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Trip Report - Lauterbrunnen, Salzburg, Paris

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Aug 16th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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Trip Report - Lauterbrunnen, Salzburg, Paris

Many, many thanks to all of you who patiently answered my many questions leading up to this 3 week trip to Switzerland, Austria and France. I've traveled quite a bit before, but having all of you to lean prior to my departure added so much to the trip! I would thank each one of you personally, but I don't want to leave anyone out and I think you know who you are. I know I'm a true blue Fodorite now as I spent time reminding myself to share specific things with all of you once I got back. Doing this report so quickly is allowing me to relive all our activities and not get back to reality. So glad everyone likes these reports!

So, on to my trip report...with apologies for not being as eloquent as others who have reported before me.

I traveled first to Switzerland with my 12S and 12D. DH and my 17S met up with us in Salzburg 4 days later and spent 2 weeks with us before returning home from Paris. It was back to the original 3 for the duration of the vacation in Paris. Let me say - I love traveling with my kids. They were open to new experiences (they both tried escargots) and eager to see as much as possible (to a point). They were also very patient with the unexpected, and even with the 6 hour layover in WDC as we waited for our flight to Zurich. Their favorite part of that day? Having their own TV screens on the plane. It doesn't take much to make them happy!!! We had an uneventful trip overseas from Harrisburg, PA to Washington, and WDC to Zurich, unless of course you count the toddler who kicked my seat most of the way over the ocean.
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Aug 16th, 2006, 02:11 PM
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Part 1 AVOIDING THE CLOUDS IN SWITZERLAND

July 26 - Have you ever taken an airport luggage cart on an escalator? That was our first challenge once we got to the Zurich train station, which is connected to the airport. The first thing we saw was a couple guiding their cart loaded with suitcases onto the escalator. Watching them pulling back on the handle with all their might to prevent that cart form tumbling down into oblivion was enough to scare my kids into searching for an elevator, but thinking that we might as well start with our new experiences, I told them that we would brave the stairway as well. We nervously slid the cart onto the top step and held on for dear life. The cart held! We let go! We've never seen anything like it. Those Swiss are ingenious and the kids spent the next 1/2 hour going up and down with the cart as if they had been doing it all their lives and until it was time to catch our train.

We had secured our Swiss Card and Family Pass in the US before our departure and this entitled all of us to travel free to Lauterbrunnen. We did go to the window to have the passes validated - the clerk wrote the date and my passport number on the card, but best of all, she printed out an itinerary for us with times and platforms for train changes all the way to our destination. I don't know if we needed to validate the pass this way, but it sure was nice to have that travel info in hand when we boarded. I tried to ask the conductor if he could have validated the pass for me, but we were having a bit of a communication problem on that point so I never did get an answer from him.

True to Swiss reputation, the train arrived and departed exactly on time to the second. We had opted for First Class without seat reservations and it was wonderful. There were comfortable, roomy seats, 2 on one side of the wide aisle, one on the other, tables, and couches in the double-decker car. (As an aside: you can't specify a forward facing seat if you reserve a seat since trains often enter a station going one direction, and leave on the same track going the opposite direction.) I had been told by train personnel that it wasn't necessary to reserve 1st Class since it rarely got crowded and that was good advice.

The train from Zurich to Interlaken took 2 hours 40 min passing ever more rolling, then hilly scenery and beautiful lakes, then from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen for 20 more minutes. It was very cloudy so we didn't get to see many distant mountains, but what we did see was spectacular anyway and I knew that we would (hopefully) see much more in the next days.

Upon our arrival in Lauterbrunnen, we spotted our hotel - Hotel Silberhorn - at the top of a long set of steps and a gravel path. Humming 'Climb Every Mountain' we set off up the path, arriving a bit out of breath. Sure wish we had noticed the preferable way up by the road off to the left! Oh well, we needed to strengthen ourselves for the walking in days ahead. Even though we were early, we were lead to our room, up another hill to the separate chalet. Up one flight of steps (no elevator in this building, although I think the main building had one) to a huge, pretty room (#60) with a long balcony wrapping around 2 sides of the room, and facing the hillside across the valley. We had 2 singles with the big 'poofs' on the bed, and a fold-out double couch which my son quickly claimed. There were also a table with 4 chairs and a desk. Very odd that the bathroom, which was a good size and all new, would have a slightly see-through frosted door. My son was aghast and spent some time rigging up a door cover using a towel, chair and shoes. Hey, it kept him occupied while I settled in!

Hungry as usual, we walked through the town and settled ourselves on the terrasse ot the Hotel Oberlander which was to quickly become our restaurant of choice in this town. The Gemischt Salat was beautiful with its 4 brightly colored sections of different vegetable salads, each in a different dressing, for 8.50 SwFr. It rained on and off while we sat and watched a helicopter carrying something on a rope up the valley and tour busses passing by. We passed on our first planned hike in the mountains due to the weather, but it was a good way to relax and recover from the travel of the day. We learned that you must ask for the check otherwise you can sit all day at your table.

Back in the room, we could hear the construction on the funicular - it's being dismantled after over 100 years due to slippage, but it didn't last long and was rather muffled and in the distance. (It also made finding our hotel easy from across the valley - we were the one next to the crane!!!) The construction also didn't stop us from taking naps for an hour just to get over our extreme sleepiness.

After the nap, we made dinner reservations at our hotel and decided to walk through the town to the Staubbach Falls. (This valley is known as the valley of 72 waterfalls, and we did see a lot that week.) We passed a beautiful white church on the far end of the town and a cemetery with beautiful flowers on each and every grave. We reached the falls and noticed a path which zig-zagged up the hillside, so we walked up until we were behind the falls. It was a fun way to pass the hour until dinner.

Back at our hotel, we ordered a double order of fondue for the 3 of us (21 SwFr per order) which was plenty. I of course had to have white wine with it, and thus started 3 weeks of delicious wine with lunches and/or dinners! The fondue was delicious, and to answer one of my questions posed a while back, every restaurant offers fondue on the menu. We returned to the room to sit on our balcony and play a game as we watched the twinkling lights come on across the valley and the tiny trains zig-zag up the side of the mountain. The construction was done and we were surrounded by the sounds of crickets and rushing water from a nearby stream from the waterfall. Such calm and tranquility to end our first day. I was in heaven.

July 27 - What a way to wake up...blue sky, not a cloud in sight. And mountains!!! We were in awe...all the way to the lobby where the non-stop video cam of the mountain top showed us the perfect conditions for going up the Jungfraujoch! We hurried to breakfast and what a breakfast it was...breads, cheeses, meats, Nutella, honey, yogurts, croissants, rolls, fruits, drinks.

At the station I paid the Swiss Card half-price of 77 SwFr to go to the Jungfrau, the kids were free with the Family Card. Already a bargain to have those cards! We rode to Kleine Scheidigg, passing Wengen, a mountainside town with no cars, and quite a few cows with tinkling cowbells, and where we changed trains to the cog railway for the last hour of the journey up. The whole experience has changed since my last time at this mountain. Now there is a very modern video showing the path the train takes through the tunnel and mountains, the history of the construction of the tunnel (300 people worked to build it in the late 1800's), and how they moved the 'old hut' to a new site by helicopter in 2001. We started layering more clothes as the train climbed, and enjoyed the two stops in the tunnel where we could look out large windows at our first glimpse of the glaciers.

Last stop, "Top of Europe" at 11,333 feet, the highest train station in Europe. We went up to the Sphynx Observation Tower and the view down the glacier, and then down to walk in the snow of the glacier. The snow was too soft to go on a husky sled ride, but we opted for the Foxfire zip-line, a bit of a splurge at 20 SwFr each. We each climbed up the snowy hill with our harness on, were connected to a rope and slid high above the ground way across to the ending point. Lots of fun! We walked through the Ice Palace, slipping on the ice floor, and enjoyed the sculptures and narrow passageways, and then went out for one last look down the glacier. For those who are interested, there were sled rides, skiing lesson and organized chaperoned hikes offered on the glacier as well. The clouds were massing quickly on the horizon and coming our way, but we were ready to go down after spending 3 hours.

I have to mention the cool automatic handwashing machines in the bathrooms! Put your hands in, and out squirts hot water, then soap, then cool water, then hot air, all without doing a thing. Swiss efficiency in full swing.

Disembarking at Kleine Scheidigg, we stopped for some of the best ice cream ever at a stand - chocolate with tiny shaved slivers of chocolate. To die for! We walked through the pasture of cows, enjoying the cowbell orchestra, and watched the goats try to steal food from the outdoor tables, and listened to the resident Alpenhorn player complete with traditional Swiss dress before heading back to Lauterbrunnen.

Got back to the Oberlander Hotel for dinner just in time for the downpour. Whew! We had the traditional specialty of Rosti - hash browns with various ingredients mixed in. The Oberlander Rosti was particulary good with onion, bacon, Swiss cheese and a fried egg. (18.50 SwFr) If you want tap water, it's free if you order another drink, but 2.50 if ordering only the water to drink.

July 28 - Another cloudy day, and the video cam showed lots of clouds at the Schilthorn so we had a decision to make - Schilthorn in the clouds or hike before the forecast rain arrived. The Schilthorn won out, so we caught the bus to Stechelberg and bought tickets up to the top. As the cable car got higher, the clouds thinned out and afforded us spectacular views. We walked out on the two narrow ridges extending out from either side of the Piz Gloria, the mountain top building. Way out on this ridge was a tiny sign with a high-heel shoe crossed out. Were they expecting the Parisians in their fancy shoes that day??!! What a riot to see such a sign way out there.

Turning around on the second path, we were surprised to see a huge bank of clouds rolling in and obliterating everything in its path. We carefully scurried (is that possible?) back before we too were engulfed and settled ourselves in the rotating restaurant as the entire mountaintop was enshrouded in cloud. We could see nothing at all, except the cable car wires eerily approaching out of nowhere. We finished our sundaes, watched a short film of clips from the James Bond movie filmed there and started our descent in the pouring rain. An interesting ride down in the rain and wind, but at least the thunder had stopped!

We caught a bus back, stopping at the famous Trummelbach Falls, formed from the melting ice of the glaciers of the Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau, at the rate of 20,000 liters/second. The water had cut through the mountain to rush via 10 sets of falls inside the rocks. It is accessed by elevator and mountainside paths and was a formidable sight.

We had dinner at the crepe stand next to the Oberlander Hotel - ham and cheese, then chocolate crepes, then joined the townspeople for the local Folklore Festival. How cool (and LOUD!) were the guys in lederhosen leading the procession swinging gigantic cowbells as they walked! They were followed by folkdances, traditional Swiss singing, an Alpenhorn player, a crazy percussion band wearing construction hats and using toy "popping" mallets to play on each other's heads, and ending once again with the cowbell ringers. We left as the rain started up once again. I'm starting to see a pattern here!

Back at the hotel we fell into bed – exhausted and happy.

(Sorry this is so long – I’ll try to cut it down form here on in!)
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Aug 16th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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kwren, please don't cut back your terrific report. We leave for Switzerland in a couple of weeks so I'm savouring every word~
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Aug 16th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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I'm glad it's helpful mvor - I'll keep it up for you! Will you be in the same area? Feel free to ask any questions if I don't cover it!~
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Aug 16th, 2006, 03:22 PM
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Thanks! We'll be spending two weeks spread out over Grindelwald (4 nights), Locarno (3 nights), Clarmont-Morges (3 nights) and Vevey (4 nights).

You've already helped me w/the terrific descriptions of the Jungraujoch and Schilthorn. I have vertigo so I think my husband will be doing those alone!

Looking forward to more (and then there's Paris as a bonus at the end!)...
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Aug 16th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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Today was the day for our hike! Checked out the video cam in the lobby and Mannlichen showed...what else? Clouds! Well, we can hike on a cloudy day, so off we went on the train to Wengen (half price with the Swiss card), and the cable car (1/2 price) to Mannlichen at the top of the cliff. We wandered around to look at the cows - well, one wanted to look at me too so he came running over! He just wanted some petting so I was happy to oblige. The cowbells were ringing everywhere!

Mannlichen is the starting point for a few different hikes, but we wanted the level trail - the Panorama Weg, marked on a signpost. If you look at a map, it does appear that this trail crosses some mountains, but in fact the path just follows the contours of the mountains, curving around where the mountain curves. Upon starting, my 12S turned around and saw those blasted thick clouds rolling in, obscuring everything in their way. We decided to make the best of it and tried to stay ahead of them. Shortly, we came to the tiny red cable cars which go to Grindlewald and wanted to ride them, but the round trip took an hour and we were afraid of the damage those clouds could do in the meantime, so we passed on that. (The round trip cost 50 SwFr if anyone is interested)

We set out, with frequent calls from my son: "The clouds are coming!", but we thoroughly enjoyed the views of the lakes, the mountains, the flowers. We did stay ahead of the clouds until the path curved back and we had a few raindrops, but then the path resumed its original direction and we avoided rain the rest of the day.

We reached our destination, Kleine Scheidigg, in 1 hour and 10 minutes. We heard it before we caught a glimpse of it - those lovely cowbells again. The kids got popsicles, I got ice cream, and we watched the goats begging for food again. Once again the Alpenhorn player was there - apparently a permanent fixture, but this time we saw a tourist try it. Well, anything for a laugh, I persuaded my son to give it a try. 12S got up and gave 3 different beautiful long tones. The Alpenhorn player was impressed and everyone around applauded. Another lady got up, obviously figuring that if a l kid could do it, then she could too. Well, all she accomplished was to blow air through the instrument, and boy did she look sheepish. The trick is either be a trumpet player, as is my son, or to tighten your lips into a tight smile (if that makes sense) and blow through a very small opening. I tried next as mom of a trumpet player and succeeded as well, having tried out the trumpet from time to time (not that I can play it, but do know how to get a sound out of it). It was fun and we put some change into the bell of the horn for the man.

Time to take the train to Wengen, where we walked around buying souvenirs at the 'Swiss-Made Shop'. We wandered around and came across the St. Bernard English Church with a pretty stained glass window of an eagle (I think), and then bought some chocolate and drinks which we ate in a little park, and caught the next train to Lauterbrunnen where we tried some Goulaschen Suppe and pizza for dinner. Back at the hotel I organized everything for our train trip to Austria the next day, while my kids played James Bond by leaping from the balcony through the window and pouncing on the poofs on the beds. All in all a great and relaxing time in the Bernese Oberlander area and I'd love to go back again to try some more hikes.

NEXT: AVOIDING THE RAIN IN SALZBURG
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Aug 16th, 2006, 05:19 PM
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Just a thought after completing Part 1...

Wish I had had that duct tape mentioned in so many posts!!! I thought of finding some and wrapping it around an old credit card, but... well. laziness enters into it I suppose. Here we were our first day in Switzerland with my son upset over the see-through bathroom door. It would have been so easy to tape up that towel instead of risking the falling shoes every time we tried to gingerly creep into the bathroom without creating an avalanche.
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Aug 16th, 2006, 05:32 PM
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Thanks for this great report. Our family (with 2 sons, 12 and 15) stayed in Wengen for 3 nights in June and just loved the area! Your report is bringing back wonderful memories. We had a fabulous time hiking, visiting Trummelbache Falls, eating delicious food and more.

Looking forward to the rest of your trip.
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Aug 16th, 2006, 05:38 PM
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Kwren -

Thanks so much for the trip report. I leave for Switzerland on August 29th - staying at the Silberhorn in Lauterbrunnen for 5 nights late into my 2 week trip. So it's great to hear some detail, like knowing there is a video cam to show mountain conditions. I'm also anxious to experience the Jungfrau. Thanks for reporting on the zipline - that sounds like great fun.
Keep the great trip report coming.
Martha
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Aug 16th, 2006, 05:45 PM
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Kwren,
Thanks for much for the trip report, we too are off to the BO next year, so all your info is being eagerly soaked up.

In fact Mvor, our trip sounds very similar to yours!

Maudie
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Aug 16th, 2006, 05:57 PM
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Thanks for the kind responses! It's a pleasure to write my trip report as it is bringing back wonderful memories to me too...even though I was only in Switzerland a short while ago!
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Aug 16th, 2006, 06:32 PM
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Kwren,
Thankyou for a wonderful report, I really enjoyed it.

We'll be going to Kandersteg next May, and it's nice be in the less than a year to go category.
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Aug 16th, 2006, 06:58 PM
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Hi kwren -

I've enjoyed reading your report about my favorite place in Switzerland. Glad you found some fondue!

Regarding those high heel signs - I've seen Japanese tourists walking around the top of Swiss mountains in high heels, so yes, it does happen!
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Aug 16th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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wow - one slip on one of those ridges and it would be sayonara! I suppose there wouldn't be a sign unless someone had actually tried it. Hard to believe.
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Aug 16th, 2006, 07:11 PM
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July 29 The lonnnnnng train trip to Salzburg...

We got up in the morning ready for the exciting day of the Lauterbrunnen to Salzburg train trip: 10:20 – 19:29! Once in Zurich to change trains, we saw a panoramic car and it said…First Class! The windows are huge and curve most of the way up to the top of the car. I had been told that seats in these cars cost more than regular First Class but since no one was looking…well, we settled in quite nicely and no one asked us to move. However, it has been noted before, and I will concur – it can get hot in those cars with the sun beating down into those huge windows creating the greenhouse effect. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the great unobstructed views of the lakes, mountains, castles, tiny and large churches with their curved domes on the steeples as we moved into the Austrian Alps.

The Swiss Card got us as far as Sargans, the last stop in Switzerland, for free, and I bought tickets from there to Salzburg for 120€ for me and the kids for 60€ each. (Kids get half price tickets automatically in Austria)

What to do to keep 2 12 year olds happy for 9 ½ hours???

Well, there is always chocolate! Toblerone to the rescue!!
When changing trains, it’s always a thrill to watch the arrival and departure boards’ city names flip around to the new one.
Watch the grafitti go by – it seems to have risen to the level of art – some of it was quite colorful and beautiful.
OK – if I think graffiti is beautiful, it must be time for more chocolate.
Write in our journals – Ok that one lasted about 5 minutes for my kids, so time to eat our snacks.
And so on through the day.

The trains arrived and departed according to schedule in the best of Swiss efficiency, but once we were in Austria, despite it being the same train, we ended up being 20 minutes late into Salzburg. Go figure. We decided to walk from the station to the hotel, the Gablerbrau at Linzergasse 9, a 15 minute walk. Once we got there, we noticed my husband and my 17S at Frauenberger Restaurant across the street enjoying dinner. DH helped us to our room and we all went back to the restaurant for dinner. We got wiener schnitzel and not only was it delicious, but it was HUGE, served with cranberry sauce and a salad. My 12D got curry-shrimp soup, also quite good.

So the Gablerbrau…an older hotel in the pedestrian area just across the river from the old town, really the perfect location for those who don’t want to step out into the mobs of tourists pushing through the Old Town. We had a Family Suite on the second floor. Walk in through the door into a good sized foyer with a huge closet. To the right facing the street was a triple room, made up of a double fold out couch, and a single fold out chair. The 3 kids were in there. To the left was a decent sized room (notice I didn’t say large, but large enough) with a double bed (actually 2 singles pushed together) facing the side street. Between the 2 rooms was a very large bathroom with enough shelving for everyone’s paraphernalia. The only other negative was that one of our showers had so-so water pressure although the pressure of the water coming out of the faucet for the bath was very very strong. We had no A/C, but small oscillating fans were provided. We didn’t really need them as it was not hot, but they provided just the right amount of white noise to drown out the noise from the pedestrians to help us sleep. 4 out of 5 of us have no trouble sleeping through any noise, but my 17S said the garbage trucks woke him up early in the morning. Closing the window the next night helped. All in all, we were quite comfortable with plenty of room for our 5 suitcases and more room yet in which to walk around. We would stay there again – good suggestions from Fodors! Location, location
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Aug 17th, 2006, 04:53 AM
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Hi kwren,

Ah yes, loving this trip report! Your details make the trip come alive, and I feel like I'm there!

Thanks so much!!

s
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Aug 17th, 2006, 05:24 AM
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Hi Kwren - I was looking out for your trip report, because I knew you were a few days ahead of me and going to similar places. I thought of you on our trip and hoped you had better weather than we did.

Looking forward to the rest...
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Aug 17th, 2006, 05:54 AM
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You're entirely welcome and thanks for the encouragement, Swandav! As long as people are enjoying this, it's what keeps me going!

bd - no, I think we didn't have better weather - we had some nice days though mixed with some more terrible ones...stay tuned! did you do your trip report yet? I don't want to miss it!

I'll be getting to work on my next installment soon.
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Aug 17th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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July 31 AVOIDING THE RAIN IN SALZBURG

These breakfasts get better and better… yogurt and fruit, cereals and granola, coffee cakes, eggs and bacon, cheeses and meats, croissants breads and rolls, Nutella and jams, spreads and pates awaited us at the Gablerbrau. The kids agreed that the hot chocolate was better here than that at the Silberhorn - they had had to mix it up themselves there, whereas it was delivered to them creamy and steaming in a pitcher here, as much as desired. ~o) Yum! One puzzle – there was a large heated tureen of what appeared to be warm sugar or salt. I asked the waitress, but she had trouble with English – I gather it is used to roll soft-boiled eggs in for decoration. If anyone knows more about what it might have been, I would love to know!

We started out at the Tourist Bureau in the Mozartplatz to buy our Salzburg cards, another gem of info from the Forum. Definitely worth it! 12 year olds have a discounted price, our 17S got 10% off. These cards provide free entry to an entire list of sights and free access to the city busses. We got our money’s worth as you will read.

We continued to the Old Town’s pedestrian area and stopped at the shops as we went. One shop was dedicated entirely to beautiful handpainted eggs. There must be a machine to blow them out as there had to be thousands (millions?) of them piled on tables and shelves. Believe me - I told my kids to watch those backpacks! Before we knew it we were in front of the Mozart Geburtshaus (birth house). It was MOBBED with tourists, so we decided to go back later and continued down the pedestrian Getreidegasse (meaning “trade street”). The beautiful part were the wrought iron signs for each store – more interesting than the shops themselves for the most part.

The entire street was crammed with people and…cars in a traffic jam! Funny for a pedestrian street! Meanwhile we watched some repair work on the front of a house for a few minutes – the workers were at the stage of removing old straw insulation. We couldn’t help but wonder how long that had been there! We couldn’t get to the end of the street too soon however, where we walked to a less crowded area and found the Pferdeschewemme – a Baroque horse trough where horses were taken to drink. And what a monument to horses it was! Huge paintings of horses and a statue. Those horses were treated right! We continued on to the Dom where we saw the “secret crowning of Mary”, another tidbit picked up from Fodor’s. For those who do not know about it – approach the statue of Mary from the arches and a gold crown held by 2 angels on the front of the church appears to descend down to Mary’s head. I would have never noticed it if I hadn’t been looking for it.

We found ourselves at the funicular up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress so decided to put our Salzburg Cards to the test. Up we went and into the fort for free. It was interesting with different exhibits inside such as a weapons exhibit, torture instruments (the boys liked that part), a Marionette Museum (my daughter preferred that), furniture, models of the castle…a bit of everything. We were transported back to medieval times, especially walking through the castle streets, feeling like we were in an olden time city.

Back down and through the Dom Platz we saw a guy dressed in a funny skeleton costume with a huge laughing skull head. Much more entertaining than those human statues who move when you put money in their cup. He pulled my daughter to him and pretended to put her head in his enormous mouth. Everyone waited for their few seconds with him and he made a lot of money doing this. 8-X

to be continued...
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Aug 17th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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We had bought tickets back at home to the Salzburg Marionetten Theater to see “The Best of Mozart” so it was time to go on over. The theater was small but gorgeous – paintings and carvings of cherubs covering the ceiling. The show presented highlights from 3 of Mozart’s operas complete with English subtitles on a side wall, which was a bit distracting as opposed to the front of the theater. It was easy to miss a translation here and there if too engrossed in the show. The marionettes were exquisite and after a few minutes we forgot we were watching puppets despite seeing the strings. The movements were very intricate and it was amazing. It lasted about an hour and 10 minutes. Seeing the puppeteers at the end made us realize how small these marionettes actually were – we had the impression that they were much larger against the backdrops. In retrospect I don’t think we needed to buy the tickets in advance as the theater wasn’t quite full, but you never know and we wanted to be sure to get in. It would have been fun to see an entire opera…maybe next time.

We went back to Mozart’s Birthhouse afterwards and it wasn’t as crowded as during the tour group rush. We enjoyed seeing the tiny piano Mozart used to give a concert when he was 8 , clothes from that era, his portrait, a ticket to one of his concerts, 3 locks of his hair and descriptions of what his life was like traveling and performing. We felt we would stick to the subject and finished up with the Mozart Residenz. This second house from later in his life was bigger and more ornate and everyone toured with an audio system.

It was a long day of touring so we went to a recommended restaurant down the street from our hotel – Zum Fidelen Affen (“The Faithful Ape”), although we preferred our waiter’s translation…The Funky Monkey! The food warranted the recommendation!!! It was excellent. I wish I had written down the name of my meal – it had about 6 syllables! It was listed under the vegetarian section (although I’m not vegetarian – it just sounded sooooo good!!) and was described as something like garlic crepes with a vegetable stew in a cream sauce baked with cheese. It wasn’t too rich or garlicky, but I’ll never forget how delicious it was. It was pretty too – garnished with a saffron-colored cauliflower flowerette, a carrot and a leek. My daughter had a wonderful creamy vegetable cream soup, and my son the adventurous had wiener schnitzel again (is this the same child who would later try escargots?!) My other son ordered dark bread with ricotta, tomatoes and olives as he wasn’t too hungry and my husband had a smoked salmon and rosti salad and a Neger (1/2 beer and 1/2 Coke) Everything was great and the waiters were super friendly. All in all, a great way to wind down at the end of the day.

We were considering going out and finding a concert that night when a huge drenching storm complete with thunder and lightening blew in, so instead we watched all the people scurry in from the outdoor tables at the restaurants across the street and just enjoyed Austrian life from our window, as did several other people in nearby buildings.
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