A Travellerspoint blog

Austria

Day 68, Munich

overcast 15 °C

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The journey from Salzburg to Munich (Munchen!! HAHAHHA I think it is so funny!) was pleasant enough. We arrived far ahead of time and got on the train without incident. When we got to Munich we booked the remaining reservations needed for the train. Finding the hostel was very easy, we just walked for two minutes! Woohoo for easy to get around cities! We dropped our bags and went for a walk.
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We ended up all the way down the very busy main shopping street here in Munich. Since it was Saturday it was absolutely full of people. Some guy even tried to rob Shane, luckily his pockets were zipped shut, but he made it look like an accident so no one even noticed! We ate roasted chicken from the train station (far less sketchy than it sounds) and found a beautiful market selling amazing looking products. Shane had to piss me off and drag me away to keep me from buying many of the safe-to-travel goods. We walked all the way to the Englischer Garten, one of the largest urban public parks in the world.
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Lederhosen AND a beer bike!
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We found our way to the Chinesischer Turm (the Chinese Tower, built in 1790 originally and rebuilt in 1951 after it was heavily bombed) and the 7000 seat beer garden surrounding it. We played it easy and got the 500mL beers and a pretzel to start with. We drank it and walked away looking for something to do before dinner. We wandered up and down streets until we found a large department store with postcards and a high end grocery store in the basement. As you can imagine we were entertained for quite some time. We left with only three postcards and one bar of chocolate, that is some restraint I’m telling you. We left heading back down the street in the direction we had come.
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After getting lost in the extra large park we again found the tower, this time with a brass band playing. We purchased dinner, a roasted pork knuckle, potatoes and braised red cabbage (I like Shane’s better!) Shane grabbed a 1L beer this time and somehow managed to drink the whole thing! After we were thoroughly chilled to the bone (it was a cold and stormy day after all) we started our long walk home. We spotted surfers surfing a large continuous man-made wave in a until they fell off their boards. As you would assume Shane was wildly entertained by this and we spent some time watching.
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We retired a little early this night but after walking all day and drinking WAY to much beer we were exhausted. (What a life!)
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Posted by s-a 22:10 Archived in Austria Tagged munich Comments (0)

Day 67, Salzburg

overcast 19 °C

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The cold and damp wrapped me up like a warm blanket as we first stepped outside. Call me crazy (and you will) but the rain and cold comfort me like home. It throws me back into memories of long walks and steaming cups of coffee. Even so, we continued on. We happened across a large chess set painted on the ground and played ourselves a game. I haven’t played chess in years so I’ll blame my failure on that. We wandered inside the Salzburg Cathedral which has a long and varied history. What we see now in the interior has only been done since 1959, which lends the cathedral a modern, less ornate but still beautiful interior.
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We found the Greenmarkt we had been searching for the day before and ogled the different stalls selling breads and cheeses and wooden toys. Shane got a cheese pretzel which I found disappointing (thankfully it wasn’t mine.) We walked across the river to the SPAR on the other side. We loaded up on chocolate and mustard and jam (that brings my jar total to 8!) We sat down at the snobby Cafe Bazar for their self proclaimed “best strudel in all of Salzburg!” I didn’t like theirs, or, if that is “the best” then I don’t like strudel. Coffee and cake cost us 10 euros and I am just about fed up with overpaying so much and being treated unkind just to try a treat people say is that best. I’ll be trying the small mom and pop shops from here on out, where value is good and service is better.
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There is a part in the Sound of Music where Julie Andrews splashes this horse. She made it look so easy!
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Shane and I decided to visit Stiegl Brewery for a tour. We walked an hour to get to the brewery, without complaining though, it was a beautiful stroll. Besides, we were enjoying the men in lederhosen and the women in dirndls. Wearing traditional clothes day to day seems to be completely legit in Salzburg, everyone is doing it, the young and the old, but I can’t blame them, if I paid 600 euro for an outfit I’d wear it all the time too! (That is the cost of the authentic garments) The museum and brewery were amazing. The buildings were beautiful and the museum was extremely informative and well put together.
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After the museum we sampled our six free 200mL beers. There were pilsners and lagers and radlers! Yum! And we gorged on pickled vegetables, cold cuts and a huge stuffed pretzel. One thing we’ve noticed about all Austrian cooking is the salt content being way to high. They say smokers have a harder time tasting salt and absolutely everyone in Austria seems to smoke. I would give you 100 euro if you could find me a cook who doesn’t smoke and SO all the food is to salty for our non-smoking taste. We usually can’t finish the delicious food because there is just to much salt in it.
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When we were two-thirds of the way home it started to pour, but in sheets of rain. Between the waves we ran for the next shelter. Before it even really started it was over; but we were soaked. We freshened up at the hostel and I talked to Natasha on skype for a while before we left again. We had tried the previous two nights to visit a beer garden but the rain prevented us both times. This time we left, with an address but forgot the map. We walked the length of the river twice and didn’t find the place. We settled after an hour and a half of walking on bosna (two weiners in a grilled bun with mustard, onions and curry salt) and fries with mayo (and two beers of course.) Delicious.
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Posted by s-a 21:57 Archived in Austria Tagged salzburg Comments (3)

Day 66, Salzburg

rain 17 °C

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The breakfast this hostel offers in the mornings for free! is fantastic value. We paid 6 euros each for this same buffet in Berlin! We woke up still tired from the days before. We drank a few cups of coffee and relaxed. We planned what we’d do this grey day knowing the skies would open any minute. What we did not anticipate was a holiday Thursday, it was Corpus Christi.
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St. Margaret's Chapel
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We left the hostel with a list of things to see. We started wandering through old town and found ourselves starting at a new/old working waterwheel. A baker in the building’s basement had decided to have a waterwheel (re)installed. It actually generates the energy to grind the grain inside. It was installed in 2005. Very cool, I wish I had one. One right turn later and we were inside the graveyard of St. Peter’s. Here is thought to have been the site of a graveyard since around the year 700. It was left for abandonment in 1878 until 1930 when new burials were granted. Many of the tombstones we saw were from the last 30 or so years. The graveyard is the most beautiful I have ever seen. Flowers and plants decorate every tomb with a bounty of colour and texture. The most common flower we saw was the pansy, because it’s name means ‘thoughts’. If I must ever be buried please do this to my grave. (grow things on it) St. Margaret’s Chapel stands in the middle of the yard. On the front of the building in large numbers is inscribed ‘1491’ the year it was rebuilt.
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We left the graveyard, where the scene in the Sound of Music the von Trapp’s are hiding behind tombstones was filmed and went into St. Peter’s Abbey. This is the oldest existing monastery in the German speaking countries (so Germany and Austria?) and was first started in 696. However, there has been remains found of walls dating back to the 5th century! It was a brilliant church and had the most interesting decorations, 18th century baroque style leaves and vines adorning the entire ceiling painted in a pale green on white walls. Gorgeous.
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After this visit we peaked our heads in the Salzburg Cathedral, where mass was happening (1st clue!) We walked up a hill with panoramic views of the city and walked back down the other side. We ended up quite lost and very far out of the way. We found our way back using tunnels carved underneath a hill (a rock) to Universitatsplatz where we watched 5 young boys playing (very enthusiasticly) traditional folk music. There was dancing and clapping, the crowd was having a great time. We walked down Getreidgasse (the street with all the signs) and finally to lunch where we had delicious food and two Mozartkugel from the authentic Paul Furst (at 1 euro a piece!!) the only confectioner still making them by hand. Hopefully we save enough to share when we get home!
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We cross the river in search of a grocery store to buy said Mozartkugel at a far better price. It was closed on a Thursday (2nd clue!) which alerted us to the fact that it must be a holiday. We stepped inside the next hotel we saw and asked. Indeed it was, later I figured out that Austria has 13 holidays in a year, 3 of which are in June this year! (There was a holiday when we were in Vienna too.) So annoying! Nevertheless, we found Mirabellgarten and sat down for a rest.
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While we were sitting, a very large group of Indian men came through the courtyard following a female tour guide. A few of them broke off, one second I was watching two of them holding hands as they walked toward us and the next we were in a picture seated next to one of them. They had asked to take a picture and as I went to get up and take the camera they said no and to sit down, they wanted a picture with us! They snapped away and asked if we were Austrian. We aren’t really so we said no and they left for the next group of people they saw, who happened to be some Japanese or something. We laughed hard about that one, we expected cameras to come out and someone to say we were on candid camera! They did it to many people, I wonder if they thought it was as funny as we did?
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The gardens were beautiful and later in the evening when we watched the Sound of Music we would recognize many features of the park throughout the movie. Just as we finished our tour it began to rain. Hard. We scurried back to our hostel as it was a bit of a walk away. We got there just in time, a torrential downpour was the order of the evening. We, unfortunately, stayed inside the hostel the remainder of the day, we are both made of sugar and don’t like getting soaking wet.
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Posted by s-a 16:35 Archived in Austria Tagged salzburg Comments (5)

Day 65, Transit

storm 22 °C

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We spent most of this day in transit. We got on a train at 1230 and off a train at 1950. 7 hours and 20 minutes on the train. It was a beautiful trip through the Slovenian countryside and the Austrian mountains. Salzburg gave us the cold shoulder when we showed up however; 40 minutes waiting for a bus, countless drunks at said bus stop and a massive rain/wind/thunder storm...all for us! We were nearly impaled by a flying sign in the wind and got a free room upgrade (private double!) Hopefully the weather improves!

Posted by s-a 15:40 Archived in Austria Tagged salzburg Comments (3)

Day 57, Vienna

sunny 24 °C

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We love Vienna. A lot. It’s in our top three places we’ve visited for sure. It’s clean and exceptionally beautiful. There are plently of gorgeous parks throughout the city where you can easily waste the day away. The food is good, in fact we never really worried about where we ate (other than the price) because it goes without saying that the food is a very high standard. The typical cake with your coffee is exactly how I do it at home. The city felt very safe, never once was I nervous or reluctant to walk in any area. I think we saw two homeless people in four days, which is remarkable! If we could have stayed in any city for the rest of the trip this would be it. It felt like home.
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This day we visited Naschmarkt. It’s a giant market in the middle of the city. It’s loaded with things, some over priced and some not. We wandered around oogling the goodies we wish we could take home with us. Eventually we settled on a half roast chicken for lunch. We demolished it. After the market, on recommendation of Julia our awesome hostel host, who happens to be full of great recommendation, we walked on over to Karlsplatz to see a very grand church. We hung out on a bench listening to two girls sing beautiful harmonious music standing under a dome which offered beautiful acoustics. The church cost 6 euros to get into so we opted not to. 6 euros to see a church feels greedy to me.
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We spend the majority of our afternoon in the House of Music. It was pricy but very interesting. The first floor was dedicated to the history of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with a movie room where they blasted video recordings of a few shows they have done. It was fantastic! I consider the ticket 11 euros to watch the orchestra! One of the songs they played was the Star Wars song, so I recorded it, it was to good not to. It will most certainly be a goal on my life list to watch this particular orchestra in person. The rest of the museum was more interactive and we quite enjoyed it.
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We slowly walked home to waste some time before dinner. We ended up eating burgers and a wonderful place down the street. They made everything in house right down to the ketchup. We tried a very delicious grapefruit radler which I wish we could bring box upon box of home!
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After we packed and were sufficiently tired we went to sleep. Around...sometime in the morning mr. snore-y mcsnores-a-lot come home and I moved to the spare room Julia had so nicely equipped with sheets for me. Our hostel, Mojo vie was awesome and I would urge anyone we know who is headed to Vienna to stay here. Even if you don’t want to stay in a dorm, I’m sure their private accommodations are wonderful as well.
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Posted by s-a 10:16 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna Comments (2)

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