Saturday, Day 12 – Salzburg (Austria)

Time is running short and as with any vacation, I would like just a couple more days! After our day of rest and local perusing, we take the morning train to Salzburg, Austria, only 90 minutes away. Five of us – Bert, Bridget, Bert’s cousin Helma, John and I are a raucous group as we laugh all the way at my goofy German pronunciations and Bert and John playing out their own comedy show. Our first stop in Salzburg is the spectacular Mirabelle Gardens, constructed for the arch bishop’s mistress in an earlier century (don’t ask me which one as we have been in too many). Some of the flowers are arranged in lovely curliques; the red rose garden is expansive and the line of tuberous begonias produce their own fireworks of glorious colors. There are nods to mythology with the Pegasus fountain and statues of unicorns, sea gods, the nine muses and, lions, of course? We part ways after the gardens so John and I can visit Mozart’s birthplace and Dancing Master’s Hall. First we cross the Salz River where we stop for photos, allowing me an opportunity to look more closely at the open metalwork on the bridge. Here and there, the bridge is adorned with padlocks – some are fancily engraved with the names of lovers while others simply bear the lovers’ initials in marker, many are dated, probably with wedding dates. A sweet tradition! As we toured the Mozart buildings, we heard the history of Mozart’s life and music on an English audio tour, accompanied, naturally, by his beautiful music, beginning with a piece he composed at age 8. Seeing original sheet music, family letters and his pianos and organs gave me the tingles. This is the bulk of our day with just a little time left to explore the narrow pedestrian-only alleys lined with shops where the ornate signs hang a story up into the street to announce their intentions. I decide I need to return here one day to admire the handmade laces, Swarovski crystals, glass blown Christmas ornaments and more.
We meet our party at Mozart Plaza and take a photo at the famous “Sound of Music” fountain, featured in the Do, Re, Mi song. It’s just a few steps from there to The Dom, a glorious Basilica featuring ornate Baroque architecture, an immense organ and colored vaulted ceilings with a main rotunda. It seems out of place after such splendor to eat sausages at the open air market, but we do and ours ooze with white cheese. We catch a bus to the train station and head back to Aschau to grab grocery breakfast for our early a.m. departure to Neuschwanstein Sunday.

dinner – John crashes early.. Joy gets rababa (rhubarb ice cream), with pile of fresh strawberries and heaps of whipped cream

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