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Trip Report We Won the Silver - Our 25th Anniversary Trip to Germany & Austria

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We Won the Silver - Our 25th Anniversary Trip to Germany & Austria

Who We Are: My wonderful husband, N - 52 years old, and me - 47 years old

Purpose of Trip: To Celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary

Our Itinerary: Freising, Germany - Hotel Bayerischer Hof, 1 night
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - Gastehaus Alpenkranz, 7 nights
Hall in Tirol, Austria - Gasthof Badl, 2 nights
Salzburg, Austria - Haus am Moos, 3 nights
Erding, Germany - Hotel Erdinger Weissbrau, 1 night

Flights: Raleigh/Durham - Washington Dulles on United
Washington Dulles - Munich on Lufthansa
Munich - Charlotte on Lufthansa
Charlotte - Raleigh/Durham on US Airways

Notes: We (mostly me) have been planning this trip for several months, finally purchasing airline tickets in April after waiting for them to go down in price (which they never did...). We have been to Europe several times, including Germany and Austria, as my husband's mother was German and lived in Switzerland as well for many years. We decided on this trip that we would definitely try to slow down more and just enjoy the moments along the way, reflecting back on our years together. We visited a couple of places we have been before, but mostly places that were new to us. We visited no family on this trip, it was purely a vacation just for the two of us. We are not foodies, we eat what we like when we want to. My husband LOVES wheat beer, so we were definitely in the right region for him to indulge his love of the golden brew. I am not a beer drinker, instead enjoying an occasional glass of wine.

So on Friday, August 30, 2013, we set off on our Silver Anniversary trip of a lifetime.

Friday, August 30
I'm off on Fridays anyway, so this day started with me cleaning the house before leaving (I know, I'm obsessed about that). My husband had to work until 11:30-12:00, but was soon home and we finished packing our bags. We had planned to carry on only to our flights, and carefully measured and weighed our bags to meet the strict Lufthansa requirements of only 8 kg. But our efforts would be in vain...more on that later. We arrived at RDU around 2:30 for our 4:41 flight to IAD. Flight on United was fine - very short flight maybe about 45 minutes. We had about 4 hours in IAD before departing, so we went and had sandwiches and grabbed some snacks for the flight.

The Lufthansa gate agent began going around the gate area and just looking at people's carry ons, telling most of us that we would have to check our bags. We did try to fit it into the carry on size test thing, but it wouldn't fit. I don't think anything would have fit in there. Anyway, we sent it to be checked and boarded the plane for our 10:00pm flight.

I don't sleep well on planes, and this flight was no exception. I'm always annoyed at the smaller people who can crumple themselves up and fall asleep, and then I'm annoyed at the larger people who can sleep sitting upright (!), and finally I'm annoyed at the 1st and Biz Class passengers who had to money or miles to have a comfortable flat bed and are able to sleep. I was annoyed.

We encountered some heavy turbulence for almost 1.5 hours, but this didn't even wake up the people mentioned above. Which annoyed me even more.

They served us dinner about 11:00 pm, which was just too late for me, so I declined. My husband did as well, as he was trying to get some sleep so he wouldn't have to see that I was annoyed. :-)

We arrived in Munich about 30 minutes early, so it was around 12:00 noon. We went down to pick up our bags, quick trip to the GeldAutomat for some Euros, and then out to the BusBahnhof to catch our bus to Freising. We decided on Freising to just have an evening after arriving to rest and have a nice dinner. We had stayed here before once before a flight out of Munich because of its close proximity to the airport. We had chosen the Hotel Bayerischer Hof this time. It was about a 10-15 minute walk from the Bus station to the hotel in the Aldstadt.

http://www.bayerischerhof-freising.de/hotel/

Great location right in the middle of town, and our room was ready early. The staff was very friendly and helpful, and gave us a recommendation for lunch. We showered and took off for the afternoon to try to stave off the jet lag. The Weiss Huber Bier Garten was our first stop.

It was a lovely afternoon - breezy and sunny, but lots of shady spots in the bier garten to enjoy our first meal in Germany. We found a shady spot right next to a beautiful wall of flowers. Lots of people here enjoying a lovely Saturday afternoon. N ordered his first HefeWeizen beer, and I had a glass of Rose'. Wilkommen to Deutschland! We each had a schnitzel with pommes frites and a fresh salad. Bill was around 28 Euros.
We walked around the Aldstadt, which was lovely. We made a quick stop at the market for our shampoo, body wash, wash cloths, etc. Stopped again later for a Franzsikaner HefeWeizen and a Cola Light. Walked some more and then I had a caramel and haselnuss gelato - yum. We saw alot of families out riding bikes and walking. Adorable little boy with his "eis" was walking by and kept looking at us saying "Eis, eis" and showing us his sweet treat. Back to the hotel to check email and crash for the evening. We feel asleep as the church bells rang throughout the town.

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    Looking forward to your trip report. It has been three years since we have been to Garmisch and we are going in Nov without a car like you. You were very close to the train station but we are not :)HefeWeizen, like a loaf of bread in a glass.

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    Day Two - Sunday, September 1

    We both awoke about 6:30 a.m. After a deep night's sleep, we were ready to begin our day with breakfast at the hotel. A wonderful spread, typical of breakfasts in Germany, was before us. The front desk receptionist called a taxi for us, and we were off to the Bahnhof to catch our train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, our home for the next 7 days. We had to change at the Munich Hauptbahnhof, and just made the connection. Whew!

    We arrive in GAP, bought an umbrella at the bahnhof (which was definitely needed that afternoon!) and then walked 5 minutes to our home for the week, the Gastehaus Alpenkranz.

    http://www.alpenkranz.net/de/

    This lovely gasthaus is run by Heidi Oberpriller, and she was a wonderful host. We chose this place because of its proximity to the train station, and we were not disappointed in our choice. It's actually on a nice residential street, very centrally located. She greeted us at the door and immediately showed us our room. She gave us the key to our room and also to the front door of the house. It had begun raining by then, so we grabbed our new umbrella and went out in the rain to discover our new surroundings. We had asked Heidi for a recommendation for lunch, and she gave us several different choices - one being a Greek restaurant, and then a couple of traditional Bavarian restaurants. We were in Bavaria, and it was Bavarian food we wanted! So off we went into historic Partenkirchen to find the famed Gasthof Fraundorfer on the ancient Ludwigstrasse.

    http://www.gasthof-fraundorfer.de/

    By this time it was pouring, but down we trudged to this warm, cozy restaurant. There were maybe only 6 other people in the restaurant, and they were all apparently locals who the staff knew well. My husband ordered jagerschnitzel mit pommes frites, and a Hefeweizen, this one being Paulaner. I ordered the jagerbraten mit semmel knodel and potatoes, but with a starter of delicious kartoffelsuppe. Oh and a mineral water and Fanta. Total bill = 34 Euro.

    By this time it had stopped raining, and people were again enjoying an arts and crafts festival set up on the street. We took pictures of the beautiful painted buildings along the way. We walked back to the Bahnhof to inquire about the visitors card for GAP, but were directed to the Tourist Office which is closed on Sunday. So we walked over to Garmisch and through the Michael Ende park, a beautiful park in the middle of the town. They have many events here, including outdoor concerts and festivals. It started raining again, so what a great idea to stop for a beer and coffee. We chose the Hotel Alpenhof and found a table under the outdoor area. One beer, two coffees, and a red currant cream kuchen later = 10, 10 Euro.

    We decided to get some snacks at the market at the train station for the room - beer, Fanta, water, pretzels, chocolate. As we're checking out, a young man dressed in traditional Bavarian lederhosen stumbles in. He asks the clerk where the beer is, and is directed to it. Then he starts saying he is in a hurry and is going to miss his train, that the clerk needs to check him out first. When we look at him, we can tell he is already totally sloshed. He kept insisting he was going to a party and he needed to go right away. The clerk said, no, these people are here first and it would not be right for me to take care of you first. The guy became louder and more obnoxious, but the clerk held his ground. He said, no it's my store, and I will do this the way I want. After some arguing, the clerk apologized to us but we said no problem. Conclusion: There are obnoxious drunken teenagers in every country.

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    Day 3, Monday, September 2

    Our 1st breakfast at the Alpenkranz, and it was very good. Heidi gave us the GAP visitors card we had inquired about, which gives you free bus service and discounts on many other sights/activities. So we took the bus to Garmisch and found the Tourist office, to get some additional information on the Zugspitze, which we planned to see on Tuesday.

    We enjoyed walking around Garmisch - it is a very pleasant town, and we found it very easy to navigate. As I did a little shopping at H &M, the husband found a nice cafe' next door and had a beer. When I was finished, I joined him and had a hot chocolate and we enjoyed people watching for awhile. More strolling, window shopping, and picture taking, and then we dropped off our bags at the room. We decided to try one of the restaurants Heidi had recommended for lunch in Partenkirchen, Trastavere Pizza.

    http://www.trastevere-gap.de/

    Great choice! For the hubs, Romana pizza (salami/mushrooms) and an Augustiner Hefeweizen. For me, the Casalinga (mushrooms/artichoke hearts), Fanta and a water. Total bill = 20 Euro.

    We walked back down the Ludwigstrasse to check out the time for the Gasthof Fraundorfer show that evening - live music and the schuhplattler dance. Ok - show starts at 7:00pm. We went back to the room around 2:30 and rested some. Then we were back to the Fraundorfer for dinner around 6:15. We were seated at a back table, and eventually two more couples joined us there, a British couple and a German couple.

    For dinner, the husband again had jagerschnitzel (it's his fave) and a Paulaner hefeweizen. For me, the zweibelrostbraten mit bratkartoffeln. This portion was huge!! There was no way I could finish it, but it was delicious. The music started about 7:00 pm - a young man and woman playing, singing and yodeling. Then the schuhplattler dance started at 8:00 - a young man and a little boy - and they were great. By this time the restaurant was packed, and everyone really enjoyed the show. At one time, an entire table of older Bavarian men dressed in their full attire broke out in song and entertained the crowd. It was great. Total bill = 39,90 Euro.

    We walked home, along the way stopping for a himbeer (raspberry) eis. (These are a deal at 1 Euro) We finished our evening by watching US Open tennis in our room. We had a great second day in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

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    Day 4, Tuesday, September 3 - Our Silver Anniversary!

    Can it really be 25 years we have been married?? We can't possibly be that old already!! :) We awoke to another gorgeous day, and thanked God for all we had and the years we have been together. We enjoyed our breakfast again at the Alpenkranz. The resident house cat, Felix, stopped by to say hello. Apparently he runs the place. We asked Heidi about where we could take some laundry to be washed, and she said no problem, she would wash it for us for free! So we left a small load with her and went off to spend some time at the top of Germany, the Zugspitze. We felt it was an appropriate place to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

    There is a separate train, appropriately named the Zugspitzebahn, which takes people up to the mountain. After purchasing our tickets (50 Euro each), we began our ascent. Beautiful scenery on the way up. It was an absolutely gorgeous clear day. It took about 1 hour to get there. We got to the Zugspitze platte where we took lots of photos. Then we took the cable car up to the summit. The car was packed tight but we could still see the amazing views on the way up. When we arrived at the top, we were awed by the natural beauty around us. There were lots of tourists, but it was still manageable. Several adventurous souls with appropriate hiking gear made their way up to the actual summit where the cross is, while we watched safely from the side.

    We walked over to the Austrian side of the summit, where they have a nice self-serve restaurant with amazing views. We purchased 2 bratwursts with pommes frites, beer, coffee, and water for 25 Euro. Then it was to the gift shop where we purchased a few souvenirs - a cap for my dad (we always buy him a cap wherever we travel, he has quite a collection!), and a pin for my husband's Bavarian wool hat.

    We went down to check on the descent time for the train, and there we saw an older woman on a stretcher with her daughter and son-in-law (I think) beside her. My husband speaks German, so from what he overheard, the woman was having some tightness in her chest. The daughter told the paramedic that she hadn't been feeling well for a couple of days before. Note here: If that was the case, why would you go up to the Zugspitze?? Anyway, a rescue helicopter landed to airlift her off the mountain.

    The train finally arrived and it seemed like a longer trip down the mountain. We changed trains at Grainau, and then on to G-P. Back to the room, we showered and then went out again around 4:00pm to Garmisch for some shopping and dinner. We both purchased a watch as our anniversary gifts to each other. We decided on Gasthof Drei Mohren for dinner, a nice hotel/restaurant in town with lots of outdoor seating.

    http://www.dreimohren.de/index.html

    I had the kasespaetzle, a gemischter salat, and Riesling, while my husband had the Wiener schnitzel, pommes frites, and salat with a Paulaner hefeweizen. Lovely dinner on a beautiful evening for 31 Euro total.

    A nice stroll back through town although our legs were so sore from our day at the mountain and all the walking so far. But hopefully it was burning off all the calories we were eating and drinking!

    We reflected again on our anniversary and how fortunate we were to be together and in such a lovely part of the world.

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    Wonderful report. We haven't been back to Garmisch in many years. I have a lovely nutcracker I bought there.

    Looking forward to hearing about Hall in Tirol at the Gasthof Badl as we stayed there a few years ago. Also, we have been to Salzburg many times but usually stay in St. Gilgen and drive in.

    Sounds like a lovely trip for an anniversary!

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    Day 5, Wednesday, September 4th

    Today was our trip to Neuschwanstein. We had been here once before, but had only toured the Hohenschwangau castle, not Neuschwanstein. We booked the tour several months ago online. Our tour was scheduled for 12:25, which means you have to pick up your ticket at 11:25 at the ticket center. The bus from G-P didn't leave until 9:40, and wouldn't arrive in time for us to get our tickets. So on to plan B. We could take the train at 8:09 to Reutte, Austria, then a bus to Fuessen, then catch the bus from there to Schwangau.

    So we grabbed a berliner and an apple pastry at the train station and were off. Train fare to Reutte was 18,80 Euro. It took about an hour, but it was a pleasant journey. The bus was fine, it stopped at alot of tiny little towns along the way, but we arrived about 10:00 in Fuessen, and we had about an hour before the next bus up to the castles. So we walked into town and stopped at a cafe' for coffee and a slice of Schwarzwalder kirschtorte.

    It was another clear beautiful day, and there were lots of tourists with the same idea as us. We picked up our tickets, and took the crowded bus up to the Marianbrucke. Last time we were here, my husband was sorely disappointed that the whole side of Neuschwanstein was covered in scaffolding when he got out on the bridge. So he was determined to get "his perfect shot" of the castle this time. He, along with about 100 other tourists, made their way across the bridge to get the perfect view. I waited patiently on solid ground. :-)

    Then we began the long walk up to the castle. This is still a hike, so be prepared. We had to wait a few minutes for our tour, but once inside, it was very interesting. I know alot of people say it's not worth touring the inside, since it's mostly unfinished, but we really enjoyed it. The more I learn about King Ludwig, I like him. I really don't think he was that crazy, hey, look how all of his castles and palaces obviously now generate a whole lot of money. Was he eccentric and bizarre? Yes, but he sure knew how to pick some lovely spots for some of the most beautiful castles and palaces I have ever seen.

    We took the bus back down to Schwangau for lunch at the Alpenstube. I had the margarita pizza and a salad with a Fanta, and N had jagerschnitzel with spaetzle and a hefeweizen, total 33 Euro. Onto the bus back to Fuessen. We strolled a little and then stopped for a Konig Ludwig Hefeweizen for N and a chocolate eis for me. Back on the bus back to the Reutte Bahnhof. The driver on this bus was on a mission apparently, to get us back in record time. He drove so fast and took the curves at amazing speeds that all of us were holding on for dear life. When cyclists or cars pulled out in front of us, we closed our eyes, afraid they were about to be struck! Seriously, everyone on the bus was amazed at how crazy this guy was driving. When the bus stopped, I think all of us almost kissed the ground in relief!

    We finally made it back on the train from Reutte to GAP, around 6:00pm. We grabbed some snacks at the Bahnhof and made the short walk back to our room. I read some of my book, N downloaded photos and emailed some friends, and we watched tennis again that night. A full day but very enjoyable.

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    Day 6, Thursday, September 5

    We didn't really have alot planned for this day, and that was fine. After all, we wanted to savor our moments without trying to cram too much in. After breakfast at the guesthouse, we walked to Garmisch and strolled around. The weather this week had been absolutely gorgeous, highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. We stopped after a couple of hours for a coffee and croissant. Then we decided to take the bus over to Partenkirchen, and go to the Werdenfels Museum. With the visitors card, it is only 2 Euro.

    http://www.werdenfels-museum.de/

    This was actually very interesting, and quite large. Part of the charm as you're exploring the museum is walking on the creaky original wooden floors, imagining what it was like in the building centuries ago.

    It was lunchtime now, so we stopped at the Gasthof zum Rassen and enjoyed our meal at an outside table while the bells rang for midday. I had a red fish with potato and cucumber salad with a Fanta, and N had wienerschnitzel with potato and cucumber salad and a hefeweizen.

    http://www.gasthof-rassen.de/

    We strolled along the Ludwigstrasse some more, and then popped inside a fruit and veggie market for an apple. It was market day in town, and there were all kinds of stands set up with lots of local products - kase (cheese), meats and fish, honey and jams.

    We found a small souvenir shop on the way back, and I bought a lovely little porcelain music box that played Mozart for my mom. Back at the room, we rested and checked email.

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    Our favorite place to eat was Ludwigs on Ludwigstrasse but it is now a Greek place. Gasthof Fraundorfer is fun. We were seated with the nicest couple from Hamburg but my husband bought him a shot and he bought my husband a shot and it went that way for a long time. He had a huge hangover for two days. But it was a fun night. I love that others sit with you. Zugspitze was nice for your anniversary. We want to see the platform on the Alspitze. Not sure if I will walk out there but want to see it.

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    Day 7, Friday, September 6

    Today was our day to visit another of King Ludwig's creations, Linderhof Palace. So after our usual breakfast, we took the bus to Oberammergau, then changed buses to Linderhof. There were lots of tourists here as well. Another long walk uphill to the Schloss. We had a tour time set, but we had time to wait so we enjoyed walking around the gardens and fountains and took lots of photos here.

    Our English tour began at 12:05. If we thought Neuschwanstein was extravagant, we were awed by Linderhof. Gorgeous interiors, so over the top. Ludwig was apparently obsessed with the French and the past more than he was the present, so he patterned most of his decor and design after them. The tour guide also mentioned that he slept all day and was up all night, mainly to avoid being around people.

    The tour took about 30 minutes, and then we walked up to the grotto, but didn't go in. We walked back down the long trail through the forest and the grounds - so peaceful and serene. We had to wait about 45 minutes for the next bus down to Ettal Klostergasthof, then changed to the bus back to GAP.

    We showered and then went back out for dinner around 7:00 pm to Trastevere again in Partenkirchen. We really liked this restaurant. We sat outside this time, it was another beautiful evening. We each ordered half of the Dolce Vita pizza (salami/ham/artichokes). Beer and Fanta - total 14 Euro.

    Another stroll down historic Ludwigstrasse, and another eis - haselnuss for N and erdbeer for me. Back to the room, and we sat out on our balcony enjoying a glass of Riesling and a beer. There was a lightning storm taking place on top of the Zugspitze, so we enjoyed the show and talked about how fortunate we were to be here together.

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    Day 8, Saturday, September 7

    This day started again with breakfast, but this time we actually went to a restaurant in town for scrambled eggs, ham, speck and brotchen with jam.

    We decided to go to the Olympic Ski Stadium today. Apparently so did alot of other people. We walked around some inside and took photos of the massive ski jump, where they still hold events today. We had decided we would try the sommerodelbahn, or luge, for 2,50 Euro each. Once you get in, a cable pulls you up to the top, and then it's down around the curves for a fun ride.

    http://www.sommerrodelbahn-rodelbahn.de/sommerrodelbahn-garmisch.htm

    Next we decided to take the Eckbauer Bahn (a very small gondola for 2) up to the mountain. It took about 15-20 minutes, and was great. It was so quiet and peaceful riding up, and the views are quite nice.

    http://www.eckbauerbahn.de/

    As we hadn't planned on this much of a hike this day, and I wasn't wearing appropriate hiking shoes, we only walked from the station over to the first gastehaus. There were lots of other hikers along the way, out enjoying the gorgeous day, with their walking sticks and gear. We had a beer and a Sprite on the terasse, and enjoyed the beautiful views from there. Then it was back down the mountain on the gondola, floating above the forest and taking it all in.

    We took the bus back to our room, then went back out to Garmisch. We stopped at an ATM to get some cash out to pay for our room, as Heidi only accepts cash payments. Then it was time for another eis, melone for me and Snickers for N.
    We walked around some more, and came upon the square where there was an accordion player entertaining the crowds with traditional Bavarian music. This guy really played to the crowds, and was eager to have his picture or a video taken.

    We settled on a biergarten (didn't catch the name of this one) on a nice side street. N had a frankfurter with pommes frites; while I chose kartoffelpuffer and applesauce. Beer, Fanta = 18,70 Euro. We made a quick stop in the Muller store for some Evian, soap and chocolate. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll back through the residential area the back way to our room. There are lots of ferienwohnung (vacation apartments) here for rent.

    We rested, read some, watched TV and packed for tomorrow. Another nice evening on the balcony with some Riesling and beer. We really loved Garmisch-Partenkirchen, we had a lovely time here with lots of memories to take home with us. Tomorrow we leave for Hall in Tirol!

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    Day 8, Sunday, September 8

    We have been to Austria before, Salzburg and Hallstatt, but never to the Tirol region. All of the pictures I had ever seen of it looked so beautiful that we decided we would make a dip into Austria from GAP. And I had read here on Fodor's some accounts of the small town of Hall (thanks Paul!) so we decided to go see what it was all about.

    After our last breakfast with Heidi at the Alpenkranz, we paid our bill and then it was off to the train station. For some reason, the ticket machine wouldn't let us purchase the ticket all the way to Hall, so we bought our tickets to Innsbruck, where we would take the bus to Hall. The train connects in Mittenwald for only 1 minute (!), and although I knew it was a small station, I was still concerned about making the connection. But, if we missed it, no worries, we would just take the next one.

    So what do you know? Our train is 10 minutes late arriving in GAP, so we're already planning that we'll just take the next train from Mittenwald. It took about 15-20 minutes to arrive in Mittenwald, and amazingly, the train to Innsbruck was waiting for us on the next track over. So everyone runs and boards the train, and it was quite crowded. The trip takes about an hour or so, and then we go outside to try and find the right bus to Hall in Tirol. We happen to ask a taxi driver how much the ride would cost, and when he said 25 Euro, we definitely try to find the right bus! So along it came and we boarded. Unfortunately, I hadn't written down which bus stop I needed for the Gasthof Badl, our home for the next 2 nights. So we eventually see a sign for the hotel, and we jumped out at that stop. Uh-oh, this must not be it. So we stopped at a gas station to ask for directions from the clerk. A long walk of 20 minutes later, and we finally spot it.

    http://www.badl.at/en/index/

    This was also a recommendation of Fodorite Paul (thank you!) and we were very happy with our choice. Even with the long walk (which was really our fault for not getting better directions), we were glad we picked this place. The desk clerk was very helpful in getting us checked in and a map of the town. So after a refreshing shower, we cross the old wooden bridge over the Inn River just in front of the Badl and head into Hall.

    We found outdoor seating at a restaurant in town (didn't write the name down!) and settle in for lunch. N had pizza and beer, while I chose tagliatelle con spinaci and a Fanta. I don't know how many people they thought were going to eat this pasta, but it was definitely way too much for one!

    So more walking and exploring of the town to work off more calories. Since it was a Sunday, there were lots of people out enjoying the nice weather. We really were impressed with how charming a town Hall was. N took loads of pictures of the Mint Tower and all the other old buildings. The town is really a beautiful place with the mountains in the background. We wandered up and down the old cobblestone streets in the Aldstadt, stopping to look at the old iron and wooden doors that were along the way. We stopped for drinks at the Rathaus cafe' in the square.

    Back to the Badl for awhile. We had requested one load of laundry be done for 9,50 Euro. Within one hour it was back to our room fresh and neatly folded! We were impressed with the quick service.

    We went back out around 7:00pm for an evening stroll through town. Of course we had to have dessert, so an eis was in order. I never eat this much ice cream at home, but hey, we're on vacation, so why not? N really enjoyed taking more photos in the evening light as the sun was setting. It changes completely the look of the same places you have seen during the daylight. Back to the Badl, we watched a little TV and then fell off to sleep, dreaming of another day in Tirol.

    Day 9, Monday, September 9th

    Today started with another delicious breakfast, this time an Austrian one at the Badl. We really must take a minute to rave about the staff here, especially Sonja the owner. She was so helpful and friendly to us. When we inquired about train tickets to Salzburg, she immediately went online for us and helped us purchase them from the front desk. We mentioned to her that we had seen the award they had just received from Trip Advisor, and she was so happy that the word was getting out online about them. We can wholeheartedly recommend the Gasthof Badl if you are going to be in the Hall in Tirol area.
    Even the dogs and cats were customer friendly. :)

    A light rain was falling, so we took our umbrella and made our way back over to the Aldstadt. The history of Hall is just so interesting, and we really enjoyed seeing everything there. For lunch we decided on the Goldener Hirsch. Two pizzas, a hefeweizen, and a Cola light = 21 Euro.

    By this point in the trip, our carry on only intentions had gone out the window. Well, we usually carry on only on the way over, and then end up checking our bags coming home. So we decided we would buy a small bag to check coming home, and N could just carry on his laptop bag. We found an inexpensive small suitcase in town that would fit the bill.

    Lots more strolling and just exploring the town. An erdbeer (strawberry) eis along the way. We stopped at Billa for some snacks and beer. Oh, and N discovered an Austrian hefeweizen he really liked, Zillertaller. By now the rain had stopped, and it was much cooler. Back to the room for some US Open tennis on TV and some reading.

    Then we went downstairs to the Gasthof Badl restaurant for dinner. Actually N wasn't that hungry, so he had a beer and watched me eat a small portion of sauerbraten and drink a glass of Welsh Riesling. Very nice atmosphere and a good restaurant.

    Back upstairs for the evening and packing up again. Tomorrow we leave for one of our favorite cities in the world, Salzburg! "Insert Mozart Music here" :)

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    Hi nicksgirl,

    Thanks for taking the time to write your trip report. You do have a knack for interesting writing. Glad you enjoyed your trip and especially happy to hear you liked your stay in Hall at the Badl. Sonja and the staff aresimply wonderful. I didn't realize they offered laundry service, which is good to know, as we're heading back there later this year for our 5th stay. I look forward to reading about Salzburg!

    Paul

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    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Paul - the decision to stay in Hall was largely based on your experiences there, and also the choice of Gasthof Badl. I'm sure it would have been easier to find if we had a car, but it really wasn't that bad. The peaceful location of it by the river and the great service there more than made up for any extra walking. :)

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    Hi nicksgirl88,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your report! I'm so glad you had a good time here in my adopted home town of Garmisch, and you did have some great weather for your stay! I think it's been raining ever since you left!

    I particularly enjoyed reading about your trips by bus and train around Bavaria -- I love them and am constantly urging folks to travel that way. It's lovely for other travelers to see how easy and fun it is, so thank you so much for writing your report in such detail!

    I hope you come back some time soon -- when you do, I hope you have time to see Mittenwald, which I'm sure you'll love, and maybe you can take the cable car down from the Zugspitze platz instead of the train -- lovely views over the Eibsee.

    Thanks again for your report!

    s

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    Thanks S!

    I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your assistance before in trying to choose a gastehaus in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We were really happy with the Alpenkranz. And yes, we also really enjoy travelling by bus and train.

    Actually, we have been to Mittenwald before a few years ago. It was cute, but I think if we had to choose, we really like GAP better. There is just more to do there and more centrally located for public transportation.

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    Day 10, Tuesday, September 11

    After a nice breakfast at the Badl, we packed up for our next journey. Sonja called a taxi for us, and within just a few minutes we were at the Bahnhof in Hall. This trip would take us first to Jenbach, where we would change for the remainder of the trip to Salzburg. It took about 2 hours, but we really enjoy travelling by train, so it wasn't bad at all.

    It was about 11:30am when we reached Salzburg. We were here about 3 years ago for a few days, and we both just love the city. It's easily walkable, and it sits beautifully by the river. We purchased two 72 hour Salzburg cards for our time here. This is really a great deal, since it allows for free bus and funicular rides, free entrance to many museums, and discounts on countless other sights.

    From the bus station we took the bus to Hanuschplatz, where we changed and then took Bus 21 to our favorite spot in Salzburg, the Haus am Moos.

    http://www.ammoos.at/en-home.htm

    We stayed here with the Strassers 3 years ago, and they are absolutely wonderful hosts. Walter was there to meet us, and helped us with our luggage up to our spotless and beautiful room. He is always so helpful and kind, and we were happy to see him again.

    It was off to the city, walking over just a few hundred yards to the convenient bus stop near the Moos. We flashed our Salzburg card at the bus driver and got on our way. We were hungry again, so we went in search of some Austrian food. We found the Zum Mohren.

    http://www.restaurant-zummohren.at/en/

    At first, when we saw the sign at the entrance that said "Indian, Italian and Austrian food" we weren't sure this was the place for us...I mean, usually a good restaurant tends to specialize in one type of food, right? But we decided to give it a shot. Actually we both really thought the wienerschnitzel was very good! And the place was packed, so obviously others thought so as well.

    After lunch, we walked around the Aldstadt, then over to the Mirabellgarten. Even though we had been here before, the gardens are just so stunning that we had to visit again. And being the Sound of Music fan that I am, I just love coming back here and imagining that I'm Julie Andrews singing "Do Re Mi" as I ascend those steps. :)

    We walked along the Getreidegasse some more along with 1500 of our closest friends. Even though it's crowded here, we still enjoy this area of the city. In and out of some side streets, and over to the square for some more Austrian ambiance.

    A quick stop at the Billa supermarket for some beer and some snacks, and also a bag of Tchibo coffee beans to take home. I love the coffee in Germany and Austria, so it was a nice souvenir for me. By this time it is starting to rain, so we take the bus back to the Am Moos for an evening of some rest and relaxation.

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    Day 11, Wednesday, September 11

    We were up early this day, and went downstairs for our yummy Austrian breakfast with Walter. He and his wife, Gudrun, are always there to chat with their guests and offer suggestions if requested. The breakfast spread is large, and quite delicious. Their adorable dog, Nino, is also there to greet us. They have even printed postcards with Nino on them, he is so popular with their guests!

    About 8:30 we are off to town. We decided to tour the Residenz Gallery, which is free with the Salzburg card. Wow - this is a great museum. We really enjoyed it. N was busy snapping photos, as this is one museum you are allowed to take pictures in. I used the audio guide for each room.

    http://www.residenzgalerie.at/

    After a couple of hours in the museum, we stopped for a coffee and himbeer kuchen for me, and hefeweizen beer for N. As we had nabbed a table outside at one of the many cafes in the square, we were in a great location for some prime people watching. Lots of people strolling by, some in a hurry and some just stopping and absorbing their surroundings. Then occasionally the horse carriages clip-clopping by with their passengers pointing and smiling as they enjoyed their ride.
    There were also several musicians in the square, which people would stop to enjoy. We made our way up to the Hohensalzburg Castle on the Festungbahn, which is also free one time with the Salzburg card. We walked around some there, and also went inside the Marionette Museum.

    http://www.salzburg.info/en/sights/museums/marionette_museum

    This was very small but informative. We had our pictures taken at one of the silly cutouts they had standing in there.
    We strolled around some more, and then it was lunch time again. (Why does it always seem to be time to eat??) I didn't write down the name of the restaurant, but it is right on the way down from the fortress and has seating in the back. We each ordered bratwurst, but N had his with pommes frites and beer, and I had sauerkraut and potatoes and Fanta with mine. Total bill = 21 Euro.

    Then it was off to the Salzburg Museum, also free with the Salzburg card. This was a more modern museum, and we didn't enjoy it as much as the Residenz.

    http://www.salzburgmuseum.at/neueresidenz.html

    More walking through the city, and as it was market day, there were lots of people out shopping. We took the bus back to the Moos around 3:30, because we would be going out later for something I was really looking forward to, a classical concert at the Hohensalzburg Fortress.

    http://www.salzburghighlights.at/en/CONCERTS/Fortress%20Concerts

    We had purchased our tickets through http://www.classictic.com/en/, so about 6:00pm we left for town again. We walked up to the Fortress and took the funicular up to the top. We found the Golden Hall where the concert would be, but it was way too early so we spent some time in the Fortress museum.

    Finally around 7:30, they admitted us and the other concert goers who had gathered to enter the Golden Hall. It was so beautiful in here, and the acoustics were wonderful. The lighting was subtle and golden, just as the name of the room indicated. There were maybe about 40 people in attendance. We enjoyed an amazing performance by the Mozart Salzburg Ensemble. I'm not an expert, but both N and I really thought this was a fantastic way to spend the evening in Salzburg. It lasted about 1.5 hours, so it was about 9:30 when we left.

    As we walked back through the squares and streets of the Aldstadt, it is really amazing how much different it is at night. So quiet and peaceful, and very few people - such a contrast to the crazy buzz that takes place during the day. The bus stop however, was less than comfortable, as it seems this attracts the stranger people in the evenings. Only a few minutes wait there, and we boarded our Bus No. 21 back down the Moosstrasse to our cozy room for the evening. Strains of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik were still playing in our heads...

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    It seems I have some of my dates off - sorry! Day 9 should have been Sunday, September 8, Day 10 should be Monday, September 9, Day 11 should have been Tuesday, September 10 and Day 12 was Wednesday, September 11. Sorry for the confusion - hopefully at least the trip report itself is making sense.

    We should be up to Day 13, which was actually Thursday, September 12.

    Day 13, Thursday, September 12

    Another morning began with a delicious breakfast at the Moos. Enjoying it along with us were some nice folks from Australia, two couples travelling together. They were in the midst of a three month vacation! Wow – I cannot imagine that.

    We set off with a cool drizzle falling as we made our way to the bus stop. When we arrived in town, we headed straight for the Cafe’ Tomaselli.

    www.tomaselli.at

    It wasn’t crowded yet, and we secured a nice table next to the window. It was nice to be in out of the weather, which had definitely taken a cold turn. We each ordered a coffee, and I gazed longingly at the spectacular array of cakes and pastries in the display case directly behind N’s head. I think he thought I was gazing at him, reminiscing about our years together, but it was actually the pastries.

    This was probably the best cup of coffee we had on our trip! It was delicious, and yes, slightly more expensive. But after all, Mozart drank coffee here. This café has been around since 1705, and it really is quite lovely.

    We headed back down the Getreidegasse and did some window shopping. We looked for one of those cheesy places to get our photos taken in traditional Austrian dress, but all we could find was a place that you could dress up like the Old West in America. Sorry, but that just didn’t seem to fit in with Salzburg!

    We decided we would go tour the Stiegl Brau Welt as it was raining again and quite chilly.

    http://www.stiegl.at/en/stieglat/

    So we hopped a bus to the right stop, and after a short walk through a residential area, we arrived at the brewery. Entrance here is also free with the Salzburg card. You are given a ticket which has coupons at the bottom for free samples after the tour. We did the self tour, although we did pass a group that was having a German tour. After we finished walking around and exploring the history of beer (N enjoyed this more than me!), we made our way to the restaurant for the free beers. Well, N had his free samples – and actually they give each person 3 good size mugs of beer. Of course, while you are in the restaurant, you naturally want something to eat with your beer, so we ordered lunch. We both had burgers and fries. Back through the gift shop, and they give you a free gift, a bottle opener and a small Stiegl beer glass.

    By this time it seemed like the temperature had dropped even more, so we took the bus back to town and I went in H & M to look for a coat. One wool pea coat and scarf later – ahh, much warmer now. There were actually a lot of people in there just buying sweaters and coats since the weather had suddenly changed.

    We caught Bus 21 back to the Moos for a nap for me and some work on the laptop for N. We had set up Skype on our laptop and so later that afternoon we were able to Skype with my parents back home.

    About 5:30 in the evening, we decided we would walk up the Moosstrasse to a restaurant our host, Walter, had recommended the last time we were there – and we had enjoyed – Reiterhof Moos.

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g190441-d1830218-Reviews-Reiterhof_Moos-Salzburg_Austrian_Alps.html#REVIEWS

    N chose the Salzburger schnitzel, which included speck, onions and mushrooms; and potatoes on the side, along with 2 hefeweizen. I ordered the special that night, which was zucchini cordon bleu, with potatoes and a gemischter salat. A Fanta and a glass of Welsh Riesling for me = 36 Euro. It was an absolutely wonderful meal. If you have the opportunity to visit the Reiterhof, you will not be disappointed. The food is excellent and the ambience is great.

    We walked back down the Moosstrasse after another great day in Salzburg.

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    Day 14, Friday, September 13

    Today we had to leave Salzburg. {Insert frown here} We lingered over our breakfast with the Strassers, and then went back upstairs to make sure everything was packed and ready to go. We settled our bill (have I mentioned what a great value this place is??) and said goodbye to Walter.

    We caught Bus 21 back into town, and then changed to Bus 1 which would take us to the Bahnhof. We bought a Bavaria ticket for 28 Euro for our journey to Erding. This would involve one change in Munchen Ost, then the S-Bahn to Erding. No problems and we were there soon enough.

    Ok, maybe one problem. It was pouring rain when we arrived, and we determined that our hotel was further than we originally thought from the train station. This is like déjà vu in Hall in Tirol! Our little umbrella which had served us so well up to this point, just couldn’t take anymore and it went kaput. So we trudged along and made it to our last hotel for our trip.

    http://www.hotel-erdinger-weissbraeu.de/cms/en/home.php

    Hmm…now do you suppose my wheat beer loving husband was happy about staying here?? Absolutely! We checked in, dropped our bags, and immediately went downstairs to the hotel restaurant as it was now lunchtime and yes, we were hungry again. It was a cozy little restaurant with lots of locals enjoying their noontime meal.

    N ordered the Tellerfleisch with horseradish, potatoes and carrots and of course an Erdinger Weissbier; while I chose the roast beef with a kartoffel knodel and a semmel knodel, and red cabbage with a Fanta to drink. Both of us were happy with our meals. Since it was my last day of vacation, I had to order an apple strudel with cream. A nice strong cup of coffee rounded it out. Total price = 38 Euro.

    We borrowed the hotel umbrella and went out in the rain for a stroll around part of Erding. What we saw we really liked. Although we only chose this area for its proximity to the airport, it looks like a nice little town. We stopped in a Muller for some souvenir chocolates, and then at a local bakery for some pretzels and a Berliner.

    When we had arrived at the hotel, they gave us a coupon for a complimentary drink in the bar after 5:30pm. So we went down and sat ourselves down. N had an Erdinger Urweisse, and I had a glass of Riesling – then of course we purchased another drink – I think this is their ploy! N had another Urweisse, and I had a Bacardi Orange.

    We went back to our room to pack up for one last time. From our large window that looked out on the street, we sat and people watched for awhile. It was hard to believe, but our wonderful two weeks in Germany and Austria were almost over.

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    Day 15, Saturday, September 14

    I woke up before N on this morning, because I never sleep well the night before a trip. So after a quick try to wake myself up shower, I woke him up and he showered and got dressed as well. We went down to the breakfast room, because I couldn’t remember if breakfast was included in our stay or not…and unfortunately it was not. But I have to say this is a very nice hotel, and I would stay here again in a heartbeat. Great location and service, and the room was probably the biggest one of our trip – especially the shower, it was huge.

    No problem about breakfast, we’ll just grab something at the airport. The front desk had arranged a shuttle for us the night before, and the driver arrived on time. It took about 10 minutes to get to the airport. We checked in at the Lufthansa counter, dropped 2 bags off, and made our way over to Dallmayr for a coffee and croissant.

    We went over to the gate area and made ourselves comfortable. It just so happened that a good friend of ours was to be on our flight home, so we looked for her to arrive. She had spent the previous 2 weeks with her sister, visiting their father who lives there. So when she arrived, we all hugged and chatted about our adventures until it was time to board.

    It was a long flight back to Charlotte, around 9.5 hours. In Charlotte we had about 2 hours layover, so we grabbed a bite to eat and then talked with our friend some more.

    Now it was time to board for our last leg home to Raleigh. This flight – runway to runway – takes only 28 minutes. It took longer to board the plane than to actually fly from Raleigh to Charlotte. It was around 7:00pm when we touched town in Raleigh. My parents were there to pick us up; we grabbed our bags and arrived in our driveway around 8:00pm.

    Final thoughts:

    1. September is a really nice time of year to visit Germany & Austria. Of course, I would go at any time of year if given the opportunity!

    2. Take time to slow down and just have a coffee and people watch.

    3. We used public transportation the entire time. While this is not for everyone, we enjoyed it and the scenery along the way.

    4. Be sure to go in the grocery stores and pharmacies. I like seeing the different products and buying a few to bring home.

    5. It’s a good idea to bring your own washcloths or buy a few when you get there – they are generally not provided at hotels or bed & breakfasts.

    6. Skype is a great way to keep in touch with your family while you’re away (if you want to!) and it’s FREE.

    7. Take lots of photos – these are your memories for years to come. (Speaking of photos, I will try and get some posted soon.)

    So, we did thoroughly enjoy our Silver anniversary trip. Now...where will we go on our Golden?? :)

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    I am enjoying your report so much. Thanks for including the specifics about hotels and meals, and especially the links to the hotels and restaurants. I love your detail! Have you posted photos online to which others could link? I would enjoy seeing the places you visited. I look forward to reading "the end of the story."

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    Great trip report. I really liked the links to the places where you stayed, and that you included prices for meals, etc.. Congratulations on your 25th!
    Thanks for sharing.

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    Really enjoyed your report--thank you for sharing. Our family stayed at Haus am Moos in 2009 for our Bavaria trip, and we're making a return visit next month for an extended weekend. Walter and his wife (and their little dog, Nino) are such pleasant hosts!

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    Thanks!

    four - We love the Haus am Moos too. What a value for such a great experience.

    flpab - I'm missing the food now...no good German restaurants close to us. I'm going to have to start cooking more of it myself!

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    I loved your report! My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary in September by going to Germany (with a Vienna detour) for 20 days! I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Germany and am having a hard time narrowing our experiences down for a trip report! I loved the way you did it and if you don't mind, I would like to use your format. At least it'll get me started!
    I found a lot of simiarities in your trip and ours:
    1. Anniversary trip
    2. "We (mostly me) have been planning this trip for several months, finally purchasing airline tickets in April after waiting for them to go down in price (which they never did...)."
    I waited until August to purchase the tickets –5 days later they went down significantly in price!
    3. “My husband LOVES wheat beer…. I am not a beer drinker, instead enjoying an occasional glass of wine. “ Same here!
    4. Cleaning seconds before leaving the house….still packing up to the minute you left….using a carry-on to make it easier to travel on trains and buses. Same here!
    5. Getting “annoyed” on the plane….(I was hysterical over that section!)
    6. The train experiences…(I can still picture my husband grabbing both of our heavy carry-on suitcases with his heavy computer case on his back….. and RUNNING up long stairs to try to catch the train we needed….and we’re much older than you guys!) FYI: There was no computer in the computer bag, just a much lighter Garmin pad, but still packed with stuff!
    7. The food experiences….wanting to eat local German food. (“When in Rome…”)
    8. Ludwig’s castles (Although we didn’t tour Neuschwanstein, my husband was also determined to get "his perfect shot" of the castle ---we toured Linderhof Palace and Herrenchiemsee instead).
    Anyway, before I go on and on…..I really wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your story. Thank you!
    Pat

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    Hi Pat -
    Wow, thanks for the comments. Sounds like you had a great time as well! I would love to live in Germany, and if I said yes today, my husband would buy the plane tickets tomorrow...but circumstances now don't permit with aging family here.

    But it is an absolutely beautiful place, isn't it? I'm glad you were able to enjoy it too. And don't hesitate to write that report! I'll be anxiously awaiting it!

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