|Fountain near the Dom in Salzburg.|
On Thursday, we got up fairly early and headed out to Salzburg, Austria. It was about a 2 and 1/2 hour drive from where we were staying in Germany. At least half of the drive was spent on two-lane highways. You could go at least 60 mph on all of them, but the real problem was that if you got behind a truck, you were hosed. Unlike in the States where trucks or other slow-moving vehicles are required to pull over if a certain number of cars build up behind them, in Germany there would be a row of 15-20 cars behind a truck going half the speed limit. A car or two would speed up and pass when it was (somewhat) safe to do so, and periodically the single lane would expand to two and let fast-moving cars pass through. Overall, however, it was a rather frustrating section of the drive.
|Germans seriously have the best looking woodpiles I've ever seen. Somehow they cut each piece to exactly the same length, and then split them to exactly the same width, and then stack them perfectly.|
I have to admit that much of Salzburg for me was about looking for Sound of Music sites. Initially, I was planning to do our own Sound of Music tour. However, about five minutes after we got there, it started to rain. The forecast had predicted it would be warm with a slight chance of rain so we dressed accordingly. Instead, it was cold and very rainy. I have decided that I am a fair-weather tourist. If I get wet and cold, I get a little bit cranky. Aaron would probably chivalrously deny it, but it is sadly true.
After the Dom, we went into a restaurant and had a delicious lunch. It was nice to dry out and warm up a little. Goulash and potato dumplings for me. The little kids had pesto pasta, which they loved. We tried the Apfel Strudel again, and I didn't like it as well as the stuff we had the day before, largely because they included raisins. I am not a fan of cooked raisins. Plus, they served it with a smallish scoop of ice cream, and it was much better with the custard sauce. On the up side, a picture on the wall attested to the fact that Rick Steves had been there. So that must mean that we have fabulous taste in restaurants.
|A door in Salzburg. Catholic families write on their doors with chalk to mark Epiphany. It says:" 20*C+M+B*13". It is the year, with the CMB in the middle, which stands for the Latin phrase that means "Christ bless this home."|
Strangely, the store where we bought it (full of traditional Bavarian/Austrian clothes like lederhosen and dirndls) gave us a bag with a picture of Pamela Anderson in a "sexy dirndl" on it. It was sort of hilariously incongruent.
|Red Bull was apparently created in Austria, so they have a whole store devoted to Red Bull merchandise. Not their finest contribution, in my opinion.|
|Sweet fashions in Red Bull world.|
|Lovely display in a shop window.|
|Sawyer showing off his treat from the bakery.|
With all of that, some of the best views were actually a little closer to hand. I love my sweet and crazy kids. Some of them held still long enough for me to take some pictures.
|Sophie and Brendan in the cemetery where part of the "Sound of Music" was filmed.|
We were all glad to get back "home" and relax.
Incidentally, it was really fun to be able to hang out with Aaron's parents. They are such nice people that they willingly spent four days with our crazy group and even acted like they were enjoying themselves. We are lucky to have them!
|The kids with their grandparents.|
|The back of our van packed to the rafters.|
|Our front door.|
|Our kids had a great time on the swings during our stay.|
|Our landlady's home, with attached barn around the corner.|
- "Knock it off!"
- "You're being a jerk!!"
- "I need to go to the bathroom."
- "Give my (insert favorite object) back! Now!"
- "When are we stopping to eat?"
- (sobbing) "Three more hours? I thought you said it was only an hour and a half!"
We stopped at IKEA near Strasbourg for lunch because we knew it would be cheap and that we would be able to find something that everyone would like. Plus, with any luck, we figured we'd be able to eat some of this:
Kidding, kidding. IKEA was an inspired choice--everyone was happy, and they had some really good things that IKEA in America doesn't. Most notably, they serve vegetables with the mashed potatoes as a matter of course (carrots in this yummy creamy sauce and zucchini). They also had some delicious desserts that we don't get in the states, like chocolate eclairs.
We meant to stop in Strasbourg and walk around the city center, but realized that we were running late to meet the property manager for our apartment in Paris, so we just stopped for lunch and drove on through. Hopefully we'll be able to hit it on the way back.
We were very happy to arrive in one piece, unpack a little in our cute apartment and fall into bed, exhausted.