Sunday, July 3, 2011

An Austrian Walk About Part III

Since I'm writing this walk about adventure after the fact, I'm getting the time frames all messed up. Guess that's from old age or too many things happening at once on both sides of the pond. I believe this next segment was on the day after surgery as the visiting hours were really scaled back and we needed to keep busy. So I tagged along with my sister-in-law, nieces and nephew for an adventure in the old town.

We retraced some areas in which they rode their bikes and I walked but continued to find many more sights that none of us had seen before. Our main goal was to cross the bridges and tour, ending at the Augustine Beer Hall for a late meal and then on to the hospital.

As I mentioned in my first Blog, my goal this summer was to rid myself of all this insufferable weight gain through walking and calorie counting. If I don't have some significant loss after this trip then it just ain't goin to happen. We took off, the others walking about 20 mph and me behind walking at a very leisurely pace of approximately 5 mph. Still it's walking.

Salzburg is just one beautiful city and can not really be captured through photography but I'm doing my best. The weather appears to be unstable. My one niece sent an e-mail prior to our departure stating that it was rainy and cold. So I packed with that in mind. However on our day of arrival and the next it had to have been in the nineties. I picked on her unmercifully as I was dripping with unladylike sweat. She has since been redeemed because as of the third day there has been rain slacking to showers but very, very cool. This morning I am freezing and the windows are closed.

There were a couple of things that really caught my attention as we walked along the narrow but busy streets. The first was the incredible maze of overhead lines for the buses.

We had a really intense thunder storm one night. I'm still in awe that the city didn't light up like a Christmas tree or burn out from a lightning strike. Even though the lines don't add to the city esthetically, they sure do keep the noise level down and maintain clean air.

The second thing that caught my attention was the cost of fuel. It was listed as something like 1,36. Of course my sister-in-law noted that commas in Austria are our decimal points and I already knew it meant Euros. My nephew then pointed out that all the cars here use diesel fuel. Oh and one final note. We saw only small cars.

Looks like the owner took his/her car through a car wash with a dryer and it shrunk. Actually the majority of cars were a bit bigger than this one. Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble - Yaba daba dooo!

We soon came to the bridges that crossed the Salzach River. Evidently it was named as such because in those early days it was the main transportation route for salt. Obviously as time moved on they found faster ways to export their salt. Now you can take sight seeing trips up and down the river. Even though it was an overcast day the sight was beautiful.

I continued to trail behind everyone to savor the magnificence of the historical preservation of the city. I was amazed to see homes built right into the side of the mountains.

As we walked along noting each structure I learned that the original date of construction was on the left side at the top of the building and renovation dates were on the right side.

1300 hmmm... It's almost like 2011 yeah. I can't even fathom what it must have been like way back then nor do I think I want to. As for 2011 I can't believe it's 2011.

We continued on our walk about passing through an archway and into a market place.

If you look real close you can see my niece, sister-in-law and my nephew way up there. Next to me with the blue top is my other niece. It was fun to look at all the wares but this is what really caught our attention.

Now who in their right mind could just look at those delicious pretzel pastries. One of us had to break down and get one. Can you guess who?

And then we all jumped in:

After our tasty break we exited the market place through yet another archway. In reality we weren't exploring after all. I was but my sister-in-law and kids were on a mission to fax documents from the previous hotel Elefant. It was situated on a quaint little street.

I understand that the hotel is 700 years old and acquired it's name when Maximilian II stayed there with his new pet: an elephant name Soliman. You know how everyone seems to have some type of animal or something as a hobby that they like to collect. Well, my sister-in-law has always loved elephants. That's always made it easy to buy her gifts for birthdays and holidays. So of course she and my brother had to stay at this hotel. I must say it was quite eloquent from the lobby. I was encouraged to check out the dining room. Why of course it's decor was elephants with this one greeting you at the doorway.

Once the documents had been faxed we continued on our way. Our next stop was St. Peter's Abbey Church, Romanesque Hall, Cemetery and Catacombs. Prior to entering I had to document the number of times the church went through renovations.

Originally built in 696AD

It was absolutely breath taking upon entering. I wished I had been able to take a picture from the front to the alter but there were just too many people and the beauty would not have been captured. Below is the alter.


The church may have invented sound around as there were organ pipes everywhere. This is in the back of the church. After spending some time to soak in as much of the decor and beauty that we could we moved on to the cemetery and catacombs.

I have to inject that I loved the Sound of Music movie when it originally came out and I never mind watching it again and again. I was informed by my researcher, sister-in-law, that the directors or movie makers wanted to film the escape within the cemetery but were not permitted to do so. Therefore a similar set was constructed to resemble the original shown below.

The catacombs were an entirely different story. We all saw this small entrance way high up and cut into the mountain.

As I continued to walk aimlessly around the cemetery taking random pictures, my niece and nephew called to me to go with them and enter the catacombs so that we could get some better pictures from above. For a nominal fee we proceeded to climb carved out stone steps that were centuries old.

Now I'm sorry, I'm old and climbing these steps made me feel even older. It's a good thing that my camera has that stabilizer on it or all my efforts to get great shots would have been for naught.

This was the best image I got while on the small platform outside that tiny door you could see two images ago. There was more though. Yes, there were still stairs to climb and climb I did.

The next level had several alter areas within man-made caves or, I don't know, maybe they were just there.

Down from this original alter we found another entrance with an alter.

It was quite fascinating but then it was time to descend. It would have been easier to have had a toboggan and gone down. Before exiting though I took one last picture out of one of the windows.

I shall continue this day in my next Blog Part IV. I guess that indicates that I did survive this exhausting expedition to the top and back down.

An Austrian Walk About Part I

An Austrian Walk About Part II

For now have a Firecrackin Great Day!

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