Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Salzburg, Austria

About a week after we got back from our big trip, we were at it again and on our way to our next trip.  This time, it was only for a weekend, but still a great vacation.  We packed our bags and our skis and headed to Salzburg, Austria for a weekend of skiing with another scholar, Claire.

We arrived around lunch time in Salzburg and met Claire at our hotel so we could drop our stuff off.  We then proceeded to a restaurant down the street for lunch.  I got a salad, but Mike and Claire enjoyed a more typical German meal of bratwurst and potatoes (Gotta stock up on our pork intake while we can!). We walked off our lunch later while wandering the city.  It's a beautiful, small European town surrounded by mountains.

Just like most old European towns, there is a square where the church is located in the center of town.

Outside of the church, there were these two old men playing human chess.  It was so fun to watch.  

There is a castle at the top of the hill overlooking the town.  You have to pay to go inside, but the hike up the hill is worth it because you get some pretty incredible views.

That night, we stumbled upon this small Mozart concert put on by a quintet.  There were only about 30 chairs and the acoustics were incredible.  I don't know a ton about music, but both Mike and Claire who played instruments growing up backed up my sentiments that it was pretty incredible.

We headed to bed kind of early mainly because Mike and I had been up since 4:00am, but also because we were going to be hitting the slopes all day the next day.  Claire found a shuttle that would pick us up in town and take us to a ski resort about an hour outside of town called Flachau.   

Mike has been skiing on his dad's old skis and with his boots for the past few years and it was time to get new boots.  I inherited Mike's sister, Kelly's old skis that she outgrew, but I too needed new boots.  Luckily, it was the end of the season and everything was on sale.  We both got new boots and Mike got his skis tuned.  My skis required more maintenance, so we ended up just renting skis for me, but my boots were super comfortable.  It's amazing the difference between overly used rental boots and your own pair of new ski boots.  Ski boots are never comfortable, but these are pretty close. 

After getting our gear all figured out, we hit the slopes.  

It was pretty warm that day, which is always really nice because I hate being cold, but it meant that by lunch time, the snow was pretty slushy and both Mike and I had wiped out when we caught a patch of extra slushy snow.   Even though the conditions weren't the best, it was still an amazing ski day.  The runs were long, the lift lines short and the views incredible.

We caught the shuttle back at four, so we were back at our hotel around five.   We all showered and relaxed for a little bit before heading out for dinner and drinks.  We went to an Italian restaurant for dinner, but then we ended up at a more stereotypical German/Austrian bar.  There were tons of people in lederhosens and dirndls and a group even played some music for us for a while.  It was such an accident that we found them, but so fun!

The next day, we (okay really just me) wanted to do the Sound of Music tour. The tour takes you to all of the sights in and outside of of Salzburg where the movie was filmed.  

The lake where the kids in the boat capsized.

blurry, but the Nonnberg Abby where the nuns lived!

The famous Sixteen going on Seventeen gazebo!

Not my most flattering picture, but the lane where Maria sings "I have Confidence!"

The church where Maria and Captain Von Trapp got married

The alter where they got married.

The tour was a lot of fun.  If you're like me, when you find out a movie or a book is based on a true story, you want to know the truth about what really happens. I've spent an embarrassing amount of time on the internet reading up on the discrepancies between movies and real life. If this sounds like you, then this tour is perfect.  Our tour guide was hilarious and was really into what really happened, as well as what happened on the set. I loved this.  Some people, though, were a little upset that their picture perfect movie was ruined by the behind-the-scenes look. Our tour group wasn't the best.  Mike, Claire and I were the only ones singing along to the songs on the bus and asking questions about the set or the actors.  It would have been even more fun if everyone else had been as excited and enthusiastic as we were, but it was still a ton of fun. 

Claire had to catch a bus that evening, so we said farewell after the tour and soaked up a few more hours of this beautiful view before we headed back to Izmir the next morning.  Not a bad view, for sure.

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