WOW!!! Salzburg was AMAZING!!! We had to be on base at 4:15 in the morning, and since I knew that if I went to bed, I wouldn't be able to wake up well, I just stayed up all night! I figured I'd just sleep on the bus on the trip. After we got there, I began to second guess that decision. I got to doze a little bit, but couldn't figure out how to lean my seat back and hadn't known we could leave stuff on the bus while we were sightseeing, so I hadn't brought a pillow or blanket or anything. My sleep was very limited. LOL Besides, I was too excited to sleep at first! And then we were in the mountains, which were just beautiful, and I got to watch the sun rise over the Alps!
It was interesting to try and take pictures on a moving vehicle, and I didn't get nearly as many as I wanted. I really was wanting to share the beauty of all I got to see even on the way to Salzburg, but you can't have it all, right? We were on the bus for 2 hours before stopping for breakfast at a very picturesque little place.
They had the best fresh squeezed orange juice! If I had access to that juice, I would drink it every day! And I got to have my very first European croissant! Ooooooooooh, it was soooooooooooooooo goooooooooooood!!! So much better than the American version! It was after breakfast, when we were back on the road that I started to finally doze. When I opened my eyes, all I could see out of the window was white!!! It was snowing! I grew up in Colorado. I've had far more than my fair share of snow. And I think it's beautiful, but only from a distance. Like capping the mountains in a distant range. To actually be in the snow...I have to admit, I don't like it. By the time we got to Salzburg, though, it wasn't too bad. There weren't blizzard conditions or anything, and it was very cold, but I was too excited to see everything to care much! Besides, we were inside for stretches, too, and that made it easier to admire the snow from a warm place indoors. :)
Kristin and I were very happy to find that we got there at about 10:30, which meant that since the Glockenspiel played every day at 11am and 6 pm (we were scheduled to leave at 5:45pm), we would get to hear it! We hung out at the Christmas Market for a little bit to catch it playing, before heading off to the tourism info center. I was able to get some of it on video, but not all of it. I wasn't sure it was working at first and stopped the recording before starting it up again, which makes the video pretty short. :( But it was so awesome!
While we were hanging around the Christmas Market (which was really the whole reason behind the trip, and they had some incredibly beautiful merchandise there!), we grabbed some potato wedges which were phenomenal, and I got a picture of Kristin being silly. :)
(Don't worry, you'll see a picture of me being silly later on, I promise.) :) First we went to the Salzburg Museum, which was so incredibly amazing...there aren't even words enough for the special exhibit they had there this year. This is the 190th anniversary of the carol "Silent Night, Holy Night," and they had the original manuscript on display!!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously had tears in my eyes. If not for the fact of how crunched for time we were (you can't see as much of Salzburg as you'd like in only 5 hours!!!), I'd have lingered there longer.
I seriously was moved to tears at the sight of it. Oh, and for those of you that don't know, I suppose this would be an appropriate time to share the fact that I am a complete and total music freak/geek. Concert and Marching Bands all four years of high school, Band Council and Jazz Band assistant my senior year and Pep Band for my sophomore through senior years. Music is something that is very important and dear to me, and I'm not just talking about the pop and hip-hop stuff made today that people always claim as their lives. I mean real music. Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, and on and on. So to see something in person that was composed nearly 200 years ago...it totally blew me away. I was able to buy a replica of my own from the gift shop. :)
After looking around the Salzburg Museum, we went over to the Panorama Museum for their "cribs" exhibit. It wasn't at all what I was expecting, but once I saw it, it made sense! LOL There were soooooooo many nativity scenes! This one here was my favorite:
It's made of porcelain!
Oh yeah, and my silly picture (which was taken in the Salzburg Museum):
I'm holding (and pointing to) Mozart Balls. Evidently, if you go to Salzburg, you have to try them...Kristin and I weren't too impressed, actually. I wonder if there are other flavors, and maybe that would change my mind. But these ones had chocolate on the outside, and on the inside, was filled with hazelnut praline, pistachio marzipan and marzipan. I'm thinking it was the whole pistachio part I didn't really like. But I tried it! :)
After the museums, we wandered around the Market a little more, did a little buying, and headed towards Festung Hohensalzburg, or "High Salzburg Fortress." The history of that place is absolutely astounding. We didn't get to really see much of it. We were both pretty worn out by that point, and were hauling Collin's big ol' stroller up and down the steps there. Plus, it was super windy and cold up there! It sits up above the rest of Salzburg.
We were able to get some amazing pictures of Salzburg from up there, though.
After we took our pictures and fed Collin, we headed back down the funicular (such a fun word to say! Seriously! Try to say it!) to find Mozart's birthplace.
I was seriously disappointed that they wouldn't allow any pictures inside. There were some amazing exhibits that I would have loved to share! I even had a moment where I wanted to take some anyway, but Kristin convinced me to behave. ;) I wonder how much more is at the museum of Mozart's residence. We didn't make it over there. Or to the Mirabell Gardens. And, of course, we didn't have the time to do any of the Sound of Music tours. :( But Kristin and I figure we can just go back during warmer weather. hopefully on our own, without the ITT people, so that we can stay however long we want, and maybe go see a concert!
I absolutely loved visiting Salzburg! The people there were so warm, and friendly. It was a very hospitable culture! I guess Italians are too, in their own way. I can't quite pinpoint the difference, but there is a very noticeable one. But I think my husband would like the computer back, so I think I'll sign off for now!