taking one step back – chronologically, that is – here’s my report on our salzburg-trip (oct. 7th – oct. 8th):
for this trip, we borrowed tom’s gps-device, which was VERY helpful*.
* except that it only had the “austria” roadmap installed, so it didn’t know that a small part of the autobahn from innsbruck to salzburg runs through germany, and told us to get off the autobahn at every chance…
getting close to salzburg [G], our first stop was at schloss hellbrunn, a castle from the early baroque.
those of you who know the musical “the sound of music” – which seems to be EVERYBODY except the austrians themselves – will recognize the gazebo which was moved here after the shooting of the scene “i am 16 going on 17”.
i also found coins from the long-long-ago in the fountains there.
next, we went
- up to festung hohensalzburg (hohensalzburg fortress). it is the biggest and one of the best preserved castles in europe, dating from the 11th century.
- to st. peter’s cemetery, which is a sound of music location. note the chapel that was built into the rock!
- to see the monumental cathedral.
- to residenzplatz, with the giant horse-fountain that can be seen in the sound of music as well.
- into an art-store for a minute – just in case you’re wondering about the brush photos.
- to the house where wolfgang amadeus mozart lived
- to mirabellgarten, the garden of schloss mirabell (another castle). apparently they sang “do-re-mi” here in the sound of music.
it was already getting dark after the city tour, so we drove to fuschl [G], where we would spend the night.
again, tom’s gps was very useful, but it decided to take the scenic route because it was about 50 meters shorter than the easy one. so we drove uphill and downhill on windy roads for about 30 minutes, arriving at the most remote house in fuschl (which is not a bad thing at all!).
feldbauer fuschl (de) might not have a big website, but is the most recommendable pension/bed&breakfast ever.
mrs. ebner was very kind and even helped us to plan the rest of the tour.
the apartment and room we stayed in were right in the farmhouse (with a light scent of fresh milk in the hallway), and in perfect shape. combine it with their prices, and this is a top-notch place to stay.
for breakfast, we even got fresh milk and soft-boiled eggs directly from the farm (!), and buns right from the bakery.
the following day, we started with a ride on the sommerrodelbahn in fuschl (sommerrodelbahn = “summer toboggan-run”).
what’s funny is that larry had asked about these toboggan-runs in our neighborhood, but i only looked up those in the tirol area. i discovered this one in a brochure in our pension, the evening we arrived.
we continued our tour and visited mondsee.
the abbey/church there was used for the marriage scene in the sound of music, but actually we went there to see the scenery and church itself, regardless of what movie it’s been in.
inside the church, you can see the skeleton of konrad II (the abbot of mondsee from 1127 – 1145 a.d.), which was placed on the high altar 600 years after he was murdered.
another quick stop was made at wolfgangsee, where we found brass name plates welled to the benches in the popular pilgrimage church.
i only knew about one little church way up in the mountains that has seat reservations…
the last site we went to see was hallstatt [G], a tiny lake-side village.
the one thing that makes this village so special – and it took “an american family coming to austria for vacation” for me to find out – is the beinhaus: a little chapel where the skulls and bones of hundrets of dead people are stored.
the cemetary space is very limited, so after 30 years, the bones are exhumed, bleached, decorated, and then put into the chapel.
on our way back home, we stopped at a nice-looking restaurant/hotel and had dinner. but before that, i recorded a little video.
i guess that’s why some people *ahem* refer to children as “chimpanzees” ;-)