Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Salzburg












Photos from Saltzburg - will write later. Had to upload while at a Cafe in town!
Salzburg

Today we woke up and were docked in Linz. There was heavy fog, but you could see that there was blue sky behind it. Considering they were calling for rain again today, this was a wonderful surprise. I managed to get up about 7:15 and head down to breakfast. The buses were departing at 8:30, so we had to get going. We had a 1 ½ hour trip down to Salzburg through some beautiful country. Along the way we stopped for a “convenience break” that overlooked “Moon Lake”. This is where the wedding in the Sound of Music took place. After this brief stop we arrived in the town of Salzburg which literally means Salt City. Here we met our guides who took us on a 2 hour walking tour of the city.
video
We started in the Mirabellgaten, another site from the Sound of Music. It is a beautifully kept garden with statues and a fountain. We then walked across the river into the old part of town. The fortress atop the mountain is very impressive as you approach it. I call it a mountain, but here it’s only a foothill. As we entered into town we saw the birthplace of Mozart (it’s the yellow building in the picture). He was born there in 1756 and it’s called the Geburtshaus. There are large areas of the city that are only open to pedestrian traffic. We walked through to an area called Old Town which is similar to a farmers market. Vendors come there with their vegetables and the most amazing flowers and arrangements. I wish I could have bought one of the wreaths I saw there, but I’m afraid it wouldn’t make it through customs! From there we went into St. Peter’s cemetery, a very old and unusual cemetery – it’s hard to describe, but is very elaborate and many headstones are behind gates (like in the Sound of Music at the end when they’re escaping). There is also a monastery located near the center of town. From there we went to St. Peter’s Cathedral.
video
It is the first Baroque church North of the Alps. Since it is the first of it’s style in this region it is very unique – you do not find the gold leaf that adorns many Baroque-style churches, rather they have painted black behind the carvings to make the white stand out. The church was originally built in 774 but has had a long history including being bombed during WWII and had to be restored. The oldest/longest running restaurant is also located in Salzburg. It was started in 813, and though the building where it is now wasn’t built until the 15th century, it was continually run in this location until today. The Christmas markets are being set up, but will not open until Friday – very sad! They are also getting ready to film a movie with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, so they have this huge square blocked off. I saw a pile of snow leftover from a week or so ago, so I made a snowball! At the conclusion of the tour we were given free time to visit the fortress, shop, have lunch, etc. I managed to find wifi, so I spent an hour uploading some photos. The videos were taking forever, so I might have to do that another time. It was almost two, so I went by a sandwich shop and grabbed a quick bite. I did a little shopping and it was almost time to leave. I had to go and try a Mozartkugel which is a chocolate and praline truffle, quite good. I also grabbed this apple pastry before heading back to the bus. It was going to be a long trip back! We did get stuck in traffic, so we arrived back at the ship about 6pm. We had our “port talk” about 6:45 discussing tomorrow’s trip to Melk Abbey and the optional tour to the Krems Vineyard. We had dinner, more beef for me! I wasn’t a big fan of the lemon tart, so I only had one bite of that. Very strange for me. They have a Dixie style band up in the lounge right now. I guess I will hear some of it when I go up to post this to the blog (okay, so I’m up here and they are singing Dixie, but with an Austrian accent – it is quite amusing, but they are really good!). We will arrive in Melk tomorrow at 7 am, tour at 8:45, then we sail through the Wachau Valley and arrive in Dürestein around 2:30 then off to the winery. It’s going to be another long, but fun-filled day. I have met a bunch of really interesting people. I guess one of the benefits of traveling alone is that it forces you to extend yourself and meet new people! Until tomorrow…

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