Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day #10: Salzburg...

Frans wrote:

12 Nov '09: (Posted from Prague 19 Nov '09) After another morning of walking I left my companions to it and deserted to my hotel room and laptop to catch up on my emails, comments and our Blog because we are getting behind a bit.... where were we.... right, Salzburg!

As posted earlier we checked into a fine hotel in Salzburg and we immediately went to explore the inner city as soon as we were settled in. That seems to be very well the routine wherever we stop now, even last night in Gorwhil we went for a walk and although there was little to see and just about everything was closed we did come upon a group of children and their parents near the local church where they had gathered to take off on a 'Saint Maarten' tour of the town together with their lampions. The idea is a bit like haloween although this practise entails singing songs instead of scaring people out off their skin to receive candy and sweets which always had a bit of a criminal intent, if you ask me..... and we wonder why there are so many muggings these days.....must be an American ritual by origin....

But I digress, Saltzburg.... We wandered through the old part of the city and I could get a good impression how this city must have been a rabbit warren in the old days with hidden passage ways and town squares joined by narrow alley ways. It held a great atmosphere also because all the stalls

were open and the local people were out on the streets and relaxing in the cafe's as well. As we are getting closer to Christmas obviously more and more shops were starting to display their Christmas wares which usually goes together with lighting and music to get into the Christmas spirit. In a way it is a shame we are not about 2 weeks later when the full Christmas preparations would have been in full swing....

We had some sort of a dinner at a 'Nord See' outlet which is a chain of fast food restaurants but who specialize in seafood and salads instead of only hamburgers and fish and chips.

The next day we started following the 'Sound of Music' trip to Mondsee and another place where Mozart's mother appearently had been borne and his sister had lived for a while. Unfortunately we discovered that also around the Salzburg area the local people take this time of the year off for their own holidays and nearly everything was closed. Fortunately the trip itself was quite pretty so that in itself made it worthwhile going.

In the afternoon we went to visit the Salzburg castle. We went up to it in a 'Venicular' train which is basically a system of 2 train carriages attached to each other by a cable that keep themselves 'in balance' that way so that if one goes down the hill it will pull the other one up.
It was in this train we briefly met up with another couple from Australia who were on a scheduled tour of Europe and had just come from Budapest and Vienna. After exchanging some information we asked them which city they liked better, Vienna or Budapest and their anser no doubt influenced our decision to bypass Vienna the next day and proceed directly to Budapest.

After some lunch of yet again what was on offer as a local meal, we explored the castle with all its own exhibitions and attractions including a -puppet on a string- exhibition which Karen obviously enjoyed getting involved in......

After coming down from the castle in the same train we went looking for the cemetry where some parts were filmed for the Sound of Music and after some searching we managed to locate it. I couldn't help myself after that and just had to buy a DVD of this film esspecially after Yvonne told us she had never seen the film at all?! I think I'll enjoy watching the movie again soon and then recognize the places we actually have been to!

After the visit to the cemetry I was looking forward to some time on my own and update our Blog which has become a bit of a hobby to me. I left my companions to.... you guessed it.... some shopping and after picking up a bottle of wine for dinner proceeded back to the hotel.

When my companions rejoined me they had not only contributed once again to the general economy of the Republic of Austria but also had joined a piano concert of Mozart. That night we had a light dinner of Biscuits, Bread, Red wine, some Cheeses and some Meats. It was pretty light stuff but quite enjoyable indeed. During our meal we discussed where to go next and there it was officially decided to push straight to Budapest the next day.

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