Saturday, June 9, 2007

Hitler´s, Eagle´s Nest

Small Town

Small Town

Do you see the hang-glider!?

on my way to touch the water!

getting my rocks!

climbing back up with my rocks!

Do Re Mi...and so on!

Yesterday after posting, we walked to the old part of Salzburg (again) and visited the fortress above the town. It was pretty fun. It was an old castle. We toured the state rooms and living quarters, which were used primarily for entertaining guests of the prince (or emperer, or whatever the rulers are called here...Seriously, they have a different name in every city and time period!)

The time at the fortress was good. There were more good views. There are good views pretty much everwhere around here. Rose has taken so many pictures. She is a great photographer (as I´m sure you´ve noticed. I´m thinking about asking her to come along on my honeymoon to take pictures and scrap for me! Just kidding. :)

After that, we just did more roaming around Salzburg. This is such a laid back and pleasant town. We stopped at a fruit stand and bought an apple, peaches, and cherries. We saved them for desert, and went and ate some ice cream for dinner. Mmmm. It was really good. It is so hot here. I would not have guessed that Salzburg Austria would have been our hottest place.

After hte ice cream, we walked down to the river and sat on the banks and ate our fruit. It was really nice. There were a lot of bikers out. I think it is safe to say that there are as many bikers on the street as there are motorized vehicles. It is really refreshing, after the noise and pollution in Italy. Austria is a very clean place. The only dirty part is that there are cigarette butts absolutelz everyhere. Last night, there were big chunks of ashes in the keyboard I was using. It was kind of gross.

Then, we went back for the night, watched the sun set over the alps, and had a great sleep.

This morning, we woke up, packed, checked out of our lovely little B&B, and were picked up for our Sound of Music tour. The tour was cheesy, but fun. We visited all of the outdoor places included in the movie, including two pallaces, the gazebo, the convent, Mirabell park, and the church where Maria was married. The church was out of town in the lake district. It was a gorgeous drive out there. The views (of course) were gorgeous. The lakes are beautiful and clear. We want to come back and just relax at the lakes some time. Salzburg is definately a place to where I will return. I am pretty sure Rose will too. It and Venice are our favorites so far.

The people here are so nice!!! On at least 5 occassions, someone has walked up to us and given us much needed information. (such as, you are walking up the wrong stairs, here is how to use that locker, etc. etc. etc.) It is scary to realize that it is that painfully obvious that we are so confused sometimes, but it is so nice to have helpful people everywhere. It is kind of like the south here. People just start talking to you. We must look Austrian, because I don´t know how many times people have started a conversation with us in German. We smile and nod, but they realize pretty quickly that we are clueless. haha People were nice enough in Italy (with the exception of Rome), but here they are super nice.

Hmmmm. I can´t think of anything else for now! The views are calling my name! We are leaving for Munich tonight. As usual, I don´t know what our Internet situation will be, but we´ll post as soon as we can!

Have a great weekend! We are. :)

My Favorite Things!

Well, of all the places I have been so far on this trip, Salzburg is BY FAR my favorite place. It is truely, inspite of the presence of tourists, the most charming place to be. The "Old Town" is full of old architecture and fun little shoppes. There are pretzel places everwhere, and everything seams to be stuck in a time frame 50 years back. there are "two-horse-power vehicles everywhere," that is, horse-drawn carriages. Salzburg is called the town of festivles, they have had two days of festivles in the three that we hve been here! I have mixed feelings about the fact that they are so family oriented, and laid back, that everything closes early on those days, in order to spend time with family and friends. I love it is a great lifestyle. The river runs through the city, dividing the old from the "newer." The water is freshwater, melted snow from the alps, and is soooo lovely! it is a beautiful color green from the limestone. I managed to get down to the side of the river and dip my toes in, i was aching to jump all the way in an float for hours. Today and yesterdaz we have been on bus tours that have taken us past many lakes and rivers. the water is said to be so clean it is drinkable. I guess it was a good thing we were in a moving bus, otherwise i would have jumped right in! I hope we get a chance to raft in Switzerland, katie is doubtfull. Anyway, i am going to trz to post as manz pictures as i can, to relay the charm of salzburg. We went on a Sound of Music tour this morning that took us all over the city to sites the movie was filmed. The music really must have been inspired by the scenery. It must have helped the actors and actresses sing even more enthusiastically...the mountians are magical! The sun is so bright, this is the hottest place we have been. I guess we are closer to the sun or something, because we have not been this hot since our first day in Rome! I never would have guessed Salzburg would be our hottest climate, but the nights are cool and breezy. last night on our waz back to our bed and breakfast, we sat bz the river and watched the water sweep by. People walked, biked, roller-bladed and sat talking...just enjoying the beautiful air and everything.

Katie told you about the race, i am not sure if she mentioned the differnet kinds of cars. I tried to recognise as many as i could, so at leats dad and micah could be excited about some of our posts! There were: of course, BMW´s and VW´s, Austin-Heelies(my favorites) OLD CARS...not sure what they were called, Fararies, Jaguars...a lot more, but i cant remember as much as i hoped. the colors were great. it was for some festival, no one could tell us which one. there are so many! :D

We are now going to enjoy the citz, there is another festival involving music and picnic stuff, so we will probablz make our way to the old town soon. enjoy the pictures, they can hardly compare to real life though! this is a place i reccomend to everyone to visit if they can!

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Alps! and the water running down from the Alps!

This is Katie at Eagle´s Nest on top of the World!

This is Rose on top of the World!

THE RACE - "my" car was 54, the green one!

Fun in Salzburg!

Ok, in case you haven´t noticed, the y´s and z´s are reversed on German keyboards. If you see either letter in a word, and the word doesn´t make sense, just take that into consideration and you will figure it out. It is really annoying, considering we are in SalZburg. or is that Salyburg. Anyway...

So, after the Mozart houses yesterday, we were in for a treat. We were just walking around, down streets, exploring. There was a big crowd at the end of one street, and some music, so we walked down to see what was happening. There were people standing on the sidewalk, and the road was barricaded. In a few seconds, we figured out why. There was a race going on! Well, that´s what it looked like, anyway. There were a bunch of old classic souped up cars racing down the road along the river. There was some sort of track blocked off, because the same cars would go by over and over. It was so cool! There were Porsche´s, BMW´s, and who knows what else. (I don´t know enough about cars to tell you). Anyway, we eventually figured out that it probably wasn´t an actual race, it was probably a show. Of course, that is all pure speculation, because the announcer was speaking German, which is a foreign language to us still, even after five days in Austria.

The show was so much fun! It was very relaxing to just hang out at a local festival instead of trying to read a map and tour yet another tourist attraction. So, we hung out watching cars drive by for about 2 hours. It was a blast! They were really racing, even though I don´t think it was a race. We were right past a turn, so sometimes they would take the turn a little fast and skid right toward us. It was exhilarating! I am going to post a few pictures, so that you can figure out what the cars were for yourself.

After the "race" we walked around some more. We just walked around, took pictures, visited a church, and then decided to find an elevator that takes you to the top of a cliff on the outside of Salzburg. It is supposed to have a gorgeous panoramic view of the city and river.

So we started walking. We were at the horse fountain, so I used that and the fortress to figure out which direction to start walking. we started walking...and walked...and walked...and walked. It didn´t feel quite right, so I studied the map again, and figured out we were walking int he opposite direction. NO worries, it was a beautiful evening, it stays light until 10, and we had plenty of time. So, we walked in the right direction. We arrived at the intersection where the elevator was supposed to be. There was a sign with an arrow pointing down the road, so we naturally followed it. we walked for a while, until we had clearly gone too far, and still didn´t find it. Oh well. It isn´t the first time we walked past a destination. We turned around and kept looking. We walked until we reached the arrow, and elevator. We walked into a building to ask where the elevator was. They said, "50 meters in that direction" and pointed to the same direction the arrow said. Ok, we must have missed it (again). We started down the road again. We walked significantly farther than 50 meters (like 300 meters) and elevator. We were getting frustrated. We could actually see the elevator going up the side of the cliff, but couldn´t find any kind of entrance. so, we turned around. This time, as we were approaching the infamous arrow, I checked my map and realized that we should be exactly at the elevator. At the same moment, Rose pointed and said "It should be right there!" No elevator. Then, we noticed some scaffolding and a little door surrounded by tarps. Could that be it? Sure enough! We had found the entrance. It only took four walk-by´s, one request for information, two maps, one arrow, and one hour to find it. Not too bad for two English speaking sisters!! haha

The trouble was worth it. We rode the elevator up to a gorgeous view of the city. I´ll post some pictures.

After that, we had dinner. We went Austrian and both had Beef Goulash. It was really good. Well, I thought so. Then, Rose had apple strudel and I had a cappuccino. Their coffee here is better than in Italy.

After dinner, we were exhausted. We stopped by the Internet cafe to post a little, and then rushed to the train station to catch the 10:15 train back to our little B&B. Well, we thought it was a 10:15 train. It was actually a 9:55 train, and we missed it by 5 minutes. That was no fun. The next train was at 10:55, and I was way to tired to wait that long, so I broke down and hired a taxi. It was our first taxi of the trip! I guess that isn´t too bad. It did save us the hike up that hill...

We got a good night sleep in our awesome hostel and awoke to another beautiful day. This morning, we woke up, at breakfast with a beautiful mountain view, and then were picked up by our tour to go to Hitler´s Eagle´s Nest retreat.

The tour was awesome! The Eagle´s Nest was a gift to Hitler for his 50th birthday. It was a meeting center at the very top of a mountain. We took a 30 minute bus ride to the bottom of the mountain, than another bus ride up the mountain, than an elevator ride to the retreat. From there, you can see ranges and ranges of mountains, all the way to Italy. (We were actually in Germany at that point). The view is indescribable. I will just post pictures so that you can see for yourself.

We had lunch in a little German town on our way back to Salzburg, and are now ready for our next adventure! We are going to the fortress in Salzburg (I don´t remember the name) this afternoon, and then are going to relax. In the morning, we have our Sound of Music tour! That will be fun. :)

I hope you are all doing well! Our trip was half-over last night. We have one more night in Salzburg, then two in Munich, then four in Lucerne, and then six in Paris. We have changed the schedule from what it was originally, so don´t let that confuse you.

We miss you all!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Hills are Alive....and steep

We are in beautiful Salzburg and having a great time! It is really a very nice town. We have had a wonderful day. We took a train this mroning from Vienna to Salzburg. It was about 3 hours. We arrived at 10:30 and tried to find our hostel. WE had to take another train for a 5 minute ride. The only problem is that we had to wait 30 minutes for the train! Oh well. At the stop, we had to walk five minutes to the hostel...or so we were told. I guess it would have been five minutes without luggage, but it was up a very steep hill, so it took about 15. I´m glad we will only climb that hill without luggage from now on.

We have a great room with a balconz with a view of mountains! It really is a lovely place. It was a little funny though. When we arrived, the lady who owns the home was sunbathing in her yard. So, we checked in and were showed our room by a lady in a little bikini! It was kind of awkward. haha

After that, we took the train back to Salzburg to enjoy the day. We walked a lot! First, we saw a house where Mozart lived for several years. It was an intersting museum, with signs in English! Yeah!!! WE actually learned things. Then, we walked to the old part of Salzburg. It was gorgeous. It is a beautiful day, sunny and warm. Well, it was plain hot while we were walking, but it was nice.

In Salzburg, we went ot the house where MOzart was born. That was another museum, but it was a little weird. It was designed to be somewhat modern, and it was kind of random. In the room where he was born, the designer hung a bunch of seagulls from the ceiling and had ocean waves playing instead of signal the beginning of a new era of music. It was just weird. And it Mozart´s study, he painted all of the walls and ceiling black. MOyart maz have been eccentric, but I don´t think he was that strange.

AFter the Mozart house, we had quite a treat!!! It was amazing. But, we are out of Internet time, so we´ll have to tell you about the rest of our day tomorrow.

See you later!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Another Gothic Cathedral in Vienna
St. Stephens, we climbed up the tower on the right!

You can see Hungary, C. Republic and Slovakia from this tower!

Brunch: Peach Strussel! YUM!
Papa, here is the first gas station we have seen! the price is 1,03€ per liter...yikes!

this is a group of guys who dance in the street, look at the one in the between the two on the left...he is spinning on his shoulder! it was prettz intense...

can any of you tell us what these signs mean???
doesn´t this mean "nose"???

Hey Mom!

I think Aldi´s is Austrian!

Variety in Vienna!

More music...

We´ve had another musical day in Vienna! This morning, we went to one of Beethoven´s homes first. It was on the outside of Vienna. I think it was actually considered another city when he lived there, but I´m not sure. After that, we went bz a second Beethoven home, and then travelled back to the center of Vienna to a third Beethoven home. He actually had over 30 addresses while living in Vienna. These crazy musicians aren´t very stable. Mozart had over 30 addresses here also!

After that, we walked to the collection of Musical instruments owned by Vienna´s government. It is a great museume. We spent quite a while looking at a plethora of pianos, violins, cornets, and all sorts of instruments. They had a good example of the evolution of hte piano, including harpsichords, clavicords, and various types of pianos. They had piano´s and violins played or owned by Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Schubert, and others that I cannot remember. We don´t know all of what we saw, since all of the signs are in German. At least they have signs, though. It is a step up from Italz!

After the music, we went to St. Stephens again, which Rose will tell you about. Then we went to Haydn´s home.

After Haydn, we decided to eat for the first time todaz. It was about 5:00 and we were starving. We had breakfast at the hostel, and a pastry at 11, but no food. For dinner, we went all out. Rose had a turkey sandwich from a fast food place, and I had a hamburger from McDonalds. Pathetic, yes, but we are running out of money. Things are ridiculously expensive here. haha

We leave for Salzburg in the morning! i am looking forward to the train ride. I expect it will be beautiful traveling across Austria.

Have a great day!

By the way...

Is anybody reading out there? There aren´t many comments, so we are getting worried. Maybe we´ll quit blogging. :)


Well, Rose told you that she checked the weather this morning. It didn´t do us much good!! We were prepared for chilly rain, and carried our ponchos and jackets. It ended up being hot, humid, with not a drop of rain! Oh well. We were happy not to get wet, but it would have been nice not to drag around ponchos and jackets all day. So much for checking the weather!

We are scared to order food...

We have no idea what anything says on the we go to places we know. Katie has had her first meal at McDonalds! I, being the experienced, and authenticity-seeking traveler that i am, found a cafe and ordered a sandwich. it was good, but not as good as the one i had the other day. they could not make those right then for some reason. o well. I consoled myself with a pastry!

About the weather, i will no longer try to guess what this crazy European atmosphere has to offer. But maybe we should carrz our ponchos every day, to ensure that it will not rain again!

We climed a peak of St. Stephen´s today. It was a long 346 steps up a winding staircase. no landings till the top! IT was totallz unlike climbing the domb of St. Peter´s Basilica in Rome, becase there was no variety in steps. St. Peter´s had several different styles of stairs, this one had only one: Circles, all the way up! Dad, you would have gotten very dizzy! We took pictures from the top, even though the view was slightly inhibbited by the non-threatening clouds. I will post pictures of the view, and maybe you can see Hungary, Slovakia, and Ctheck Republic!


yesterday i saw on a printed out weather forecast that it was supposed to be 31 degrees and all sunny, yesterdaz. it was cold and rainy for hte first half of the day, and not even warm for htenext half., o well. i told katie not to listen to me for the weather anymore, but i checked it for myself this morning, for today. it says, "rainy all day." o well. at least we can dress for it this time!

We saw a refreshing sight yesterday. katie and i were in line to see the lippazaners and there were, as usual, people trying to cut line. there were so many people there, that when you bought zour ticket, you were standing halfway down the line. people were just staying there, and making there way into the line. BUT, for hte first time we have seen, the ticket sellers were INSISTING that everyone go back to the end of hte line! it was hilarious! even older people were trying to, but the lady would not give in! It was great! Everyone who had been standing in line for an hour was very appreciative.

People, as a whole, are very polite and nice here. the cars are not dented, which means driving is a little safer

Untill Later!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Katie´s Dinner

Beautiful White Stalions!


Before i knew you were not supposed to take pictures!

In the Stables, before the show!

St. Stephen´s and St. Peter´s

St. Stephen´s Cathedral! You can probably tell the difference too!
St. Peter´s, where the organ recital was...

On top of the Hill at the Schonberg Palace

Schonnberg Palace

These are some of the beautiful decorations all around the palace gardens!

on top of leaning tower of pizza

This is me trying to be a photographer...

About Vienna

KAtie and i already love vienna! there are hardly any tourists here! we went to the Shanbrun Palace yesterday. Spelling is way off...but i do not have the map, so i do not know how to spell it correctly. The palace was beautiful! A little more recent than what we have been seeing in Italy, so the decoration was not as cluttered. I posted some pictures of the outside gardens, because there was no photographz alowed from inside the palace. i will just saz this, it is almost every girls dream to have attend a ball in the grand ball room of this palace!

I think the reason the German consists of words made of 7 or 8 letters, two of which are vowels, and two of which are z´s, is because their keyboards are all arranged very awkwardly. as you can see my z´s and y´s are mixed up a lot...

We explored a lot of Vienna last night which kept us out till 11ish. this is pretty late for us, since we have been getting up at 7am. we are usuallz exhausted by dinner time.

After exploring the palace grounds thoroughly, we headed to historic downtown vienna. We have been using the metro faithfullz, saving our feet and back as much as we can. we came up out of the underground metro, the "U", right in front of St. Stephen´s Cathedral. We decided to get something to eat before going into the church, otherwise we would have been too distracted bz our hunger to appreciate the interior. we bought lunch a fast food place called Anker. I wish we had these in the US. they have manz kinds of bread, and sandwiches and pastries. I had the best sandwich of my life! i think it was fresh Mozzerella, tomatoes, some seasoning, and some square bread..i am really not sure what its called...but it is good! Frisheta, maybe? anyway, it was good. i could hold back mz chocolate craving no longer, so i topped it off with a chocolate muffin. katie had a salami sandwich and a date pastry.

We were not prepared for what awaited us inside St. Stephen´s Cathedral. It was a total change from what we had seen in Italy. The architecture was so gothic, and intricate, in a totally different way. There were more sculptures and fewer paintings. there are pictures posted.

We also went into St. Peter´s Basilica down the street. we were fortunate to come 15 mins before an organ recital. We took pictures of the beautiful architecture and paintings, then enjoyed the sound of the organ music for 15 or 20 mins. I have also posted a picture of this basilica.

Having been gone from laundry facilities for 12 days had begun to show...or smell i should say! :) it was not that bad, because we have been washing what we could in the sink as we needed. we were so glad to find the hostel we are staying in has laundry machines. We came back to the hostel to wash all our dirty clothes. this took quite a while. afterwords we came out and found the internet place we posted from last. we were so excited to find such a good price for internet, we decided to come back today! only, we could not find it again! we must have gotten of teh wrong stop last night, and found that one bz mistake, or something. we searched and searched for it again to night, but without sucess. we found another for the same price though, so we gave up the search. katie is working on our next few days of our itinerary and left the blogging up to me.

Today we visited the Lipazzaner Riding School! IT was so much fun! I wish I could have traded places with you Bekah, just for today! Then i could have been with jade, and you could have seen the stallions! o well. we stayed for about an hour and a half, watching the riders warm up and exercise about 15 white Lipazzaner Stalions. They were gorgeous! We even were fortunate enough to see one jump a few times, they say it is a rare sight. Enjoy the pictures Bekah! they are the only ones i could take, because photographs were not allowed durring the "morning exercise to music."

We found a STARBUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE STARBUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) ok...we had our American fix for the trip. :)

Today we visited the homes of Mozart, Shubert and Strouss. The Mozart home was the most informative. It came with an audio guide, and lasted about an hour i think. we walked through three floors of his apartment building, one of which was where he lived durring his composition of "marriage of Figaro." (and many other great masterpieces) I could not take pictures there...:(

Dinner tonight was at a local pub. Katie had something beef with was GOOD! and i had roast turkey on a green salad. I was feeling a need for veggitables, since we have had a lot of fruit. I had a fruit topped, cream filled pastry for desert from the next door bakery...yum!

That brings us to now. Sorry for the typos and bad punctuation (Dr. Johnson please forgive me!). We are paying for every minute, and i cant aford to go back and check everything AND do enjoy!

Auf Wiedersehen! (goodbye!)

Monday, June 4, 2007