On Sunday morning we got up early and had some pastries for breakfast (that we bought from the fancy supermarket). At 6.30 we got picked up in a minibus, and after picking up some other people, arrived outside the Opera House, where the tour bus was. There weren’t many people on the tour, probably about 20 all up, which turned out to be a good number. our guide for the day was George and he was great. He said everything in English and then Spanish for the other guests.
We set off at about 7.15, and on the way got information about the history of Vienna, as well as Salzburg. We stopped at a service station for our ‘breakfast break’ and we were very impressed by the ‘restaurant’ they had. You took a tray, helped yourself to the food, and then paid at the cashier. They had everything, because people obviously stop in at different times of the day. Don’t think of any other place you have stopped at, this was completely different. I have never been so impressed by a roadstop ever, and we’ve done a lot of them!! You could even cook your own pasta, and then add the sauce you wanted. Adrian had a pastry and some yoghurt, and I had a pastry and a container of pineapple (which I finished on the bus later). Before arriving in Salzburg we also stopped at Mondsee Lake, given this name because it is shaped like the moon. Near the lake is the cathedral where Maria is married in the Sound of Music movie. Unfortunately we didn’t get close enough for a photo, but could see it clearly form the bus.
Once in Salzburg, we went on a walking tour, dodging the marathon runners, which lasted about an hour. Once that finished we had free time for 3 hours. Since we had basically had 2 breakfasts, we just had a few snacks instead of lunch. We then got the train up the very steep hill (you’ll see in the photos to come) to the Archbishop’s fortress, which had a spectacular view. We wandered around for a while, before heading back down to the main part of town. We bought some souvenirs and then headed for Mozart’s house. There were two places you could visit – one was his birthplace and the other was where they lived when he was older. It was amazing to learn some more facts about Mozart and to see where he was born – a real treat for musos like us. After that we went back to the gardens where we had started our tour. In these gardens was the fountain where Maria and the children sang Do Re Mi in the movie, and where the children then played. I got a photo on the fountain and then at the top of the stairs where the song ends with Maria singing a very high note. I’m fairly sure I got the pose right, but will have to check with the movie at some point.
We were very happy to be back on the bus and off our feet. We had another stop on the way home, this time at an actual restaurant where they take your order and have a lovely salad bar. Adrian and I both had pork cordon bleu – again, very nice, but huge!! The bus dropped us a block from the hotel and once there we used their free internet to check in for our flight home. We got ourselves packed and went to bed, exhausted.
We had a nice sleep in this morning as we didn’t have an early flight. We got up just before 9, had breakfast and then got a taxi at 10 to the airport. From there it was an easy flight home with our usual taxi waiting outside for us. Now that we are home, we have put some washing on and Adrian is sorting through the photos. It’s nice to not get home in the evening, as we don’t have to rush to have dinner and go to bed – we have the afternoon to relax and enjoy the rest of our day off.
All in all, it was a lovely weekend away together, with beautiful buildings and scenery, and great food.