Thursday, August 9, 2012

Salzburg, Austria, Friday and Saturday, August 3-4, 2012

From Dachau we drove to Salzburg. Certainly this was a contrast from Dachau. The drive was only about an hour and the country side was beautiful with mountains, villages and great panaromas everywhere. We stayed in a small hotel that was originally a farmhouse. We dropped our stuff off and took a bus into the old section of Salzburg where we spent the afternoon and evening. We basically just wandered for the afternoon. There was a Sacher Hotel here and another in Vienna. They are famous for their Sacher Torts which are a special desert. Rather than waiting for Vienna, we cheated and had them here. They were good, but not so much that we were going to need to seek them out in Vienna also.

One of the challenges with this time of year is that all of the serious musical venues are closed. The same was the case in St. Petersburg. Even so, we managed a dinner and Mozart evening. They had a small string quintet and a tenor and soprano do selections from Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and the Magic Flute plus Eine Kleine Nacht Musik. They would play for a while and then we would be served a course of our dinner. It was an enjoyable evening. We sat with an oncologist and his wife and son from Seattle. He had actually trained some at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. There was also a high school history teacher and counselor from San Francisco. They had spent a month in Europe. The counselor is the one sitting next to Tyler. After the concert, we caught our bus back to the hotel and arrived after 11 where we promptly crashed.

We were up early the next morning for breakfast and the bus back to town. We then took a 4 hour Sound of Music Tour. It covers most of the sites where filming occurred and a considerable drive in the lake district. Plus, all the Sound of Music trivia that you might ever want. There were only about 10 of us on a large bus so the singing left a bit to be desired. The pictures of Tyler and I with the bus and wearing a hat were part of the experience. This was the actual hat in the bus driver was wearing in the movie when Maria gets off the bus with her guitar to meet the children for the first time. It had been in storage for 45 years and was brought out a few months ago by the bus company. They claimed that a photo with the hat and in front of the bus would be the cheesiest photo we ever took. I don’t know about that, but it might be up there.

From Salzburg we drove into the mountains to Berchtesgaden and several small villages in the area. Berchtesgaden is one of the places that Grandfather and Granny Bingham talked about going to when they were part of the occupation forces in Germany following World War 2. We could imagine them covering this territory and skiing near hear. Berchtesgaden is also where Hitler’s Eagles Nest was. This was a retreat built high in the mountains. You take a special bus to its base and then walk through a tunnel that takes you to an elevator that goes up through the middle of the mountain the last 450 feet. This is where Hitler, Goehring and others worked out many of their strategies. Unfortunately, from just before the last parking lot to the top of the mountain, it was completely clouded over. Nonetheless, it was an interesting visit. The displays and such were pretty minimal and it was mostly a restaurant, but we enjoyed it anyway.

Following this, we drove on to Vienna arriving about 9:00 PM and collapsed in the hotel. Let’s also give a thanks to GPS. Getting to our hotel would have been impossible without. In fact, getting most places would be impossible without.

Home away from home

Our BMW 320 Sporrt - Diesel

Walking to our bus stop

Stopped in for a Sacher Tort

Tyler's Newest Friend

Over the Salzburg River - Used in Sount of Music

The old town and castle on the hill

Our table at the Mozart Concert. This is actually in the oldest restaurant in Austria

The morning view from our hotel room

The fountain used for Do, Re, Me

The Do, Re, Me steps, but I could not get Tyler to sing and dance

Where Maria first gets off the bus

The famous gazebo. You cannot go in as an older lady did the dance, fell and put her foot through the window so that stopped that.

Looking back at where the boat scene took place

Where the wedding took place - about 30 minutes out of Salzburg

Inside the church in case you can't recognize churches from our previous posts.

I could see Grandfather and Granny staying here

The tunnel to the Eagles Nest

In the clouds

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