm

Flag of Austria  , Upper Austria,
Saturday, September 12, 2009

I woke up this morning still not feeling like being a tourist. So I stayed in my room as long as I could, but I had to check out by 10 am. My plan was to just take a quick walk around town and then catch a train to Salzburg. The town was really small, so it only took about 15 minutes to see it.

But it was really pretty, so I lingered. And I went to a church that had a bone chapel out back. There wasn't much space in the town, because of the steep mountain behind it, which meant they didn’t have much room to bury their dead. So people were only buried for 12 years. Then their bones were dug up, cleaned, and placed in the bone chapel. So it was a room full of decorated skulls and stacks of bones. Supposedly, it’s the only place like it in the world. It was a little creepy.

I also decided to ride the funicular up to a viewpoint above town. This was a very serious funicular compared to the others I’d been on. It was very steep and long. And the views from the top were worth it, even though it was still cloudy and I couldn’t see the tops of the mountains. Instead of taking the funicular back down, I decided to walk down through the woods. It was nice, but I had to go really slowly because it was steep and I had my big backpack on.

When I got back to town I was hungry and decided to eat at a place I had seen with a great lakeside view. I got a "grilled sausage", but it tasted like a hot dog to me. When I was finished I had just enough time to catch the boat across the lake to the train station. It was definitely the smallest train station I’ve seen. It was just one little building and one track going by.

On the train ride I just looked at the scenery again while we were still in the mountains. But after I transferred trains, the countryside got pretty boring again. So I actually wrote some blogs.

I arrived in Salzburg about 5 pm and caught a bus into the city center. I didn’t feel like doing anything, and besides, I figured I should rest up before Derek arrives tomorrow. He’s going to be very excited to be here and will probably want to see as much as possible in his one week in Europe. So I went straight to the hostel. It was a really cool hostel. It was up on top of a hill, beside the old part of the city. I actually had to take an elevator up to the top of the hill. And then I had to walk on a path through the woods until I got there. It was actually a restaurant downstairs, with the rooms upstairs. And the view of Salzburg was amazing. I could see the Salzburg castle, towering above town on top of a neighboring hill. And it was a very impressive-looking castle indeed. Probably the most castle-like castle I’ve seen so far.

For dinner I ate some Topfen-strudel I’d bought at a grocery store in Hallstatt. It’s a strudel made with a really sweet cheese and it is really good. It was recommended by Rick Steves, of course, and I first tried some in Vienna.

I spent the evening finishing my book, and then watching more downloaded TV shows on my computer. There was some kind of rock concert going on in the old town and I could hear it pretty well while I had my window open. It was loud enough that it was distracting me while I was reading. So I had to close the window. It was actually fairly cold outside, though, so it didn’t make it too warm inside.

For some reason the power went out in my room about 8 pm. So before I went to bed, I had to use my watch light to find my way to the bathroom at the end of the hall.

So tomorrow morning Derek arrives at the Salzburg airport about 9:30 am, and we’re meeting by the Mozart statue in Mozartplatz (the main square of Salzburg). We’ll have two days in Salzburg before heading up to Germany. We’ll have three days in Munich, one day in Nuremburg, and one day in Rothenburg. Then Derek will return home from Nuremburg, and I will continue my travels up the Rhine Valley in Germany.

Auf Wiedersehen!
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