Sunday, October 11, 2015

Salzburg, Austria Adventures - Day One

The Solheim Cup finished up on Sunday, and we planned to start the next part of our trip on Monday morning with my parents. We picked up a new rental car, a 9 passenger manual transmission van, on Monday morning and picked up my parents at their hotel in Mannhiem.
We thought it would be easier to get around with one car and with six of us and lots of large luggage, we needed as much space as we could get. It was a good thing Tony was our driver! Although, he probably drove the van faster than most normal people would!

We had ambitious plans of making it to the Neischwein castle (the Disney Castle) on our way to Austria. On the map, our drive to Austria looked to be about 4 hours and going to the castle would add about 2 hours. This seemed do-able for the day. Well, a combination of things happened, and we couldn't make it to the castle and make it to Salzburg before dark. Getting the rental car took longer due to traffic in Heidelberg, so we were late picking up my parents. Then, we hit a lot of traffic heading out of Mannheim and just when it looked like the traffic was getting better, we hit a major traffic jam getting onto the next major highway we need to take. We thought we could try to go another route, but never found anything that wouldn't take forever. We ended up stopping for lunch at a rest area and reassessing our plan. We decided we just needed to head back towards the A8 traffic jam because it really was the best way to go. We sat in traffic for probably an hour. Poor Tony's left leg on the clutch the entire time! Then along the A8 there were other areas of construction and what not that slowed us down too. At this point, we were just going with it and stopped a few times to get snacks and take breaks since we had been in the car so long. We read that we had to get some kind of sticker to drive on the "toll roads" in Austria. We were pretty excited that we figured out how to do that!
We had to stop at a rest area gas station and buy the card. We never could really tell what was a toll road or not in Austria, but we had the tag on our car if we needed it.

We got to Salzburg and checked into our apartment about 5 PM. We had been in the car all day, and had not expected that at all. We had picked up my parents about 10 AM. We rented a three bedroom place with a ton of space, washer/dryer, and kitchen. It was really nice and in a perfect location right on the pedestrian streets with lots of restaurants, shops, and a close walk to the sights.

We really just had time that night to get a few things at the grocery store and get some dinner. We ended up eating at an Italian place right across from our front door!

We had two days in Salzburg for sightseeing, Tuesday and Wednesday. We knew that Wednesday was going to be a rainy day, so we wanted to get some sights in before that. We walked to the Old Town area, which was right across the river from where we stayed. It was only a few minute walk. We stopped at a Starbucks across from one of Mozart's residences.
We spent the morning checking out the city. We really liked Salzburg because there were a lot of things to see, but it was all within walking distance.

The main shopping street in the Old Town was so neat! Every shop had these really cute signs hanging into the walkway.
The river and views from either side of it were beautiful! You could see the Fortress Hohensalzburg up on the mountain above the city from all around. Plus all the other mountains surrounding the city in the background.
We walked across several different bridges, but there is a bridge with "love locks" similar to the one in Paris.
We went to some of the other squares, Residenzplatz and Mozartplatz, on our walk around.
Cole loved the mini sized coffee cart!
Both of these squares were seen in The Sound of Music too!

Cole really enjoyed all the pigeons everywhere! He would chase them around and send them flying!
We ate lunch at a seafood, order at the counter, place off the main shopping area. My parents were going to do a Sound of Music bus tour in the afternoon, and we needed to get back to let the kids nap. So we really didn't want to have to do a full sit down place for lunch. It was actually really good and a nice break from Italian, which was our go-to many days.

After naps, Tony and I took the kids out to see a few more sights before my parents got back from their tour. (They really enjoyed their tour! It was just four hours on and off a bus which we thought would be challenging with Miss Cate.)

After naps, we got a little gelato snack.
Then we walked over to find St. Peter's Cemetery which was the inspiration for the cemetery in The Sound of Music. It was tucked back behind some gates and was very quiet and beautiful with tons of flowers and iron gates.
The tram to go up to the fortress was right next door and was another thing we thought the kids might enjoy since they had so much fun at the castle in Heidelberg. We got some pretty amazing views of Salzburg once we got to the top!

We also got to see some of the inside "living areas". The fortress was actually huge once we got up there! It had a lot of different buildings and levels to it. We found a large courtyard that the kids liked to run around in. Cole even liked tossing the rings onto the little horse that was randomly in the middle of it.
Cole did a ton of walking this day! He had his moments when he got tired and wanted to be carried, but overall, he did a great job. We met back up with my parents after their tour and went to a bru house for dinner. We all had schnitzel and they had a playroom for the kids! It was one of our more relaxing meals since the kids didn't have to sit and wait for their food. It had been a full day for everyone, and we were all ready to get back to our apartment and relax after that!

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