Getting in or out of Liechtenstein can be a bit of an ordeal so when I met the two Ellies it made the journey to Salzburg considerably more pleasant. We met at a bus stop in Liechtenstein and were heading to the same town just across the Austrian border. Upon arrival, the price of everything dropped by over fifty percent. That was a big relief to all concerned I can tell you. I managed to find a train to Salzburg from Feldkirch Station, and they headed off in search of a good transportation bargain.
These two incredibly friendly Brits and eminently skilled world travelers taught me a thing or two about squeezing a nickel til the buffalo shits. To clarify, we used to mint nickels in the States from 1913-1938 that had a buffalo on them, and you would find them in circulation from time to time right into the sixties. Be that as it may, these two nomads fly by the seat of their pants, are very low maintenance, travel very light, and get the most adventure out of their travel funds as is humanly possible. I could really see them doing a blog that helps other travelers do the same. Also finding the right person to travel with is not easy, and they have solved that problem as well. When I asked their names, Ellie said, “We are Ellie.” Just like the Borg collective in Star Trek say “We are Borg” and assimilate other worlds, but the Ellies instead go out into the world and assimilate as many “experiences” as they can muster for as little money as they can manage. They have inspired me to give my nickels a bit of a squeeze, and start being a little more careful with my cash. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned.
Thanks for the inspiration Ellie, and I hope to see you out there orbiting the planet sometime in the future. You are truly world-class travel zealots.
This is a park adjacent to Mirabell Palace & Gardens where a major scene from the Sound of Music was filmed. I have a nice post on Salzburg from last year which can be found in July 2015 in the archives which can be found in blue by scrolling down the right-hand side of the blog section you are currently looking at. There you will find all of the material from the Sound of Music tour and much more.
Here are a few flowers to enjoy until the ones on the palace grounds have grown in sufficiently.
Here are the Mirabell Gardens with flowers that haven’t fully grown in so again if you want to see them in all their glory, go to the archives for July 2015.
This is the place where Maria and the Von Trapp children hopped up and down the steps for the grand finale of Do Re Mi, and of course where Julie Andrews hits that crazy high note at the end of the song.
This is the weird gnome that the children marched past.
As you can see they have yet to even start planting part of the grounds.
More Love Pollution – Lock up your heart and throw away the key.
Sounds a lot like prison, only you don’t get time off for good behavior!
OLD TOWN – Shopping, dining, history, and fun.
Day Trip To Berchtesgaden
PANORAMA TOURS – An excellent tour operator out of Salzburg
Here’s the transmission challenging journey up the mountain to the Eagle’s Nest. These people have great tour guides and offer an assortment of tours. The Hallstatt Tour I took last year was beautiful and involved a quaint little town on a lake where I rented a boat, strolled the old town, and ate a fresh trout with dill sauce by the water. Their Sound of Music tour was great fun as well. Again you can check these both out in the archives dated July 2015.
The Entrance to the Eagles Nest – Hitler’s 50th. Birthday Present
Hitler insisted that when picking him up that his chauffeur back his car into the 126-meter long tunnel because going in reverse freaked him out. This is only one of the many idiosyncrasies that plagued Adolph. Newly released developments reveal, that he was not just a megalomaniacal tyrant, but that he was in possession of a teenie weenie. This would go a long way in explaining that his overcompensating need to take over the world was merely due to a microscopic schvanz.
Erbaut 1938 – Built in 1938
The entrance and stonework was expertly executed by Italian stoneworkers. The stone was cut and fashioned at the bottom of the mountain, and then assembled here.
This all original large elevator had a parallel elevator to handle rescues if this one broke down. The other one only carried six people so Hitler only entered this massive one with six so he would be assured to get out since he was terribly claustrophobic.
So much evil was planned atop this mountain with all of this beauty surrounding.
Edelweiss Cross – Much more cheerful than the bleeding Jesus version. I very much approve of this.
The fact is that due to his claustrophobia and fear of heights, Hitler spent very little time up here. He preferred to spend time in a nearby village below where he had his residence. Eva Braun spent a lot of time here with her sister and liked to entertain friends at the Eagle’s Nest.
Once a place for hatching some of the most heinous atrocities of the 20th. century, it now serves up a lot of beauty to those who enter as well as something to eat in the dining room or snacks and drinks on the terrace. It has really been scrubbed of its Nazi past, and I saw no swastikas anywhere which certainly would have found their way into its decor when it was a place for receiving and entertaining Nazi war criminals.
It was never meant to house anyone overnight and was never used as a residence. Now people just socialize here and figure out how to enjoy their vacations.
This is the tea room where Eva Braun did a lot of her entertaining oblivious to the destruction all around her.
On the right is a fireplace in Italian marble which was a gift from Benito Mussolini. He got his due in the end which probably served as Hitler’s motivation for suicide as well as immolation to avoid the same fate. After losing 20 million people by war’s end I suspect the Russians would have desecrated Hitler & Eva’s corpses with extreme prejudice.
Take note of all of the damage to the fireplace. The American troops ran out of war trophies so they took to chipping away at the fireplace with the butts of their rifles.
Lining up for the elevator to go back down.
Out the tunnel, down to Berchtesgaden for lunch and back to Salzburg. This is that tunnel that Hitler’s poor chauffeur had to back all the way into because the Fuhrer couldn’t hack reverse.
MIRABELL PALACE – Music venue where I’ll be attending a concert on Saturday for my last night in Salzburg.
On the way here I ran into the Ellies just after getting off my tour bus from Berchtesgaden. They came to town for the day from Innsbruck and were heading to Vienna in a Bla Bla rideshare car that afternoon. I am pleased to say that as of late I have discovered this service, and have saved over 5o percent on many trips by using it. So there you have it. It’s only been a day, and we’ve already run into one another. Enjoy the baroque staircase.
Based on the stairways the room where the performance is held should be beautiful. This photo has a distinctly Escher feel to it. I think Danny should enjoy this.
Back at the hostel, I rented a bike and set off on a 20K ride up and down the river, and around town.
These look like concrete dinosaurs.
In the town center, Red Bull was sponsoring a race featuring vintage sports cars. The creators of Red Bull are Austrian entrepreneur, Dietrich Mateshitz and Thai businessman, Chaleo Yoovidhya. Dietrich discovered that an energy drink called Krating Daeng produced by Yoovidhya helped with his jet lag. Shortly thereafter, he adapted the drink for the European market by adding carbonation and making it less sweet than its Thai counterpart, and he introduced it into Austria under the name Red Bull in 1987. It is now the world’s biggest-selling energy drink with over five billion cans sold per year. Personally, I was always a Monster guy and found Red Bull to taste very medicinal yet incredibly unhealthy at the same time.
Home of the world famous Sacher Torte with unsweetened fresh whipped cream and special secret chocolate. Their recipe is locked away in a safe and known to only a few. A perfect end to a perfect day. No trip to Salzburg or Vienna is complete without trying the Sacher Torte. It originated at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, but the one pictured here is every bit the real article as you can see WIEN embossed on the chocolate medallion. Wein is Vienna in German thus indicating the authenticity of the pastry.
I was up late so the next day I took it easy, just strolled about and went in search of the convent where Fräulein Maria served as a nun.
MOZART – SALZBURG’S FAVORITE SON
Stairs leading to the Nonnberg Convent
NONNBERG CONVENT MAIN ENTRANCE
This is the actual church where the real Fräulein Maria married Captain Von Trapp. It’s a more humble church than in the movie and is part of the convent. She wanted to be married in Salzburg in a church that had meaning for her.
VIEW FROM THE CONVENT
Altstadt Cafe at the Hotel Altstadt
Apfel Strudel with Vanilla Sauce
A CRAFT FAIR LINES THE DANUBE FOR THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND
SCHLOSS KONZERTE MIRABELL – Mirabell Palace Concert
Featuring Mozart and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
PERFORMED IN THE MARBLE HALL
The ensemble prepares to play on period instruments as well as a harpsichord.
At the end of the concert, we were once again treated to descending that beautifully crafted baroque staircase. Salzburg is a wonderful town and one that I am always sad to leave. I count myself lucky to have visited twice in the last two years, and I am sure there will be a third time and maybe even a fourth. Do yourself a favor and pay this delightful city a visit. I guarantee you won’t regret it.