Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rainy Salzburg

Saturday, May 25

This morning was not promising, weather-wise. Rainy, and stinkin' cold. 
We bundled, piled onto the bus, and made off for Salzbug. 

On the bus, I listened to the soundtrack to "The Sound of Music."  Cheesy, but appropriate. Hearing the musical peak of "climb every mountain"as we were driving past the snowy peaks of the alps was quite an experience.  

We separated into two groups and met our tourguides outside Mirabel Gardens.  We explored the gardens, in which we enjoyed the landscaping, wedding photos, and extraordinarily high amount of Asian tour groups. Our tourguide showed us an early opera stage, Mozart's "Magic Flute" house (where he composed the opera), and explained the significant statues surrounding the fountains.

Fun fact: the fountain in this picture is the fountain around which the Maria and the von Trapp children run in "The Sound of Music!"

After Mirabel gardens, we wandered towards the fortress, passing through a shopping district. We passed Mozart's birthhouse and one of Mozart's apartments.

We walked across a cool bridge that had padlocks around the links all over the place.  Apparently this is a new tradition, started in the last couple years. Supposedly, couples write their names and the date on a lock, lock the padlock to the bridge, and throw the key into the river. That way, love lasts forever.  Hooray!

Look, Mozart's organ!

We explored the cathedral where Mozart was baptised and played organ every sunday, through a big square in the middle of the city, and through the graveyard where Mozart's family is buried.
Can you tell Salzburg likes Mozart?  I thought the publicity stunt was bad in Vienna, but it actually makes sense there; Salzburg claims Mozart as their own now, but certainly didn't when he was alive. 

After our walking tour, the two groups met up again to climb up to the fortress. This was no easy feat, let me tell you.  We were huffing and puffing all the way; our feelings ranged anywhere from "I'm actually dying" to "at least I'm not as cold."  What an experience.  At the ticket both, all 60 of us linked up on the 45 degree incline, attempting to prevent other tourists from shoving their way past our group and cutting in line.  Again, what an experience.  After receiving our tickets, we climbed the rest of the way up the hill and explored the fortress.  The view was beautiful, if dizzying.

Photo op!

We spent some time up on top of Salzburg, conversing with another (smaller) group of college students from Lee University in Tennessee who were travelling through Germany.

Coming down the hill, we stopped to see the Nonnberg Abbey, one of the oldest women's convents in Austria.  Also, the place where the nuns in "Sound of Music" detained the Nazi soldiers from following the escaping family.

We stopped for gourmet soft pretzels from a very busy stand.

Abigail, Rebekah and I had a brief lunch at the Cafe Tomaselli, which is supposedly where Mozart had his coffee in the morning.  Whether this is true, I have no idea, but I can say for certain that their desserts are delicious.

After lunch, everyone again piled into the bus where we headed for Germany.

We visited a Nazi Documentation center, located near Hitler's "Eagle's nest."  The documentation center was very well put together, with heavily detailed information.  The exhibit covered everything from the movements that began and evolved into the Nazi regime, the impact of the changes on different people groups, first-hand pictures and accounts, and more.  The museum was powerful and moving.

After a surprisingly short bus ride back to Hallein, we were served a lovely warm dinner.  Our group o 6 (Jessica, Abigial, Meredith, Allison, Audrey and I) had splendid dinner conversation, where we learned a lot about each other and laughed a lot.   The conversation continued after dinner in one of our hotel rooms, where we were joined by Boyu.   What a great group of ladies - we learned a lot about each other and ourselves, and had a lovely time.

We went out for drinks for Audrey's birthday too - the hotel has a Mexican restaurant in the basement, so we all got fruity drinks to celebrate.  Happy b-day, Audrey!


Pictures with Mozart. 

Abigail (left)

Kelsey (right)

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