Friday, October 03, 2008

Salzburg - Not just for Sound of Music fans

Salzburg is a beautiful city. Even if you are not a rabid "Sound of Music" fan. We had a great time there with the girls. It offers plenty to do in a 2 day period - a day in the city and a day to roam outside. A great in-between spot - Munich, Innsbruck, Vienna are all within 2.5 hrs.

It is also very close to Berchtesgaden, Germany where we made a quick trip up the mountain to the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagles'Nest). Bart & I didn't have a chance to go when we were in Salzburg in '96 so we took the opportunity this trip.

The Eagles' Nest was a 50th B-day present for Hitler from the Party. It was built for Party functions and not as a true residence. It is amazing as it has about a 300 degr. view around from the top - the only thing obstructing a 360 view is part of the mountain it's located on. We asked the girls if they knew who Hitler was. Rachel: "In 1933, Hitler was the First Chancellor of Germany. He made many laws which made it difficult for the Jewish people to live there and because of him, the Frank family had to leave Frankfurt. ..."

She is doing a unit called "Influential People" right now and her person is Ann Frank. It is amazing how much information these little people get about history and other matters in their Unit Studies. She blew us away.

The country chose not to tear down this place but instead use it for tourism. It does have incredible views. We found it interesting that there are no flags flying in the area. Unusual for Europe - flags flying everywhere.

Old Salzburg with the fortress on the hill. This fortress is unique and one of the largest intact in Europe. Salzburg was an independent 'state' under rule of the reigning Archbishops until Napoleon convinced them otherwise. The beautiful Mirabell gardens. Kendra "Hey, didn't they film the Sound of Music in here mommy" "yes, dear, they did" She has a good eye/memory. So they proceeded to sing "doe, a deer,..." while I'm going "Shhhhhhhh"
Salzburg's greatest resident: Mozart. The City holds 7 music festivals per year and Mozart dominates the tourism theme.
Our little "Magic Flute" puppets. We took the girls to the Marionetten Theatre in Salzburg who will be celebrating a history of 100 yrs in 2011. It is amazing to see the craft involved in the marionette puppets and the skill required to perform with them.
Schloss Shonbrunn - a short distance from the city centre. This was the summer residence built by Archbishop Markus Atticus in the 1700's and it is truly a fun and beautiful place to visit. The pic here shows part of the 'wasserspiele garten' (waterplay- garden = hard to give it a direct translation).

There are many amusing, hidden fountains within the garden that the Archbishop would surprise his guests with. Including the table you see - every seat has a fountain in it except for the head seat where the Archb. sat. There are also moving diorama's that are water powered. Very entertaining for adults and children.

Besides which, the gardens themselves are absolutely beautiful and they have a huge playground which was fun for the girls.

So - Salzburg is ideal for a family if you are traveling through Austria. Enjoy the pic's and will be back next week!


Linds said...

Salzburg is such a beautiful place - I remember going to the church where the wedding from the Sound of Music was filmed, and standing behind the grille at the back, and actually watching a wedding. Wonderful. We also went to the marionette theatre - stunning.
Have a great weekend!

Judy said...

Now I want to go there! I've been to Lucern and Bern and Zermatt. I'd love to see Austria.

Josh & Sarah said...

I got so excited when I finally saw someplace on your blog that I've been! :) When we were at the Eagles Nest in summer '00, it was sooooo cold and rainy up there. I was freezing in my sandles, shorts, and sweatshirt.

I now return to living vicariously through the rest of your travels. :)

I'll be sending a huge hug with Julie for you...