Boy, oh boy, do I have an adventure for you guys! Yes, this is one for the books, my friends. So, as many of you may already know, Kenny and I are expecting a wee, (though, probably not so wee) little babe in May. A baby boy who gets to carry on the family name: Kenneth Eugene Frease IV. His inevitable size will help when his classmates find out his middle name, ha ha, kidding, Kenny! We are very excited and can’t wait for this next chapter in our lives:) Which brings us to our Adventure Babymoon in Austria! Ken had a very rare week off a few weeks ago and I was feeling great in my 2nd trimester; thus, the timing was perfect. Since we have both always wanted to see Vienna a plan was hatched: three days in Salzburg and three days in Vienna.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Salzburg, (everyone knows Vienna, thanks Billy) it is the city where the famous 60’s movie musical, “The Sound of Music,” was filmed. You know, the one in the Alps with gorgeous views and lovely sprawling gardens. If you haven’t seen it you have certainly heard the “Do-Re-Me Song,” possibly stuck in someone’s head… ‘cuz let me tell you it’s a tough one to shake.
First impression of Salzburg: quaint and clean. The store signs in Old Town are all unique as they use few words to depict what they sell. Dating back to medieval times stores would use mainly imagery on their signs so illiterate people could tell what they were selling. City regulations prevent electricity being used as well, a nicely executed attempt at evoking the “ye ole days”. Here are some ye ole signs…
As we arrived in Salzburg just before the sun was going down, naturally, the first thing on our mind was dinner. Ken and I always treat ourselves to one nice evening out when we visit a new city. I desperately needed strudel because, “when in Rome,” am I right? So, as we walked around checking out the quaint little shops and sights Kenny scoped out menus for a promising strudel selection. We settled on a nice little spot next to Mozart’s old house.
Mozart’s birth house was not very impressive, out of my 27,000 photos I didn’t even take one of his house. That’s how unimpressive it was… though, knowing myself, it’s more likely that it was just too dark for decent photos at the time. By the way, get used to hearing about Mozart, he belongs to Austria and everyone must know it.
Here’s some Kenny photos at dinner…
I’m pregnant and was “dying” so we ate super early. Until that corner dude in the first photo got there we had the place to ourselves. Let me tell you we wanted for nothing from the wait staff… Also that “crisp apple strudel” was phenomenal.
We took in the evening lights and sights, bought some excellent macaroons for the room, and made our way back for some Mario and Ted time. We still just have the one dog… we actually brought our Nintendo Wii with us. Mainly because we knew I’d be pretty tired after walking for hours and hours, still though… #nerds.
I also took this glorious river shot en route. Wowza.
The next day I was determined to see the gorgeous garden that the Von Trapp’s frolicked through in the movie. So after some Kenny caffeination we headed to the Hellbrunn Palace!
Okay… so I’m not an idiot, I am very aware of the snow and overall deadness of winter. I’m sure the gardens are exquisite in season but the winter wonderland made it rather unrecognizable, so instead of raindrops on the roses there was about a foot of snow on them. Though it was still fabulous, the palace was beautiful, and it was a completely different kind of lovely. Plus, I still found the arched “ivy” path:)
Kenny and I drank our warm drinks and wandered around the peaceful, snowy scenery for awhile.
Next stop Fortress Hohensalzburg!
We began our trek to the fortress! Luckily, there was an awesome Festungsbahn (fortress train) funicular up to the top, because that trek was steeeeep.
Fun fact: the train actually climbs at a 62% angle and only takes one minute.
Once we got up there though, wowza. The view was pretty grand.
The fortress itself was really quite excellent. Lots of winding stone paths and tunnels to wander through… and get sort of lost in…
Kenny also decided to make things more thrilling and thus made it his goal to snipe attack me with snowballs whenever I wasn’t, “on my guard.”
*Cue dramatic eye roll*
After a few more reindeer games we made our way to the inner fortress. Normally we don’t find it absolutely imperative to tour the inside of a castle/fortress. You just end up walking up about 1,000 flights of stairs just to see rooms you’ve seen near copies of in several castles you’ve been to before (geez, dejected much?). But! we read they had a torture chamber and it peaked our interest (and morbid too, yeesh!).
So we wandered around with our little audio guides hearing about how important and amazing salt was back in medieval times. All joking aside it was pretty nuts how prosperous Salzburg was just from that one resource. Salt was the only way to preserve food back then, without it, you were toast (haha food puns.)
Anywho! We finally made it to the torture chamber and the first thing our stupid audio guide spat at us was this: “This was not actually a torture chamber, it is merely a room where they kept SOME of the torture instruments.” Great! Wandered around for 25 minutes for a freaking wheel and some shackles.
Except we were completely wrong, and rather lucky that our macabre interests lead us on this tour because we got some incredible views. Photos just cannot do them justice.
Kenny became pretty obsessed with taking the perfect panorama shot. He really was rather skilled.
We made our way down the extremely narrow stone steps (duck, Ken!) and back out to the outer courtyard to take in the breathtaking views a bit more.
Also so Ken could snipe me with another snowball, apparently…
We headed back down the funicular and started to make our way back towards Old Town for some refreshments. But first we stopped in the beautiful Dom Salzburg (cathedral) to light a candle, reflect and take in the gorgeous baroque architecture.
Kenny and I have visited several cathedrals all across Europe and I always feel the same way. The detail that goes into the creation of these cathedrals is incredible. Construction began in the early 1600’s and look what they were able to do. Just looking up and thinking of the time and work put in centuries ago is a testament to the love and reverence people felt for God and their faith. Good thing cathedrals are a good place for introspection:)
Next it was cake time! We stopped by a cafe across from Mozart’s house aptly named Mozart’s Cafe for some caffeine (unfortunately just for Ken) and to try some Austrian cakes!
I was pretty exhausted after a long day of walking and exploring. Pregnant Emily just can’t hang like she used to. So, we grabbed a carry out burger from an awesome looking Bio Burger joint, headed back to the hotel to play Mario, and hang with the Tedster. This is a “To Be Continued…” situation here… That was just our first two days in Salzburg. My next blog will hit you with our last day and maybe a bit of Vienna, who knows.
Until the next one! Cheers!
Also if you haven’t seen the short GoPro video I took of the first half of our Salzburg trip click the code below because I’m too cheap to upgrade my WordPress plan for videos…