Derek is here!

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

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Where I stayed
Euro Youth Hostel

Flag of Austria  ,
Sunday, September 13, 2009

I got up late this morning because Derek was arriving and his plane didn't get in until 9:30 am. Plus, breakfast at the hostel was only from 9-10 am. So after I had breakfast I made my way over to the Mozart Statue on Mozartplatz, our designated meeting place.

Derek finally showed up about 10:45 am, but he snuck up on me. I was looking for a guy with a big backpack, but he arrived in a t-shirt with only a day pack on his shoulders. It was kind of weird to see him show up like that after all this time on my own. But it was great to see him. His big backpack, though, did not make his connection in Frankfurt. So he didn’t have a jacket with him and it was pretty cold outside.

We went over to use some free public toilets and by the time we were done it had started raining. We went over to the tourist information office to buy our Salzburg Card, which got us free public transportation and admission to all the sights in town. Then we headed over to see Mozart’s birthplace so that we could get out of the rain. The building was very pretty from the outside, but the museum inside was fairly uninteresting. It did have a lock of Mozart’s hair and one of his childhood violins. But otherwise, it was pretty dull.

By the time we left the museum, we were very glad to see that it had stopped raining. So we headed back to Mozartplatz to begin Rick Steves walking tour of Salzburg. The city center is on the south bank of the Salzach River, with the Hohansalzburg castle on top of a bluff further south. Mozartplatz is the start of a series of interconnecting squares near the bluff, and the main street of Getreidegasse runs parallel to the river. After Mozartplatz was Residenzplatz, which had a glockenspiel that was supposed to play a tune three times a day. But it was under construction and wasn’t making any noise at all.

Also on Residenz platz was the Panorama Museum, which we went to see. There was a 360 degree panorama picture of Salzburg that was painted in 1829, which they had on display in the museum. It was very beautiful. And they had a fun game there as well. Outside the panorama, they had pictures hung of various cities and sights around the world, labeled with numbers only. They gave us a sheet with the names of all the paintings, along with a key on the back. So we went around to each painting and tried to guess which city or sight it was. It was very fun.

The next square was the Domplatz, which is where the Salzburg cathedral was. We went inside and it was very pretty. It was interesting, because at first I was just like, "Oh, it’s just another beautiful cathedral." But I could tell that Derek was very impressed, so it made me enjoy it more.

The next square was Kapitelplatz, which was kind of boring except that it had a great view of the castle on the hilltop above.

We next went to St. Peter’s Cemetery, which is the prettiest cemetery I’ve seen so far. All of the graves were covered in flowers and plants, and instead of tombstones there were iron crosses (because they were cheaper). The cemetery was right next to a tall cliff which had some old caves and a chapel in it. So we climbed up the steps to see some pretty cool views of Salzburg.

The cemetery was right next to St. Peter’s Church, which was also very beautiful inside. It was decorated in the Rococo style, which I think is my favorite style. It’s very elaborate and fancy.

We made our way over to Getreidegasse, which is known for all of the old wrought-iron store signs. Even the McDonald’s had a very fancy sign. We stopped at an ice cream store recommended by Mr. Steves (as Derek calls him), and it was excellent.

That was the end of our walking tour, but we decided to go over to the other side of the river and see the sights there. We first went to the Mirabell Gardens and Palace. There were some beautiful flower gardens outside of the Palace. They reminded me a lot of Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, except not nearly as big. And there were some places there that had been featured in “The Sound of Music” movie. There was an arbor, some stairs, and a Pegasus statue where the Von Trapp children are shown running around while they are learning to sing.

By that time it was about 4 pm and we hadn’t heard from the airline about Derek’s bag. They were supposed to deliver it to the hostel by 2 pm and call my cell phone to let us know it was there. Derek was pretty sure they had probably delivered it, so we walked back to the hostel to see if it was there. And it was!

We didn’t stay at the hostel long. We went back across the river to walk along another street called Steingasse. It was a very medieval street that was very narrow and picturesque. But everything was closed because it was Sunday and it was very empty.

So we went back over to the south side of the river to get some dinner. We wanted to go to a restaurant recommended by Mr. Steves, but it was closed on Sunday. So we decided to just go back up to the hostel and eat there (there was a restaurant on the bottom floor, with the hostel rooms on the top floor). So we go there and got a seat outside. We ordered some beers but then our waitress kept ignoring us. When we finally asked if we could order some food, they said the kitchen was closed. We were a little mad because we’d asked for a menu when we got there, so it would have been nice if they’d told us then that the kitchen was closed.

Anyway, we had to stay for a while to finish our beers. But then we went back down to a restaurant we’d seen that was open, and very close to the hostel. Derek got the Viener Schnitzel and I got the Cordon Bleu, which is Viener Schnitzel stuffed with ham and cheese. We both thought it was very good.

After dinner we went to an internet café right across the street to call my parents on Skpe. It was cool to have Derek on my side of the Skype session this time, with my parents still in Ohio.

When we were done with Skype, we took another lap around Salzburg to see it at night. But it was very cold outside so we didn’t linger long. When we got back to the hostel we discovered that apparently power outages are very common. Because the power was out again. It was almost 10 pm and Derek was very tired so we just went to bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!

P.S. I added pictures to the last 4 blogs, and changed the blog for 9-10 so that it’s the correct one. So please check them out!

Also, Derek decided to do a competing blog while he’s here. So here’s a link if you’d like to check it out:
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