Friday, March 28, 2008

The hills are alive with the sound of salt mines

Above: Everyone enjoys a giant pretzel.
Above: In the fortress courtyard.
Above: In Mirabella Gardens.
Above: Berg at the Burg
Above: Chocolate overdose.
Above: Chrian is imprisoned in the fortress dungeon.
Above: Crosses over Salzburg.

After an OK evening at an Austrian Gasthof (decent meal but only one waitress for the whole restaurant) and a frustrating breakfast (we were kicked out of the area where you could get a hardboiled egg, orange juice, yogurt, etc, and told to stick with our bun/meat/cheese trays. Also, an old Austrian man came into our breakfast room, sat down, lit up a cigarette, and downed his morning beer), I decided I would probably go back to Mostwastl (a different Austrian Gastof) next time.

Before entering Salzburg, we headed for the salt mines that made Salzburg (literally “salt castle”) rich. On the way we stopped at The Real Austrian Superstore (that’s what it seemed like anyway) to buy cheaper-than-Dumons-but-still-really-good-European chocolate. Once again, Rens was shaking his head at how much stuff we bought. At the salt mines, the students enjoyed the different forms of transportation (underground rail, underground boat on underground lake, and long wooden slides), while the parents enjoyed the highly informative and entertaining film, which is shown in different clips as you go through the guided tour. I think Mr. Cook got a copy of it to take home and watch again.

Entering Salzburg, we got to see the impenetrable fortress on a bluff overlooking the city. We went up the funicular (an on-the-ground gondola) and toured the fortress, which is the largest intact medieval fortress in Europe. From the top of the fortress you can see why it protected the city so well – it gives you a 360 degree of the Salzach river valley where Salzburg is located.

After a giant pretzel each, a stop at the Sound of Music cemetery and Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich’s “Florence of the North” domed baroque cathedral, we split up near Mozart’s birthplace to have our LAST HOUR OF SHOPPING IN EUROPE! A couple kids are out of money , and I have lent a bit, but not too much. They seemed to budget well despite the amount of souvenirs falling off the overhead shelves of the bus onto people’s heads.

We reentered Germany, and will not be crossing anymore borders until we take the plane home on Sunday. The trip, alas, is almost over.


1 comment:

Kaveboy said...

that pretzel looks mighty fine.
See you all on monday.