A Travellerspoint blog

Austria

A Drive in the Vienna Countryside

Out on an explore

sunny 90 °F

A couple of years ago we’d planned to move to Austria for a few months. I had negotiated for a house in the Krems area, an area between Salzburg, Vienna and Prague.

We decided to drive to Krems and just look around, see the layout of the land, if this would really be a place we could live.

I consulted our Lonely Planet and found a loop out of Krems that follows the Danube on one side then crosses a bridge and follows on the other side. There are castles, vineyards, little hamlets and churches.IMG_20140706_170952_234.jpgIMG_20140706_172809_130.jpg

We drove to Krems arriving about 2pm., it was hot, about 85-90F. We were already hungry when we arrived but we walked through the main street. We’d heard that stores were not open on Sunday but were not prepared for the streets to be empty. The city was shut down.

We looked in the church where it was cool inside. The church was way over the top in gold decorations.

We found several open restaurants and food stands, one had Chili Con Carne listed, now that was a place I was not going to eat at. We found a guesthouse open with an open courtyard serving food. A lunch of grilled pork chops, veges along with some local wine was just what we needed. Elias had their crepe filled with apricot jam and he was very impressed.
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A little scope of ice cream from the Eis shop and we were good to go.

This was our last night in Vienna so we had one last meal outside in our garden. The evenings have been warm so we have spread out meats, cheeses, breads, fresh veges, dips, wine and beer. Lovely European lifestyle we have developed.

Posted by Miss Chris 01:32 Archived in Austria Tagged danube vienna driving europe krems exploring Comments (0)

Music in Vienna

Mozart

overcast 70 °F

Another forecast for rain but this time in Vienna, thunderstorms were forecast for night.

First we needed groceries. We saw that a “Bella” supermarket was close to us. Of course we got lost while walking and had to ask directions.

Once inside we picked up our groceries and went to the checkout stand, put our food on and when it was our turn waited to pay. The checker asked something in German and of course I said “what”? He asked if we’d weighed our bananas to which I answered no. I mean really? Weigh bananas? What’s up with that? I must be used to Trader Joe’s and never weigh my own stuff at the regular grocery stores.

I went back and weighed the bananas then had to go around the entire store to get to that checkout line. Some lady in the line got really mad; Dale heard her speaking loudly. We took our purchased groceries over to the counter in order to pack them. While we were packing the groceries the checker was talking and pointed at us saying that we were Amie’s. This was so funny, we started laughing, which I’m sure didn’t help the situation at all. But this is what Dieter says that the German’s call us. I guess the Austrians do too. Oh watch out for those Amie’s!!!

A hint: In Europe you must bring your own bags to the grocery stores and you must bag your own groceries. Cuts down on the trash that’s for use. Best to bring a back pack or bag to carry your stuff home in.

We went back into the old city via the U which is really easy to use, by the way. After maybe a 10 minute ride we got off at Karlsplatz, the St. Karl’s Church. This time we picked up our tickets for the Mozart Requiem and then Dale and Elias took the lift and stairs up into the dome. I stayed down with all our stuff. The skies were really threatening but only a few drops fell.

St. Karl’s Church was refurbished several years ago and after cleaning the frescos in the dome, scaffolding was left so that people could get a close up look. You take an elevator then walk up stairs into the top. Dale and I did this 3 years ago and thought that Elias would enjoy it.IMG_20140705_163457_475.jpg

From St Karl’s we walked to St. Stephens where Dale and Elias climbed the stairs up to the tower for another view of the city. I sat and had a cappuccino, writing and people watching.
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The skies cleared and we strolled back to St Karl’s, stopping to listen to a 3 person Russian street group. They played their version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Russian and American music.
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Our concert was at 8:15pm in the St Karl’s to hear Mozart’s Requiem. We heard this same concert 3 years ago and found it amazing. Again we had front and center seats the 2nd row from the front. We were sitting waiting for the concert to begin when in walked a family who had the front row seats. The couple had 3 young children; about 4, 5 and 9 months. My first thought was “no”! But then I remembered how we would take our young boys to concerts at the Dorothy Chandler and the Hollywood Bowl. We believed that the music would help shape them, (whether it did or not is open to discussion). The kids were so well behaved. They sat quietly, the older boy would drum in the air. At one point they went up on the steps, sat down and watched. The musicians seemed to really like that. The baby went to sleep then woke up but was mostly quiet. Mom took her out at the first peep.
The concert was moving, we thought that it was better this time.

The music echoed throughout the church on many occasions. One fun part was to see that the cellist was the same person who played at the dinner concert. Instruments were the same type used in Mozart’s time. One horn has no valves so notes are made by shaping the lips.

After the concert we spoke to the couple and praised them for bringing their children to a concert.

Posted by Miss Chris 13:29 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna church music europe mozart st_karl's Comments (0)

Dessert 1st then Vivaldi

A July 4th celebration

sunny 75 °F

Great thing that today was warm, 80’s, and sunny. We had to check out of our apt by 11 and no one wanted to wake up.
Dale and I walked to the store for bread, pastries and coffee. We got back and food was devoured.

We took Bekki and all to the old city for 1 quick look as we all had to go our way. We showed them the fortress, the egg shop where I bought some eggs and then stopped to have a dessert at the Furst.IMG_20140704_122337_112

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Bekki went on to Tobias’ and we went onto Vienna. We had a concert to attend.

I’d bought tickets to hear the Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” at the St Stephen’s Church. This church is huge, a main feature of Vienna.

We went to the church and picked up our tickets, seating was open depending on the category one bought. One stands in the appropriate line and then 15 minutes before the door opens everyone goes in and finds a seat in their category. We found seats 3 rows from the front and in the center.
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For the concert there were 4 musicians; 3 violin and 1 cello. They played various pieces, including Ava Maria. Between pieces a soloist came out and played the Four Seasons, only accompanied occasionally. The soloist, a woman, was so absolutely amazing. She had such command of her violin that her music filled the church. I will never hear the Four Seasons in the same way again, I will see her power and command of the music.

We finished our evening with a glass of wine, Elias with a Viennese cake.

Posted by Miss Chris 08:41 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna travel music europe vivaldi 4_seasons Comments (0)

The Salzburg Fortress

What a way to spend a birthday

sunny 80 °F

Bekki was due in today after a day of delays. We thought and hoped she would arrive around 6pm. Since today was Bel’s real birthday we thought that maybe Bekki would arrive in time for dinner. Bekki, was traveling with her sister Shanna, Bel’s friend Izzy and the baby Emilo.

As the weather was forecast to be sunny we’d planned to go up to the Fortress/castle today and it was about 80F. Dale and I were there 3 years ago and thought that the kids would enjoy it. Bel and I took the Funicular up while Dale and Elias walked. The walk was very steep, in some places one must use the strips of wood laid into the ground as to not slide down the hill. It must have been very difficult to haul the stones and wood up in order to build the fortress. The Funicular is like a gondola which rides on rails and goes straight up the cliff.

At the top we found the museum. This is really a self-led tour of the fortress. We’d taken a tour before but couldn’t find it so we just did the self-led, which seems to have replaced the one we took. Many rooms are open and lots of items are on display, including kitchen items and torcher items. An Archbishop’s house is open, I’m not sure but it seems like this was the original house from maybe the 1100’s or so. It has original furniture and wall decorations of gold knobs on blue painted ceilings.

Bel was hungry so we stopped at the Terrace Café which overlooks the Austrian Alps. She had some soup, I had a coffee with Mozart liquor and Dale an Applestrudel.IMG_20140703_125805_884.jpgIMG_20140703_144236_455.jpgIMG_20140703_131124_735.jpg

After the Fortress we all walked down the path to old Salzburg together then went back to wait for Bekki. We took turns at the front door as the door required a key which she didn’t have.

After waiting until 9:30 pm we devised a new plan. Dale, Bel and I would go eat while Elias stood guard. We had her birthday dinner then walked back to the apt but there was no Bekki. Finally at 10pm she arrived. She’d gotten lost a couple of times then drove around the area for about 1 hour looking for our street. To make matters worse, they had not eaten since breakfast. Dale took the girls out while I gave Bekki some beer and leftovers and Elias’ take out dinner.

Everyone was safe and sound except now Sunny, who was on her way back to the US missed her flight to Denver which meant she would miss her connection. What Next…

Posted by Miss Chris 13:51 Archived in Austria Tagged salzburg travel driving outside europe fortress Comments (0)

Mozart in Salzburg

rain 65 °F

It was raining today, pouring at times. It was a good day to visit the indoor museums.

We took the kids to Mozart’s birthplace. That seemed to be a good place to start. This is a small, 1 bedroom house. There are few original furnishings however, there is a collection of personal items.

After the birth house we went to the house Mozart grew up in. The house he grew up in has the audio tour, it is much larger and contains many items from Mozart’s personal contents. There are also letters to and from his sister, some original and original works of music.

Christabel was interested in seeing where some of the “Sound of Music” was filmed so we had to visit the Mirabel Gardens. Sidestepping mud puddles, dodging umbrellas, we found the sites of the movie. The gardens were still beautiful in the rain.

This was the night of the Dinner Concert we’d reserved. Christabel had chosen this event to celebrate her birthday. There are 2 different dinner-concerts; one up at the Fortress and then the one she chose at St Peters Skiff. The restaurant at St Peters is located in a cliff under the Fortress.

I’d chosen the better seats and ours were located right in front center. The dinner was elegant; 3 courses served between the music: 1- Riesling Cream soup with crayfish and clams, 2 Roast Beef with Polenta and a Port Wine Sauce, 3. Meringues with cream. http://www.mozart-dinner-konzert-salzburg.at/exklusiv-menue.html
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The music was performed on original instruments with 2 singers. They performed 3 pieces of music; arias from Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute. Dale and I expected that the music wouldn’t be so good as this was a very touristy event, but it was really good.IMG_20140702_200915_941.jpg

Posted by Miss Chris 02:11 Archived in Austria Tagged salzburg travel driving dinner europe eating mozart Comments (0)

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