12 Days in Salzburg, AustriaAuthor: LSKahn (More Trip Reviews by LSKahn)
Date of Trip: March 2008
I just got back from my 12 days in Salzburg, Austria. Naturally, it was a home exchange. I haven't been on the board for a while but some of you may recall I do a lot of home exchanging.
I had the worst weather I have ever had on a European trip--and that includes last summer's heat. It either rained or SNOWED 10 of the 12 days. The weather cleared up and turned gorgeous just as I left. Isn't that the way it always is?
I had to go to Plan B (indoor sites) for most of the trip. I finally got to Heilbrunn (known for its trick water fountains) on my last day as well as up the Unterberg in a cable car.
I saw a lot of concerts and managed a day trip to Munich to see the Deutsches Museum. I did not see anything else (no, not the Hofbrauhas--sue me). It was just so cold that all I wanted to do was go home after spending almost 4 hours in the Museum. The Deutsches Museum is the world famous science museum in Munich and it is spectacular! If I had to see only one thing during my visit, I picked a winner!
I saw the Salzburg Marionettes 3 times in different operas. Although I had seen them before in the US, it was nice to see them in their own "opera" house. There is a new production based on "The Sound of Music", but it was not playing while I was there. There are subtitles for everything so don't worry about not speaking German. They do everything in the original language so "Sound" will be sung in English from a tape (presumably from the film).
I did take "The Sound of Music" tour one day where they take you to all the places where the movie was filmed. Really kitchy, but fun. Some of the participants (who knew the film a lot better than I did) tried to take photos of themselves copying scenes from the film. Funny! What is even funnier is that Austrians generally know nothing about "The Sound of Music". It is something parlayed for the American tourists.
I also saw a lot of classical music concerts in every sort of venue from the Grossesfestspielhaus on down. The night I did the concert and dinner from the fortress (to see the view), there was thunder snow in the middle of dinner and we couldn't see anything. You had to laugh!
I did see a number of the museums in Salzburg but the residence was closed. I had been to Berchtesgarten (Eagle's Nest only open during the summer) and the salt mine in Hallein before, so I did not bother with them.
As a substitute for long walks in the mountains looking at scenery, I had many coffee breaks and einspanners (my favorite Austrian coffee concoction)--not to mention strudels. Demel is in the old city and the Hotel Sacher is across the river in the "new" town.
When the weather deals you a blow, you just do the best you can. On many trips (in Europe and elsewhere) you just have to adjust to weather conditions. I have to say that this was the absolutely worst weather I have ever had on a trip but I had fun anyway.
The prices in Europe for Americans are getting to the point of being prohibitive--another reason I am glad to home exchange and avoid paying for hotels. To get to Salzburg I flew to Munich and then took the Mietwagen (like the super shuttle) service to get me to the exchange apartment in the Parsch area of Salzburg. The apartment was well located and right on a bus line. In 10 minutes I could be in the old city.
If anyone has any questions about Salzburg, just ask away. I home exchanged in Vienna last summer so I am on Austrian overload right now and need to give it a rest. Not to fear, I have a huge home exchange trip planned this summer (3 exchanges in a row--2 in Australia and one in NZ). When I finish recovering from jet lag, I need to get the plane tickets for that one.
I did try and meet with Ursula from the jewettstreet home exchange service. I was supposed to drive to see her in Bavaria. Right! The day we could both do it turned out to be the day I woke up to the remains of a major snowstorm and it was still snowing. I wouldn't drive in that at home and certainly would not chance it in someone else's car. So, unfortunately, that got canceled. There was no way to reschedule it as I was already at the end of the trip.
By the way, my home exchangers have a daughter (who got married while they were here), so they have already said they want to swap again. I told them NOT in March. LOL. Next time I will definitely meet Ursula!
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