After spending four nights in Prague we did an overnight in Cesky Krumlov. From there we drove to Salzburg. The drive was about two hours and forty five minutes. Again, an easy drive and TomTom took us on some beautiful backroads in the Czech Republic before crossing into Austria and heading on the highways.
We arrived at our B&B, Haus am Moos (review here),
about 2:30pm, and we were starving for lunch so we headed to Laschenskyhof (Josef-Hauthaler Strass 49) where we had a nice lunch outside. Just as we were leaving it began to sprinkle. The waitress said it should not last very long, but by the time we got back to the B&B it was pouring. We all decided to rest and wait until it stopped raining. By 7pm it was still raining, but we decided to head to the city center and explore a bit and find a place for dinner.
When we got there we are really surprised at how empty and quiet the town was. Probably due to the pouring rain, but still seemed like very few people. We stopped in at Trattoria da Pippo (Alter Markt 2) for a quick dinner. We had some good pizza.
SALZBURG – DAY ONE
Today we were doing Fraulein Maria’s Sound of Music Bicycle Tour (http://www.mariasbicycletours.com/) and my parents were doing Bob’s Sound of Music Bus Tour (http://www.bobstours.com/som_route.php). We met at 9:30am in front of Mirabelle Schloss (keep in mind they do not have a storefront nor a kiosk. Just look for the bikes locked up and a large wooden box with their logo). There was one other family on the bike tour with us who were from Chicago with their girls (ages five and eight). We each chose a cruiser bike (the five year old rode with her Dad on a tandem) and set out through the city. It was a lot of fun and a very easy bike ride and our guide was great. We saw several Sound of Music sites and just really enjoyed riding through the city as well as the countryside. The furthest point we rode to was out at the gazebo at Hellbrun, where we also took a thirty minute break before heading back. The entire trip was about nine miles. The only negative was that Stpehen kept having problems with his bike. First the chain came off, then when he switched bikes the pedal cameoff!! We would all have to stop while she fixed the bike. I would only recommend that they do a better job of maintaining and replacing their fleet of bicycles. Other than that it was a big hit, and we are looking forward to doing more city bike tours in the future.
My parents thoroughly enjoyed their Bob’s bus tour, which included many of our stops as well as going out to St. Gilgen and Wolfgansee.
For lunch we ate at Saran Essbar (Judengasse 10). We had a nice lunch, but nothing too special, although Stephen thought they had the best sauerkraut. By now it was about 3pm and we were pretty tired so headed back to rest and enjoyed relaxing outside at our B&B.
Tonight we were celebrating my parents’ 50th anniversary. We had a 7:30pm dinner reservation at St. Peter’s Stiftskeller (St. Peter Bezirk 1-4). We were seated in a beautiful outdoor area. We had a nice dinner, but boy did our waiter screw up our order!! Once he finally admitted he screwed it up instead of telling us that we were wrong, things finally got better. Then he was very nice and apologetic. At least it made the dinner memorable!!
SALZBURG – DAY TWO
Today we were headed to Eagle’s Nest. Our B&B was located outside of Salzburg in the direction of Berchtesgaden so it was an easy drive. You know how there is always a day in a trip where everyone has just sort of hit the wall and is a bit tired? – well this was our day!! Basically, by this time everyone was a bit tired of audioguides and reading displays so we actually never went into the Documentation Center. We headed straight for the bus up to the Eagle’s Nest. As soon as you got off the bus you had to book your return bus down so you had to decide really quickly how long you thought you would be up there. They suggested two hours. I do wish we had just hired one of the english tour guides that were standing to the side, as we stood and listened to one of them at one point while we were up there and it was quite interesting. The views from up there were spectacular – we got lucky as it was a beautiful clear day.
However, I just have to say that it was a bit of a disappointment as it was very crowded and what disturbed me the most is that the house itself is a full service restaurant (which I already knew) but outside on the terraces they just had all these food service places and souvenir stands (keep in mind this is not a large area) with tables and umbrellas with advertising on them. Personally, I thought it was a shame.
We headed back down the mountain and had a great lunch in Berchtesgaden, where everyone enjoyed their lunch but my Mom’s potato pancakes were particularly yummy. Sorry I do not have the name of this place. Afterwards, we walked around this cute but quiet little town.
We drove over to Konigsee, but there were so many people there and tons of tour buses and with that “wall we had hit” we decided to skip it and headed over to Salzburg to just shop and explore, as we really had not had a chance to do that yet.
For dinner we went to an Italian restaurant Il Sole as our guide on the bike tour said she thought they had the best apple streudel.
When we got there I really wanted to sit outside but there were no tables big enough for all six of us, so we headed inside – this turned out to be very lucky, as within twenty to thirty minutes it was pouring rain and lightning and thundering!! I really understood then why the kids ran into Maria’s room when it started to lightning and thunder in Sound of Music!!
SALZBURG DAY THREE
Our first stop today was at the Berchtesgaden salt mines. We decided to hit that one as the owner at the B&B said she heard it had the longest slides. We did not have to wait in line and got right in and enjoyed the tour very much. Out of a group of Forty to fifty people we were the only ones who spoke only English. Our tour guide would say things in German and then he would turn on a tape for us to listen in English. The only disappointment was he kept saying things that would make everyone laugh, but we never understood them, and our tape never had the jokes!! First we were all given miners suits to put on over our clothes. Next we went on the little miner’s train which went into the salt mines. At the end of the tour you can slide down the salt slides – very fun!
From there our plan was to go to the tobaggan run in Hallein but when we got there it was closed. So instead we decided to drive in a big circle and headed to Hallstat and then planned to stop at the toboggan outside of St. Gilgee. The whole time we were in Hallstat the sky was dark and looked like it was about to start pouring rain, but somehow we got lucky. We had a nice lunch there along the water and then took a stroll through the town.
They had some “interesting” art installations in the water along the walk way. Some modern art, which for us did not seem to go with the setting – I am guessing they might be a bit controversial in this small town.
From there we drove to the tobaggan run at St. Gilgee where everyone, particularly Michael enjoyed the rides. He really could have done this all day.
By the way, this was not the most efficient way to see things, Berchtesgaden-Hallstat – St. Gilgee, but we did not really mind and enjoyed the drive through the Salzkammergut.
For dinner we were too tired to head back into Salzburg so ate dinner at Laschenskyhof again, where they were showing the Euro Cup game on the big screen tv. I actually ordered their fried chicken, which was quite good!
Next up a stop in Oberammergau and a night in Fussen. Click here for details.