A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about salzburg

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
IMG_20140702_195534_653.jpgIMG_20140702_204726_622.jpg
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)

Made it to Salzburg

The drive and 1st tastes of Salzburg

sunny 75 °F

I’ve lost track of time, half the time I don’t know what date or day of the week it is. Thank goodness for the cell phone.

I’d asked Tobias, our exchange student, if we could spend the night at the last minute. But I had the dates wrong on when we would be leaving. Poor people, they didn’t know what to think. We had planned to leave the following morning, we had to be in Salzburg on the 1st. Our apartment was rented from the 1st to the 4th. We saw Tobias and his 2 older girls off, ate breakfast and then were off.

The drive to Salzburg was so beautiful; sunny and warm about 75F. As we got closer to Salzburg the Alps were visible. Farms line the hillsides with what look like “happy cows”. IMG_20140701_141644_858.jpgIMG_20140701_141501_162.jpg

We arrived in Salzburg in the afternoon, unpacked then went off to the town. Our apartment is about a 5 minute walk into the old square. 1st dessert: Meringue stuffed with whipped cream and cappuccinos at the Furst Café.
IMG_20140701_181539_682.jpg
We found the little restaurant over in the “New-Old town” that we’d found 3 years ago. We found seats in the outdoor section but this time shared meals. We were still stuffed!
IMG_20140701_193319_804.jpg

Posted by Miss Chris 00:58 Archived in Austria Tagged food salzburg travel austria driving europe grandkids furst Comments (0)

Hotel Adventures

Hotels we stayed in

IMG_4861.jpgAs I promised some time ago, I wanted to write about the hotels in Europe, at least the ones we stayed at. I have referred to each of the hotels in various blogs but will write some additional details now

When we first planned this trip I wanted to stay in hotels within walking distance to the middle of the towns. I didn’t want to take trolleys or buses every time we wanted to go to the squares and we didn’t want to spend much over $100/night.

I picked up a travel book with hotel recommendations and a good map with the recommendations located on the map. Then I got on hotels.com and trip advisor, reviewing the ratings for each hotel along with the location.

Our 1st hotel was in Munich which I booked at the last minute and got the last room available. This hotel, “Kings First Class” appeared to be within walking distance to the square but on the map looked a little distance away. As it turned out, the hotel is about 2 blocks away from the train station and maybe a 10 minute walk from the old city square. The hotel is in an area filled with adult shops but is very safe, we never felt threatened at all. Beware that there is no breakfast included when you book on Hotels.com but a Coffee Fellows is just 2 blocks away and they have all sorts of food items plus great coffee drinks and internet.

Next we were in Salzburg where we had quite the experience at the Amadeus Hotel. This hotel is in the new city, just a few minutes’ walk to Mozart’s residence, the Mirabell Gardens and the foot bridge to the old city. The front of the hotel faces a pedestrian only street and the rear faces the cemetery with the grave of Constance Mozart and Leopold Mozart immediately in view from the rear facing rooms. There are 2 balconies in the rear with chairs and tables.

If you stay at the Amadeus Hotel beware that there is no one at the desk after 6pm. This is normally not a problem but if you check in after 6 they leave the key card in an envelope on a little table in a small lobby between the entrance door and a sliding door which needs a key card to open after hours.

Our key card was apparently lost or taken before we arrived; our arrival was late due to train problems. We arrived at 11pm and when we found no one there and the main lobby doors locked. We were able to slip into the main lobby when another guest opened the door to enter.

In the entry we called on the call box and reached a male who said that he would be right over. After waiting for about 45 minutes I called again and he said he was on his way. After another 30 minutes Dale called and the male said it would be a few minutes so Dale asked what a few minutes meant to which he replied that he would be at the hotel in 5 minutes. In the meantime I’d called Hotels.com but after 10 minutes on the phone got disconnected. We were about to start screaming!

Finally a security guard came to help us and after numerous phone calls found our room number and got us settled in. It was 1a.m. Needless to say the front desk heard about our ordeal in the morning and they gave us two dinners at their sister restaurant in the old city. My advice is to check in before 6pm just to make sure you get your room key.

The Amadeus is a small hotel but there is an excellent buffet breakfast included in the price and an afternoon coffee if you are around. Great little pubs with outdoor seating are all around and the street is vibrant both day and night. We will definitely stay there again but just arrive earlier in the day.

In Vienna we stayed at the Hotel zur Wiener Staatsoper. This hotel is a little larger than the Amadeus, also very old and located very centrally, only ½ blocks from the main street. Restaurants with outdoor seating are next door. We walked to the St. Charles Church, the Concert Hall, St. Stephens and the tube is only a couple of blocks away.

The room keys are very large so they encourage you to leave it with the desk when you are out which means that you must leave the keys off then pick them up on your return. The door is locked at night but there is a bell and the night watchman will let you in. The staff will encourage you to take various tours but will also be helpful if you want to travel on your own. Breakfast is also excellent and included with the room.

Our last hotel was in Prague, in the Stare Masto, the old town square, the Hotel U Tri Bubnu. This hotel is a little difficult to find as it is tucked into buildings just on the other side of the square. The hotel has 2 areas, one above the check-in counter and the other around the corner separated by a restaurant. Our section of the hotel appears to have a room per floor but we were not sure. Our room was quite large with old fashion double windows on 2 sides. The building is hundreds of years old and the story is that an executioner lived in the building frequenting the tavern located there. You enter this hotel thru an old wood arched door then walk up a narrow spiral staircase to the rooms.

If you are arriving by train it is an easy walk from the station but when you arrive in the square it will be on the street ahead and to a slight left. You will take the pedestrian street that goes by the St. Nicholas Church to the Kafky Square. The hotel will be to your left just past the ticket agent shop.

We will stay at all of these hotels again if we are in the areas and highly recommend them.

Posted by Miss Chris 07:33 Archived in Austria Tagged prague salzburg vienna hotel austria germany europe munich old_town_square Comments (0)

Concerts in Salzburg

A day with 2 concerts in Salzburg

Dieter called early to say that the car was in the shop so they would meet us for dinner in the old city as we offered to share our free meal with them. This freed us up for the day to do as we wanted, but actually we had stops that we really wanted to make, plus a concert that we’d seen advertised.

We started with a second visit to the Salzburg Cathedral “The Dom” just to look up to the dome and to see again the place where Mozart was baptized as a baby. “The Dom” is an amazingly impressive Cathedral; the dome was destroyed during the war but rebuilt, while a very small area of the structure is from 774, it was mostly destroyed by fire. The structure is not so Baroque as some but the statutes are much larger so that it takes your breath away to see. This would be amazing place to visit on a Sunday morning but alas we will be in Vienna by then.

After another ride up the hill to the fortress we got to visit some of the rooms. I especially wanted to see the torture chamber but alas I learned that it really wasn’t used for that. Still the view from the top was great.

Upon arriving in Salzberg we’d learned about a Mozart concert taking place every afternoon at 3p.m in the Residence. As we’d been to the Mozart Residence I assumed that it was taking place there but we found out that it was actually at a place in St. Peters called the Residence where the Arch Bishop lives. We were not able to go before so today we were planning our time around this concert.

After the fortress we still had a couple of hours and had worked up an appetite and were thirsty so thought that we’d hit the beer hall reported to the ‘beer hall of all beer halls’. We walked very quickly to the beer hall as it was several minutes away only to find that it did not open until 3pm. So tired, thirsty and hungry we turned back to the city to find the concert.

We found, thru asking lots of people, where the concert was and made sure that we were first in line, then got the best seat. The venue was held in a small room, probably built in the 1300’s or so with arched ceilings. A harpsichord was in a corner with chairs set up on 2 sides.

At 3 p.m. the director of music (I think that is his position) came in and gave a little lecture on the instruments used during Mozart’s time. Then the harpsichordist came in to play a selection of pieces including the minuet written by Mozart when he was 6 years old. It is simple now but when one thinks that he was so young it is very impressive. This concert was quite fun as it was a very old instrument played in a very old room with about 20 people in attendance.

As we were walking around we saw the Director of Music putting up signs for another concert, this one at 7p.m. with tickets going on sale at 6 or so. The music was 2 Mozart piano sonatas to be played by a Russian pianist.

We arrived 1st once again to purchase the tickets and once again the Director took us to where the best seats would be. This room was in the St. Peters with arched ceilings but set up in one long corner of the room. The piano was set up in the center with seats on 2 sides and about 30 people were in attendance at this concert, our seat about 10’ away from her right hand.

The pianist was a young woman who was from Russia but studied at Julliard and she was amazing. She walked in with no music, sat down and started playing. The hands glided over the keys without any effort, it seemed that she wasn’t hitting the keys just by looking at her hands. She produced strong powerful sounds and then the softest sounds with barely a touch. Both Dale and I were so moved by her music.

Dieter had phoned on my cell phone earlier that the car was still in the shop so we went to dinner after the concert on our own. This was the free meal given to us by the Hotel for all of the hassles we had at our arrival. We just bought the bottle of wine and drank the entire bottle, but the hotel was just a short walk so we didn’t care. But what a great last day in Salzburg.
IMG_4839.jpgIMG_4832.jpg

Posted by Miss Chris 23:06 Archived in Austria Tagged churches beer salzburg austria concerts fortress 773a.d. st._peters Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 9) Page [1] 2 » Next