Alvederzene Austria and Germany!
Sorry my blogs from abroad have been so few and far between. I actually was writing daily, but like the "Bermuda Triangle" my blogs mysteriously disappeared somewhere over the Atlantic! But let me try and encapsulate the trip for you. We had the BEST viewers from WNY take this adventure! We left from Atlanta and first arrived in Kitzbuhel. An Olumpic destination, this picturesque town is nestled in the
Alps. the perfect combination of the old and new. Age old farms circle the town while in Kitzbuhel itself, you'll find ultra modern conveniences--and a 33 foot breakfast buffett, as our travelers enjoyed daily! Our hotel was great and left from there daily for Tractberg Castle and a trip back in time to Innsbruck...another Olympic town! In the shadow of the oldest church dating back to the 15 hundreds, you can see the ski-jump off in the distance! The ski jumpers also get a good view of the cemetery as they launch themselves off it !!
The weather started off a bit cloudy, and we did see some rain, but mostly while we were on the coach to our next destination. We learned a lot of European history from our guides Mike and Peter. Peter was actually from Kitzbuhel and his brother was a silver medalist in skiing for one of those Olympics!
Innsbruck was incredible! The "old city" is so old..the new city is a mere 600 years old! You can still see where the "royals" enjoyed looking down upon the city square from their veranda which still sports a "gold roof" !
Who knew one of our favorite stops would be a working salt mine in the town of Berchesgarten! That's where you can still see Hitler's "eagles' nest" high up the tallest mountain. Salt was an important trading item back in the day and everyone wanted it. (Hence the name Saltzburg!) Anyway, we changed into one-piece suits for our trip down into the mine. We boarded these trams single-file and went down, down, down! When we got off the tram, we actually had to sit toboggan-like on these wooden slides to descend to the next level! If you don't believe me, we have pictures!! It was absolutely incredible! There was even a boat-ride down there! Like a strange disney ride--with the same souvenir stop at the end! Don't miss the salt mine trip- if you ever get the chance.
Then it was on to Saltzberg! Lots of references to the"Sound of Music"..what was real, what wasn't..but a magical city, the birthplace of Mozart! We actually got to see his boyhood apartment! And the pretzels or "bretzens" as they are called there are about a foot across! You can get them doughnut like or spiced..they were all "voondabal". And the beer changed with every serving. Everyone makes beer here, it's the national drink! I think Salzburg was my favorite and we wrapped up the experience with a night at a Tyrolian restaurant. Great entertainment and even one of our travelers was brought up on stage to dance!
Of course the famous "Passion Play" was part of our experience in Obergammerau. It was a moving-if long- experience. Performed by the locals there, it meant something different to everyone.
The days were going by with visits to the countryside, a farm, and a cruise along a beautiful mountain lake. ]We ended our trip where we began, in Munich. Such a historical city--at one time 80% destroyed in WWII. We spent an afternoon around the "Marionplatz" homeof the famous Glockinspiel clock! Thousands wait daily for it to go off at noon and five pm. After that another highlight of the trip was to see the fabulous Neuschwannstein Castle built by mad King Ludwig! This is the castle Walt Disney based his on! It's absolutely fairy tale and our farewell dinner was in it's shadow at a local monestary turned restaurant. Holiday did a great job and all our travelers seemed very happy with their experience! We also learned laughed alot! Ask anyone about the "little sheds" we saw, and Peter's jokes of the day..then write them down!
..Now from what I hear, it's on to Paris in April! Book early. We had two gals from Iowa on this trip who went last year and they were still talking about how fantastic it was!
Thanks to all who went along for the ride..even a 6 hour layover in Atlanta was fun with this group..and I hope to see and hear from you all soon! Linda P.