A Travellerspoint blog

Vienna then Back to Germany

The last of this grandkids trip.

sunny 75 °F
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We had an easy time finding our hotel, a short walk, the bus, then another walk, but it was good to stretch our legs after the train ride.
We had a day to play around Vienna and spent it walking to and around the square.

1st stop was St Karls Church. It was here that, several years ago, refurbishing was taking place and we were able to ride an elevator up, close to the dome. Then stairs got us really up close into the dome. The paintings in the dome look much different up close than on the ground. Figures are very distorted. We’d read that an elevator was put into place to continue this sight but when we got there, and paid the admission, we found that there was no elevator at all and no way to access the dome. We looked around the church then moved on.

We walked to the square and went into St Stephens. Here one can enter a portion of the church without paying. We looked around then moved on as one church was beginning to look like another.

Our highlight was going, again, to the café where both Beethoven and Mozart played, at the oldest café in Vienna and Vienna coffee!

We only had coffee but it was the history that was so amazing. Thinking about how the music sounded over a coffee so long ago.
Before leaving on our trip, we’d promised Lucian a trip to a real palace. I had the Schonbrunn Palace in mind for this. We’ve been to this palace before but didn’t have any time to spend in the gardens. This time we set aside a day.


Before leaving Canada, I’d reserved our tickets both for the palace with an audio guide and a ticket for the gardens. There are no photos allowed in the palace itself, hence no photos. The palace is a must see if there is time. It takes one back in time to when Mozart even performed before the Empress when he was 4 years old. As a child Marie Antoinette lived here in the summer.

We had a Classic Pass so could get into everything. The gardens have a labyrinth that is fun for awhile but we got hungry and wanted to go up to the Glorietta, the building at the top of the hill, that serves food and coffee and a great place for photos. The Glorietta was built in commemoration of some obscure war.
The trail up to the Glorietta is a bit steep and it was warm out so we were hot and thirsty when we got to the top. It was time for a cold glass of Austrian wine for me and beer for Dale. The rooftop is a perfect view of the city and place to shoot photos.

With only a few days left in our trip we took the train back to Germany. We had 1 more stop to make and that was with our friend Dieter. He always graciously gives us his apartment during our stay, and this time was no different. We took him up on his offer and canceled our hotel in Nuremberg. Instead of spending more time in Nuremberg we went to a favorite city, Regensburg where we ate sausages by the Danube, visited the site of the Hitler rallies in Nuremberg and I had a fabulous dinner, prepared especially for me, all Gluten Free!!!

Poor Lucian never got to go kayaking, but was so tired when we got back to the US. I suspect he was glad to get home, enough of running amok around Europe with Grandpa and Grandma!

Now to get back to where we were before we left home!

Posted by Miss Chris 00:23 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna austria germany europe nuremberg hapsburgs grandkids_travel grandkids_trip amberg schoenbrunn_palace hitler_rallies Comments (0)

Salzburg; the Salt Mines

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Our last day in Salzburg was busy, a morning in the Salt Mines, Salt=Salzburg, then a train on to Vienna.

We’ve never been to the salt mines so this was new to us, but the trip started out with a series of missteps. We thought we’d never get there.
The salt mines are outside of town and we needed to take 1 bus to the center, then another out to the mine. Well, we didn’t look to see which direction the 1st bus was going and, of course, it went to the end of the line where the driver took a break. Finally, it headed back into the center but we missed a bus out to the mine.

The bus to the mine only goes 1 time per hour but we didn’t know exactly where to get on. If I’d paid more attention to my gps I probably would have figured it out, but it wasn’t really clear and we were concerned about getting on the bus. Anyway, we asked along the way and found the stop for our bus. Then the driver only wanted cash and fortunately, we had just enough so that wasn’t a problem.

We saw our stop on the overhead sign but the driver didn’t stop, we only then realized that, unlike the tube, one must push the stop button in order to get the bus to stop. We ended up going to the end of the line and then back again to the mine.

This mine has been in existence since the early 1500’s and salt was considered “White Gold”.

We were not able to take photos inside the mine, but the tour is really good! It starts putting on a jumpsuit/coverall type thing. Once dressed then there is a tram into the mine and then a slide down. The slide is wood, you straddle it and hang on to the others in your group. It is steep at first but tapers off quickly so it looks worse than it is and the slide is really fun.
The tour has the group walking thru tunnels of an area mined many years ago, but it explains how, when the earth was forming, the salt formed. You also see the steps involved in processing the salt.

Several years ago, I’d bought salt rocks from Salzburg and we used them. The salt was really, really good. I bought some for gifts this time and a bag for ourselves.

After lunch, we were on our way to Vienna, alas, forgetting our fancy water bottles at the lunchroom. (Maserati and Porsche). Hopefully, this is our crazy travel day.

Posted by Miss Chris 00:11 Archived in Austria Tagged salzburg bus_travel salzburg_salt_mine Comments (0)

Austria; 1st Stop Salzburg

the 1st of 2 of 3 days in Salzburg

sunny 75 °F
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Lucian had asked that we be able to go to Austria, and since we’ve been there several times, we knew some of the things he’d maybe like to see. 1st stop would be Salzburg.

We got into Salzburg in the afternoon, and as usual, found our hotel, dropped our bags and went walking. This time the oldest area was too far to walk so we caught a bus outside of our hotel and rode down.

1st stop had to be the Café konditorei Furst, a place with fond memories. They always had this treat, 2 meringues with cream in the center, like an ice cream sandwich would be put together. I went in only to find that they don’t make them anymore. OMG, I’d waited for this, alas! So we had coffee.

The Café Furst still make the best Mozart balls though, handmade. The Mozart ball has a pistachio covered in Marzipan, then nougat and then a layer of dark chocolate. These are so good! I did buy a bag to bring home. I’m so afraid of leaving them behind in a hotel fridge, but it’s the chance I must take. I may give one to Justin when we get back and see if he can recreate them maybe using a sliver of almond.
While Lucian stayed at the Café, I ran down to the street that carries blown and decorated eggs. I have 4 from probably 10 years ago but they are looking a bit shabby. I picked up an egg carton and filled it. I mentioned to the manager that I had eggs that needed to be cleaned. He said that a woman from Canada had just said the same thing (lol) and then he showed me how to clean them. So I have 10 new ones to add to the ones I’ll clean when I get home.
We were a little late for getting into Mozart’s birth house, and I’d have liked for Lucian to see it, but he didn’t car, but, we were all hungry so stopped in the square only to be told that there was nothing that they would serve me. The waiter explained that only a day or so before someone asked for gluten free but then said the other food would be fine. As it happened, after a few bites the person collapsed and the waiter had to call emergency services. So, he would not give anyone who had an allergy any food. He did direct us to a restaurant that had gluten free food. As it turned out, we had dinner in a building about 200 years old with lots of options for all of us.

The following day was a day to play in Salzburg, we had reservations at the St. Peter Skiff, at 12:30. reportedly the oldest restaurant in Europe. It was mentioned in the year 803. We had promised Lucian a lunch here and inside the cliff. It did not fail to impress!
But 1st before lunch, we stopped at the Cathedral which always impresses. It is also where Mozart’s parents were married and where Mozart was baptized. Then Lucian played a quick game of chess.

From lunch we took the funicular up to the top of the cliff, to the fortress. This is always a fun place to go thru, it isn’t like some of the others, but if you can only get to one, this is it. From the top you can see over Salzburg, which was the point of the fortress, but also can see a bit of the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s place.

Posted by Miss Chris 07:03 Archived in Germany Tagged salzburg austria grandkids_travel grandkids_trip international_travel airplane_trip salzburg_austria rick_steves_austria st_peters_skiff Comments (0)

Munich; The Good and the Bad

Visiting our former exchange student= good and then a former concentration camp= bad

sunny 80 °F
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Next stop: Munich

We hopped on a train to Munich then a tram, all in the effort to meet up with our former exchange student from so long ago. We have visited his family on several occasions both in the US and in Munich.

Tobias is a great cook so we always look forward to a meal at his house and this was no exception. Small plates for starters then paella with grilled chicken and shrimp. The entire meal was made on the grill in a cast iron pot. Now we must try to duplicate this at home.

The following morning, we got up a little later, ate breakfast, then took the tram to Dachau, a concentration camp near Munich. This was the 1st concentration camp and was a place to move the undesirables to at first. You know; those pesky gays, trans, gypsies, people who have the wrong sided opinions; those sorts of people. Like the ones now who you hear referred to “I don’t have to recognize the gender they are claiming” and people like that.

Unfortunately, people were murdered there eventually, not as many as Auschwitz, but too many. The mistreatment was horrible. At one point, our grandson said “I can’t look at these pictures”. And it was true, we were shaken to our core. Just eating lunch in the area where so many starved to death, was not easy.
On our way back we stopped at the Marienplatz, a plaza that we like, and found that there was a huge “Pride Celebration” going on. I won’t condemn the people we know who don’t have regard for other life styles, but, Dale and I take pride in knowing that we now live in a country that for the most part embraces diversity. It was nice to see people being able to be out in public together, unlike a time not that long ago, or as it is in some countries, when they would have been condemned to jail or worse.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:15 Archived in Germany Tagged germany concentration_camp munich dachau international_travel pride_celebration grandkid_trip grandkid_travel Comments (0)

On To Geneva for a Visit to CERN

A quick stop in Stuttgart for the Porsche Museum then on to Geneva

overcast 80 °F
View Grandkids Trip 2 on Miss Chris's travel map.

From France we were headed to Switzerland to visit CERN, but thought we’d have a quick stop in Stuttgart as a break. We thought we’d take a day and visit the Porsche Museum.

It’s not that we have anything against Porsche but we are really Ferrari people, however, Ferrari wasn’t on our way to Switzerland, so Porsche it was. We’d stoop and make do!

The Porsche Museum was good, fun to see the history, and We got to hold and handle the steering wheel of a racer, work the paddles, that sort of thing. It’s something we wouldn’t have wanted to drop as it is worth about $30,000 US.
From Stuttgart we went on to Switzerland, to continue our journey.

Switzerland is beautiful, and we had glimpses of the alps. Unfortunately, it was hot and humid with rain even, but we still had coffee by Lake Geneva and walks along the lake.
CERN is worth the effort to visit. The accelerators are explained simply so that people, at least me, can get a basic understanding. The accelerator wasn’t running at the time so we didn’t get to see it working, at least what the researchers see. But we did get to see the original one and an explanation of its workings.
A word of caution, get to the front reception at 8am or just after 8. Have one person get into the queue early. They only take the 1st 24 people for the 11 am tour, then the remaining 24 must stand there until the next tour. There were only 2 tours the day we were there but the website will tell you how many tours for the day of your visit and the times. But, even before our tour started people were arriving too late to go on a tour that day. I was adamant that we get to CERN by 8am, or just after so we were fine.

Next trip to Switzerland I want to go to the alps.

Posted by Miss Chris 06:46 Archived in Switzerland Tagged switzerland stuttgart cern international_travel porsche_museum geneva_switzerland haldron_collider Comments (0)

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