Saturday, September 30, 2017

Trick Fountains and the Sound of Music

We thought it would be just a small side trip - because we were passing anyway.

It does not matter where you


Or WALK...

If you are not VERY Observant - 
You WILL get Wet!

with its expansive grounds, is Famous for its Trick Fountains.  
Built 400 years ago the Fountains are still operational today and delight Visitors from across the Globe.

This is definitely somewhere to go on a Summer's Day.  
The Fountains are operated by a Tour Guide who demonstrates each Fountain 
while telling Stories of those who fell to The Archbishops Pranks.

(We felt that perhaps our Guide enjoyed his job just a little TOO much!)

We also (Quickly) Toured the Palace Museum
but did not have the time to linger and 'read up' on all of the exhibits...

Some were created

With a Liberal dose of Magic

and a Lot of Imagination

And What about the Sound of Music?

The Movie starring Julie Andrews 
was Set and filmed on location in Salzburg and the surrounding countryside. 
(Including the Unterberg from my last Post)

The Pavilion Scene where Liesl and Franz first meet (and Sing "I am 16 going on 17")
is in the Palace Park at Hellbrun and visited by over 300,000 Fans a year.

I certainly would have liked to see more of this Beautiful Estate.
Something to add to the "Maybe Someday" return trip?
There is SO much to see in and around this Beautiful City - 
we REALLY did need more time!


I do not know her name
I do not know her Story
I do not speak her Language

I do know she was out with her Grandson
and his young Family
I do know that she was very comfortable.

I wondered just how many times she had made the trip up the Mountain, in whose shadow I am sure she had lived.

Did she watch them build the Cable Car that was about to take us 1,320 meters up that mountain?

I was just slightly terrified
She - was ecstatic!

It was a beautiful Day 
and many people climbed aboard the Cable Car Gondola 
for the 10 minute ride up the side of Untersberg. 
(It was VERY cosy!)

We placed our Faith in these massive Cables
and their Anchor Points to get us safely to the top.

And when we got to the top
there was...


...of course there was, 

but tempting as it sounded we had another goal in sight.

As is the tradition with Mountains - 
there is often a Cross at the Summit.

We noticed a very elaborate Metal Cross just above the Cable Car Cabin - but this is not where I want to go.

Onward we went
beyond the Broad and Easy road 
to where the Path in places was almost nonexistent
Scrambling over rocks and broken steps

Past Memorials to those who had gone before
and Not returned.

Catching glimpses of Snow in the shaded mountain crevices
even after the Summer heat had passed.

Until we reached our Goal

and the words read
"In the Cross is Salvation"

When I finally rested at the foot of the Cross
 I thought of my Dad and how I would not be able to share this adventure with him. 
How he would smile as he would see the Parable 
in my Journey to the Cross.

Was it worth the Hike?

With Views like this...
You Bet!

Untersberg is the Northernmost Massif of the Limestone Berchtesgaden Alps 
which span the border between Austria and Germany. 
It is easily accessible by Bus from Salzburg.
Bus Fare and return Cable Car rides are included on the Salzburg Card.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Salzburg - Mozart's City

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Born in Salzburg in 1756, 
so needless to say there are many Museums, Concerts, Walks and Talks and Souvenirs to honour this Famous former resident.

But there are also many other things to enjoy in the City.

You can capture the Romance of a Bygone Era by taking a Horse and Carriage Ride through the Cobble stoned Streets. 

While Passing Mozart's Statue...

Enjoy the Atmosphere of the Street Markets in the Square...

And marvel at Modern Art installations that sit gracefully alongside Centuries old buildings.

Visit Museums totally dedicated to Christmas!

Oh - and the Shops - The Christmas Shops - 
so wonderful with delicate Ornaments.

And the Cathedrals - of course.

This one Does not have A Pipe Organ

It has FIVE !

One at the rear 
and one on each corner 

If you can see - it was being played when we were there
Not sure where the Timpani's would be used 
- maybe they were up there for safe keeping?

You can go shopping for a Steiff Bear 
But just not on Sundays 
Or you will be disappointed!

(- Oh well, put it on the list for a return trip one day! -)

And just to finish-

While we are still on the subject of Shopping
for Souvenirs

Most Tourists did not understand

But the Aussies thought it was Hilarious!

The Motifs read
"There are No Kangaroos in AUSTRIA"

(perhaps not - but our QANTAS card was readily accepted anywhere!)

Salzburg- The Fortress

Dominating the skyline above the City of Salzburg,
Hoensalzburg Fortress is one of the largest existing 11th Century Fortress Complexes in Europe.

Building began in 1077 and the Fortress that stands now was completed around 1500.

Access today is via a Funicular railway that was opened in 1892 in response to the increasing importance of Tourism.

It is the oldest of it's kind in Europe and capable of transporting 1800 passengers an hour.

Once inside we were able to wander through the complex - learning about the evolution of the Fortress over the centuries.

We found that the curators had a very good system where Visitors went through a turnstile that showed how many people were in a certain part of the Fortress at a time - crowd control at its best!

And on through one of the Best Ever Museum Displays I have come across!

How cool is this?
Reminds me of the old Hollywood Movies!

Another of the items on display (although through a locked door) is the Salzburg Stier.     (The Bull of Salzburg)

Installed in 1540 this is the Oldest Mechanical Pipe Organ still in Operation in the World.

With 138 Pipes, Windchest and Bellows it sent a characteristic F-Major Triad twice daily over the City of Salzburg to call the Peasants to work and announce the end of the Day.

It still plays at 7:05 am, 12:05 am and 6:05 pm each day.

Many Stairs later we emerged out on top of the Tower into Glorious Sunshine and the most Magnificent View!

The Distant Mountains calling to us to
"Come Explore More of Austria". . . .

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Next Stop - SALZBURG

By now we are getting quite familiar with the train system in France and Germany.  We have worked out where we need to stand on the platform to be at our Carriage door when the train pulls in.

And we have left our larger luggage containing last week's laundry in storage at our Hotel back in Strasbourg so we can travel light.

Just a short One and a Half hours from Munich took us to Salzburg. And an then an 11 minute ride careering through the streets in a Trolley-Bus to our Hotel.

This method of Public Transport is a cross between a Bus and a Tram. They are powered by overhead wires but have the flexibility of a Bus.
It took a bit of getting used to .

Once we were settled in our Hotel it was out on foot to find somewhere for a Coffee!

We stumbled across an Art Gallery that was not too far to walk which had a peaceful outside balcony.

Our order arrived with a "Pot of Tea for One" that would have easily served Six!

But the Cutest Curiosity we have seen to date was sitting on the tray....

It was a Tea Timer

That flowed from the Bottom to the Top!

We have since learned they are called "Paradox Timers" - and YES, we brought a couple home with us (safely tucked in our checked luggage).

One bit of information I discovered when researching for this trip was the fact that Tourists often forget about the Liquids restrictions for carry on luggage when they are buying souvenirs.  This little timer would not have caused a fuss - but a beautiful large handcrafted Snow Globe holds more than 100 ml of liquid and therefore are NOT allowed in your carry on!

Munich - Oktoberfest

Well - THAT was well timed!
And Truthfully - NOT Intended!!

In fact we didn't give Oktoberfest a thought until the Travel Agent couldn't get "reasonable" accommodation in Munich.

BUT - seeing we are here...


Entrance into Oktoberfest is Free

and, with the Venue a comfortable walk from our Hotel, we decided it would be a missed opportunity if we did not experience this part of Bavarian Culture.

We arrived early in the Morning so were able to have a good look around - before the Crowds arrived.  Having researched the "Dos and Don'ts before leaving I grabbed my Camera bag and not much else.
A quick check through Security and we were in!

We were - of course, expecting the Beer Halls.

One for each of the main Brewers in the Area
 and (to tease my D-BIL who did not know we were there) 
took 'selfies' outside each and every one!

We even ventured Inside and were a little surprised that the tables were starting to fill...

This Photograph was taken at 10:30 am and by the looks of things - these locals have been here for a while!

That being said, I think we saw only 3 or 4 who had "Over Indulged" 
(and we got the impression that they were Tourists).

Wandering into the Grounds we were delighted with the Carnival.

There were Stomach Churning Whirligigs, Gravity defying drops and Graceful Ferris-wheels.

And Gingerbread

So much Gingerbread!
Hearts of all sizes - it smelt divine.

Young and Old 

Everyone Dressed for the occasion.
Incredible, Beautiful National Costumes

I felt so totally under-dressed in my Jeans and Jacket

And then 
there were the Children.

*School Groups
Disabled Children in little Carts
big smiles all round.

When we THOUGHT we had seen everything..

We heard the unmistakable sound of Hooves on Pavement.

The Beer Wagons being pulled by teams of Six Identical Grey 
Saxon-Thuringian Draft Horses.

And they were Stunning!

At this point we left Oktoberfest and went to explore more of the City.

So you can imagine my surprise when DH suggested, as we had nothing better to do
"Let's Go back again - and see it at Night!"

What a different atmosphere!

The Clear night Sky was the perfect backdrop.

So with that we now say
Auf Wiedersehen 

*(note: When out and about I never take or post photographs 
that may identify a child without permission.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

MUNICH in 48 Hours

Back on the Bus!

What can I say -
We are doing Europe by Public Transport

This one is of course the best way to see a City without the Fuss

There are a few companies that offer Tourist busses around Munich, we chose the Grey Bus - which was actually Blue.

Tickets were €27.00 each for 48 hours of Hop On Hop Off convenience.

The first day we decided to just sit. Stay on the Bus and see where it takes us - and decide where we would like to get off Tomorrow.

* * * * *

We explored interesting Market Places that were 'Foot Traffic Only'

We stopped and admired Buildings that seemed to  be Centuries old . . .

The New Town Hall with it's Gothic facade and Glockenspiel
 was built in 1867 and the annexes finished in 1908!

Unfortunately, we didn't have time to explore the interior.
It is an incredible building and the Viewing platform inside the 85 meter high Clock Tower (accessible by elevator) gives a commanding view of the city and - on a clear day the Alps.

... and Futuristic Modern Architecture.

The BMW Headquarters and Museum building has a secondary feature in that you are welcome to use it as a Movie or Photographic Shoot location.

There are Staff to help you and even have Dressing Rooms and Secure lockers for your equipment.

We wandered through Parks and found Cascading water features to test my Camera out,

but without a tripod that 'dreamy silken water flow' shot was not to happen today.

Following the Map and a Path through the 'English Gardens' we came across.... Well - it would have been useful if the sign was at BOTH ends of the "Meadow".

Roughly translated (Gotta love Google Translate!) it says...
Lawn for Naked Bathers.
Naked Bathing is Permitted within the Meadow.
Do not disturb the rest of the Sunbathing, there are enough other meadows in the Park!
Look at this freedom as a Special expression of a liberal and tolerant society!

OK then we will leave them to their Frisbee game - Moving on....

The Second - Larger Loop of our Bus tour
took us to a more 'Genteel' era.

This is the Palace of Nymphenburg.

This Palace began construction in 1664 and like so many Castles, Fortresses and Grand Buildings, continued to be extended upgraded and embellished for the next 200 years. Until it was finally turned into the Museum/Function Centre it is today, whilst also being the home for the current Duke of Bavaria.

If the budget or time is tight and you don't want to pay to see the Museum...

It is Free to enter the Grounds - through the side Carriage entry.
A lovely and tranquil place to wander the Gardens and find somewhere for a Coffee and Strudel.
Before heading back to Town.

From the top of a Double Decker Bus - 
you can see things that are wonderful and then there are things that you 

The subtitles we could give this picture are priceless!
(Yes- That is a Pigeon waiting for the Lift)