Today had a difficult start. Chris woke up with a stomach ache that we hoped would be better enough for him to tour the city but that was not to be. He stayed in bed and Em read and we set out for the town.
Shane and I started at Hellbrun Palace, home of the trick fountains and the Sound of Music gazebo! The trick fountains were installed by one of the trickier residents of the palace to impress his guests. The tour guides are now the beneficiaries of his advanced hydrotechnology as they prey on tourists. Water comes out of everywhere, out of nowhere! It also powered bird sounds in a grotto and a pretty awesome spinning gold crown.
We took ourselves on a tour of the grounds, which are beautiful!, until we happened upon the gazebo featured in the Sound of Music during the song “16 Going on 17”. Shockingly enough, there was no one around for a solid five minutes so we danced and sang ourselves before the hordes of tourists converged on the palace.
After a bus ride into town, we started our time in the city at Mozart’s Wohnhaus, the place where he spent most of his life. It’s a great exhibit, utilizing both his own artifacts and new multimedia elements that give you’re insight into other aspects…like determining which paintings of him are authentic. I’ve never given that one ounce of thought so that was interesting. They also utilized clips from Amadeus – smart for today’s audiences!
Next up was a boat trip down the Salzach River. First, we ended up on an 8th grade field trip. Not my favorite thing to do on a vacation! Otherwise, it was lovely! What I found most interesting about the trip is that boats had to be specially designed to handle the river. It was rolling at 7 knots and apparently that was a slow day! When we arrived back at the dock, the captain showed off another neat trick – the boat can spin on itself, 360 degrees around – so as the showpiece to the whole trip, the boat did the Viennese Waltz in both directions. What a show!
Next up – lunch! There’s a SPAR, one of our favorite European groceries, right downstairs from Mozart’s Gerburtshaus so we took ourselves there for lunch and split a lasagna (and chocolate bar!) before we visited Mozart’s birthplace. This museum doesn’t do much for me, but it’s one of those things you do in Salzburg so we went. 🙂
Then we made our way to the Hohensalzburg fortress funicular and saw the most beautiful view of the city! Wow! It was truly breathtaking – and not because there were so many stairs! The lackluster tour of the fortress did drop us off at the top of one of the towers so we could see forever – including the house used as the back of the Von Trapp vila, the airport, and more gorgeous mountains. Amazing!
Then we were missing our peeps too much so we grabbed some Mozart candy and took our chariot back to Grödig for relaxing and dinner. Chris stayed back but we did grab Emmy for some typically Austrian grub in the village. Sausages, dumplings, potatoes, and pork! Good thing we are averaging 15,000 steps a day!