We left early Friday morning and took a train to Austria. It took about six hours but was a beautiful ride. We checked into our hotel and headed to Old Town. Unbeknownst to us there was the largest Festival of the year going on with tons of booths, tons of entertainment, and tons of people. We watched dancers, yodelers, and guys in lederhosen flip their dance partner upside down and slap each other's bums. (See pictures)
We had dinner overlooking the beautiful city of Salzburg. Keith had goulash and I had schnitzel. The food was average, but the view was exceptional.
|Bum slapping dancers.|
|Salzburg Castle - one of the biggest castles in Europe.|
|Salzburger Dom Cathedral|
Saturday, after a great breakfast, we took a train to Hallein where the Durrnberg Salt Mines are. When we got to the town we thought we were lost as there were no signs and no people. After walking around town for a bit, and almost giving up and going home, we found a taxi to drive us the few miles to the mine. To start we took a cool ride into the mines sitting on a platform. Then we walked through the mine with a tour guide and videos about the history of it all along the way. We then took these cool slides that are made of wood and you just stick your feet out and slide down. Then we took a small barge type boat across what they referred to as the Salt Lake. It was a cool place to go and I'm so glad we didn't give up and go home when we were lost in the town. (Traveling can be tough, especially when you don't speak the language.) After the salt mine tours we walked a mile or so up to a town that had the longest alpine slide in Austria. It was one of the funnest things we have done so far. The slide was on a track, was so long, and you could go so fast. We went back to the festival that night which was one time too many - stood in line for 30 minutes for a bratwurst, found out I don't really like bratwurst.
|Riding into the salt mines|
|The amazing view from the alpine slide|
Sunday we woke up early, had breakfast at McDonalds (so much cheaper in Austria) then went to Maribell Gardens where we went on a bike tour of Salzburg and all the Sound of Music sights. It was so fun to see all the places where one of my all time favorite movies was filmed. We saw the two houses they used (different homes for the front and the back.), the graveyard they hid in, the trees they hung from, the gazebo they sang in, and so many other places. The bike ride itself was really beautiful and definitely was the best way to see Salzburg. Much better than getting on and off a bus.
After walking around some of the famous sights downtown, we took a boat down the Salzach River and back out to where we had just been on our bikes. There we went to the Trick Fountains and took a tour of Hellbrunn Palace. (This was okay but I wish we had gone to Hitler's Eagles Nest or taken a hike in the town of Hallstatt by the lake - maybe next time.) That night we went back to the hotel, relaxed, had Chinese food in our room while watching german t.v., and swam.
|A sculpture of Mozart meant to poke fun of what a big deal |
Salzburg makes of Mozart being born and living in Salzburg.
|The door they drove through in the movie when they performed at the festival.|
|The graveyard they hid in.|
|The real church the Von Trapp's were married in - different from the movie.|
|The back side of the house.|
Monday morning we just had enough time to have breakfast,
swim some more, and head to the train.