Anywho, here's the lowdown on Salzburg, Austria. The town itself is relatively small, but it has a surprising amount of stuff to do. Obviously, there's the requisite Sound of Music tour (which I did, of course), but there is also a lot of history (Mozart was born there!) to discover.
I arrived in Salzburg from Interlaken about 4PM on Wednesday, which was really too late to start exploring, so I found the hostel, found a grocery store and found my bed. In that order. Actually, I had to do a scholarship interview via phone with the Governor's Scholar Program in Frankfort (Kentucky, duh). That was strange, but I think I did fine.
I booked my Sound of Music tour at the front desk of the hostel, and then promptly went to bed. My tour was bright and early on Thursday, and lasted until mid-afternoon. Totally worth the money, if the guide was slightly annoying. I've found that annoying tour guides kinda come with the territory, though. The tour took us around to the sights where the movie was filmed in and out of Salzburg. We went to a little town outside called Mondsee (it means Moon Lake), where the wedding scene was filmed. All in all, an excellent tour. Here goes:
No, no we weren't conspicuous at all.
Can you see kids in clothes made from draperies singing and hanging out of the trees? Me too!
Schloss Leopoldskron, where the children and Maria fall out of the boat and Uncle Max partakes in pink lemonade. Only the back was used in the movie, for the terrace scenes.
Untersberg Mountain, where Maria sang the opening scenes of the movie. She could not have run down to the abbey in three minutes like she did in the film. Just saying.
THE GLASS GAZEBO! Most disappointingly, they built it especially for the film (you mean the Baron and Maria didn't REALLY sing romantic songs to each other there? Drat!)
The little town of Mondsee.
St. Michael's church, where they filmed the wedding scene. It looks ENORMOUS in the movie, but it is really very small.
And ugly. I think its ugly. Who paints a church pink?
See? Not that big! They must have done that in miniature or something...
Seriously, though. It isn't very big at all. I think FCC in Hopkinsville is bigger, actually.
hehe, its crisp apple streudel! With warm vanilla sauce! I'm going to make some when I get home.
Mondsee is a cute little town.
At the end of the tour, they dropped us off at the Mirabel Gardens, where most of the Do-Re-Mi song was filmed (obviously, the best part!). These are the steps at the end of the song!
How cool is that?!
The covered trellis! "Doe, a deer, a female deer..." Okay, I'll stop.
Almost to the end of the song...
After the tour, I walked around the Mirabel Gardens some more, which were beautiful. Then it rained, for the first time the ENTIRE trip. And I got soaked, but I got some good pictures.
Atop the Do-Re-Mi steps (seriously, they're called that now) with a good view of Hohensalzburg, the fortress overlooking the city.
Big fountain with Mirabel Palace and statues. Very nice.
To avoid the rain, I went back to the hostel, with plans to re-visit all the stuff I'd missed earlier. The first place I went on Friday was Hohensalzburg, the fortress. Salzburg had been ruled for centuries by the Prince-Archbishop, which I take to be both a religious and government leader. All of the Prince-Archbisops (what is plural for that? Archbisopi? Archbishopus? Who knows?) put their own spin on the fortress, so it doesn't look very coherent, architecturally.
And guess what? I walked up there instead of taking the cable car! Go me!
Farmer's market where Maria juggles the tomatoes. I think that's right.
Great views of Salzburg and surrounding area.
Because I was in Salzburg by myself, taking pictures with Flat Stanley was a bit of a problem, so I had to ask an older couple to take the picture for me. They were the first people to recognize FS the WHOLE TRIP. I was overjoyed! Turns out they were from southern Illinois (they knew Paducah!) and retired and just traveling around. Man, that sounds nice.
More of the fortress.
It seems that a lot of the castles and fortresses I've been to have had weapons and torture exhibits. Fun stuff!
On the Sound of Music tour, they told us that this used to be the executioner's house. No one liked him, clearly.
After I'd gotten my fill of the fortress, I went back down to the city to explore some more. There are something like 45 Roman Catholic churches in the little city of Salzburg, so I had plenty to do.
A bakery that used to be run by one of the churches. It is still powered by water!
Wheel that operates the bakery.
Little chapel of St. Peter's. The cemetery is gorgeous. I read that they lease the plots for 10 years and if you don't maintain it to their standards, out you (or your loved one) go.
So after a long day of walking around and browsing, I headed back to the hostel and ate at the hostel restaurant (yes, they do exist, and they're quite nice and cheap!) and had a schnitzel. Mmmmm....
Saturday, my destination was Frankfurt, Germany. The train ride was longer than I thought I was going to be (5 hours, yay!), but it turns out, there wasn't that much to do in Frankfurt anyway. Guess why? The Allies obliterated most of it during World War II, so most of the buildings were modern and therefore, not very interesting. But, there was a festival going on, which only means one thing: BEER. Lots and lots of BEER.
The river that runs through Frankfurt is the Main, and they were holding the Drachenboot Festival (I believe it translates to Dragon Boat). At any rate, there was a lot of good food and they were racing long paddle boats (small, but Viking-style, with the dragons on the ends).
...And they're off!
Some of the Old Town was still preserved.
Further proof that Germans like their beer: A beer bike! I saw one rolling through town, and found it quite disturbing.
I went back to the hostel, because guess what! They had a free pasta party! Excellent! They the bar opened, and I made some interesting friends (we tried to guess the origins of everyone's accents. We failed. I guessed Greek on an Israeli. Oops.). I had an early afternoon flight back to England, so Sunday, I wandered back down to the Drachenboot Festival, had a crépe (a cherry and nutella one, very yummy), and then got a bus to the airport which was TWO HOURS AWAY. I had planned for that, but we can thank my least favorite budget airline, RyanAir, for picking the furthest possible one from the town center.
So, that concludes the last hoorah, the two and a half week tour of Europe. I met some great people, ate some amazing food, had some wonderful experiences, but best of all, I have the memories to go with them. And I've shared them with you all! This isn't quite the end of the blog, I'm planning a wrap up post, so stay tuned.
Also, I'm coming home tomorrow (due to arrive in Nashville at ~7PM CST). I have mixed emotions (as expected), but I'm definitely ready for some American food. And I miss the goats! And I suppose I miss you people too! :o]