Tue - Sep10
Early rise today, 6:30, as our tour pickup is at 8:45. Our hotel, just a few blocks from the river Salzach and Mozartplatz, was a great find. Their breakfast deserves a menu of its own, and having your eggs done as you like them is a nice touch.
Although we almost never book tours, especially bus tours, the 'Sound of Music' tour received a very good review and was assuredly not touristy or 'kitchy'. As it turned out there was just us and another couple from Roanoke, VA in the van which normally held 8 and we ended up in front.
The tour runs around the main square with the driver, a young guy and very knowledgeable, explaining not just the locations pertinent to the movie, but a history of Salzburg and Austria and the significance of the various buildings and churches.
We then left center Salzburg and headed out to various locations, such as the house used for the von Trapp family home, a gazebo in a park that was built for the movie and later donated to the city park, some funny stories, like the actresses who played the nuns resting between takes with their habits pulled up over their knees, causing all sorts of questions by the locals. But all of which he then followed by explanations of the reality of the time and the real issues they faced.
The tour proceeded miles outside of Salzburg, into farming country and through some small villages, many where, which we'd seen already in our driving about, there were cords upon cords of wood stacked outside the houses. Most of them use the wood for heating, some have no electric stoves and thus use wood for cooking too.
We stopped at a very scenic lake for a coffee and cake break. It was tough picking a dessert but we settled on a plum cake and Sacher Torte, which was better than the original variety we had in Innsbruck.
We also stopped along the way at a Luge ride to try our hand at it. It was actually easier than it looked, we both rode the same luge, and were able to get to the bottom fast, but without crashing or tipping over on the way down. We put our names in for the Winter Olympics US Luge team.
Eventually we made our way back to the city via the Autobahn and were done at 1:15pm.
We didn't mention this the other day but the Autobahn mostly has a speed limit of 130kph, about 78mph. Karen, our lead foot driver, keeps it about 140. But, even at that speed, we were being passed on a regular basis. Our guide today noted that there are radar installations along the road which allow a 5% variation and take your picture as you pass if you're exceeding that. So she'll have to be less aggressive from now on and hopefully didn't trip the radar and get a ticket in the mail
Drop off was at the Mirabelle Gardens, a large park in the city center with artistic flower designs and statuary. Here too is the Mirabelle Palace where we have tickets for a Mozart concert on Thursday evening.
We walked the very old Steingasse street, once the start of the only road in the Middle Ages going South to Venice. This street is now a trendy place for bar hopping but we also spotted a recommended restaurant, called Shrimps, where we decided to eat tonight. In spite of the name their menu also includes selections for Karen.
We walked through the old town some more, especially Getreidegasse, the main pedestrian shopping street and the Old Market square and about 3 headed back to the hotel to take a break, drop some stuff we don't need, and rest up before dinner. We returned to the hotel about 8:00pm having walked in the rain (really drizzle) to and from restaurant. It was a little fun walking in the rain and getting into the atmosphere of the place. The restaurant was a great find and it was full of locals (with only 20 seats in the place plus a small bar). It's really strange to be walking into a place that is so old on the outside and very contemporary on the inside.