Thursday, June 11, 2009

Salzburg

I had some major over-excitement issues about Salzburg. I just couldn’t wait. All I could think of was, this is where The Sound of Music was filmed. This is where The Sound of Music was filmed. This is where The Sound of Music was filmed. And that’s all I cared about—the fact that one of my favorite movies ever took place in Salzburg—nothing else.

Salzburg, Austria turned out to be much more than I had hoped.

Our first day in Salzburg was a cold and rainy one. We were all tired from the five-hour drive from Prague, and right after arriving we had to drag our tired (and quite hungry, by this time) feet through an hour-long tour of the city. It would have been quite interesting if we weren’t all so tired and hungry. 


Our tour guide was really cool, though. 

We learned most about Mozart. This is where he was born, after all. We saw his birthplace, and The Tomaselli, a café in which he used to hang out.


During this tour we did get to see a little bit of The Sound of Music sights, like the Maribel Gardens, where a lot of the song “Doe, a Deer” was filmed, but still not a enough that I got the kind of pictures I wanted.

The city of Salzburg was actually quite less than amazing to me, in the beginning, because we mostly walked through the boring parts of the city, with cable car lines and busy streets. Nothing too great.

See?

That night, we ate at our hostel, which was about ten times worse than our hostel in Prague. (Oh, I didn’t write about the Prague hostel, did I…It was quite nice with a cool lounge, spacious bedrooms, and private showers.) The Salzburg hostel had cramped rooms with only one outlet (which sucks when you’re in there with six other guys who all want to charge their stupid iPods and you also need a charged computer because you have a blog); it also had public showers and bathrooms, which were really gross, and the lobby wasn’t bad, but definitely worse than Prague. The food we had at the hostel either had “somewhat satisfied” or “diarrhea” written all over it, and I chose not to think about which outcome was more probable because I was so stinking hungry. It ended up being bland, but satisfying, and I remained regular, thank you.

**This following story I don’t have pictures for because I forgot it in my room at the hostel, but I borrow some from facebook.**

A bunch of us decided that we wanted some nice dessert after dinner, so we decided to venture to The Tomaselli. It was raining quite hard by this time, but we all had our spiffy blue choir jackets, so we went out with enthusiasm. We ended up getting lost in the city, but we were happy to finally find the beautiful Salzburg that everyone talks about. Beautiful city roads, many charming squares, and buildings from the 1500s and earlier were surrounding us the entire walk. Salzburg in the rain is incredibly refreshing; it’s not uncomfortable or scary at all—especially when you’re wearing a snazzy, water-proof, hooded North Face jacket.

We arrived soaking wet at The Tomaselli and took a seat. This place was really cute, and as we sat down, the server brought out a large tray filled with a plentiful selection of cakes. They were all beautiful, and I was way too overwhelmed to pick quickly. After a long gastronomical debate with myself, I ended up choosing a delicious vanilla crème cake. It may have been the moistest, most delicious and sugary piece of cake I have ever had. My friends and I decided later that I won in the cake department. (Yessss!) We also had some hot cocoa that was mildly sweet, perfectly warm and delicious. They actually gave us sugar to go with our cocoa that, when I added it, made the drink even more splendid. It was a perfect dessert after a crappy meal and a rainy walk through the city.

See how wet we were? Gosh.

My friends and I, not surprisingly, got lost again on our way home, which wasn’t so bad this time because we were already soaked yet warmed by the cocoa and we had a great time. This was one of the memories that I’m going to hold on for quite a long time.

The next day we had a full free day in Salzburg, which I had been looking forward to for a long time. We had the option of going to mass at the giant Salzburg Cathedral (called the DOM), which we had toured the day before and casually sung a song for the other tourists in the church.  But I thought, why go to worship when I could go ON A SOUND OF MUSIC TOUR!!

About ten friends went with me. We got a good price and were promised a four-hour rockin’ good time. How could you turn that down?

Here are some pictures from that tour.

You know this fountain, right? It's the one where Julie Andrews splashes the water during "I Have Confidence." My dream was to take a picture of me splashing the water at that fountain, but when we were there, they were fixing it and there was no water in it. I considered climbing the fence just to get near it, but I didn't. It's still cool, though.

This is in the song "Doe, a Deer."

These were the trees that all the kids were hanging from in the movie. 


Of course you recognize the gazebo. The woman in the first picture was our tour guide. She was pretty and she had on one of those cool green Austrian coats. And she sang with us on the bus. 

The front of the Von Trapp house. They actually use two houses for the front and back of the house. 


Here's the back. I would hang out here if I was a duck, too. 

The fountain the kids walked around during "Doe, a Deer." I couldn't resist. 

The steps from the end of "Doe, a Deer."

What did you expect from a bunch of American choir kids?

The church the wedding scene was filmed in.

I ate crisp apple strudel across the street from the church, just like the song! Unfortunately, the restaurant didn't serve schnitzel with noodles.  

I seriously considered buying one of these. 

In the middle of the tour, we had the option of riding some alpine sleds in the Alps! Of course we said yes to this dangerous, high-speed activity.

We took a quick stop to see this. Worth it. 


Somewhere in here, I flew my kite. 


You can see by the string in this last picture that I'm obviously failing at it, but look how cunning and athletic I look. 

After the tour, a large group of us decided to go to a beer garden for dinner. Oh boy, was the food good! They had different meats and breads and other dishes to choose from. With the help of the man behind the meat counter, I ended up getting some spicy dried sausage, some peppered salami, and some smoked cow tongue. 

Yes, you heard me correctly.

Smoked cow tongue.

I was quite afraid to try it, but the man insisted that it was delicious, so I got it. And, you know what? It was great.  It was like a super tender salami. The only gross bite was one with some of the taste buds on it. They were a little crunchy and bouncy, which I didn’t like very much. But I was very impressed with the tongue.

Since this trip is a Bethel University function, we are still under the Covenant agreement that we signed saying we won’t drink alcohol. The choir made an agreement that we wouldn’t drink unless it was culturally necessary. Well, when we were at the beer garden, our whole table asked for soda, and our server said, “Don’t you want beer?” And we all said no. He laughed at us. I suppose that make sense; we’re at a beer garden for crying out loud. So we, as a table, ordered one liter of beer. He laughed again Sensing that we weren’t going to order any more beer, he went to go get us a liter. When he brought it back, he passed a man who was bringing a mug twice our mug’s size back to drink himself. I understood why it was so ridiculous that we ordered a liter as a table.

We all shared the liter. What was really funny was when Melissa (the other choir chaplain) and I (also a chaplain) were passing the beer in between us. We all had a good laugh about that one.

After dinner, as we walked back, we saw a small road leading up a hill to some sort of old building, and decided to walk up it. (Of course.) It was a nice walk, and it ended up being very rewarding. Turns out that the old building was an ancient fortress, and the hill on which it sat had a view like no other. And it was such a nice, cool night, that I was humbled by the beauty of God has made, and what God has made us to make.


God, I love this world.

From our view of the city, we could see that a storm was coming, so we decided to head back. The fortress that overlooks Salzburg looks extra "fortressy" when it's storming. 

Of course we needed ice cream first. We got quite lost in the city again, but found an ice cream place soon enough. I had a wonderful vanilla and strawberry cone.

Austria was beautiful. The people, the landscape, and the beer garden…all wonderful. Also, I fell in love with the traditional dress some people wear—especially the green suit jackets the men wear. Check it out.


What do you say, Christie? Feel like matching in Salzburg? J

I love you all.  Peace to you.

Brian

P.S.: STREET ACTS!!!


 

 

11 comments:

  1. Great pictures Brian-worth waiting for! Salzburg is beautiful and I was amazed to see that I recognized some of the spots from the Sound of Music tour! I guess I have always loved that movie.
    My favorite pic of you is the close up one with the fortress in the backround. I love the pictures of the street acts too and the kite flying pictures too! You didn't break any laws flying it this time did you??
    Keep the blogs coming. We are all enjoying seeing Europe through you :o)
    Brenda

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  2. Oh, Salzburg is awesome!! There is so much to comment on!
    Alright, though the first tour was a little boring, it IS cool that you went some places Mozart was. Think about it.

    Hot chocolate on a rainy day is one of the greatest things! And you also got ice cream and to play in the rain... oh yeah and you were in SALZBURG. Even better!
    I like picture of you guys in the rain by the fountain.

    Oooh, and I'm so glad you slept in AND went on a Sound of Music tour! What a good day!!
    So, did you tour guide tell you all of the scenes you guys were visiting or are you just that knowledgeable about the movie??

    I recognize most of the sites, but not the front of the house. Was it really tan in the movie?
    AWESOME that you walked around the fountain just like they did!!!
    And, do you know that there is some random couple kissing in your steps picture? Heheh.

    Who got married in the movie? Julie Andrews and the main guy??
    That apple strudell looks SOOO delicious.
    But I can't believe you ate taste buds with your taste buds!!!! BLECHHHHH. Props for trying it I guess, but I am just so grossed out that you ate a tongue.
    Is the tongue in the picture right above the bread?

    I'm so glad you put up so many city pictures, they are beautiful!
    That fortress is scary.

    And yes, I would LOVE to go to Salzburg with you and match. :) Someday.... hahahha.

    One more thing, I like the Austrian digeridoo player.

    love you,
    Christie

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  3. WOW! What a day you had. Wish I was there to. Next........I am in shock! Brian eating cow tounge. Wait til you tell Grandpa S. He loves it, but won't believe you ate it. Love to you!

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  4. Excellent blog entry again, Bub! How is it that you can make me both laugh AND cry with almost every entry?

    Okay, I'm sure I know the answer to this...but you DID sing all of the corresponding songs with the corresponding landmarks, RIGHT??? I will be so disappointed if you didn't, so lie to me if you have to.

    I'm so glad the icky hostel food didn't give you the worst possible outcome! Remember, in case the need arises,you have a little ziplock baggie marked "Anti-D" in the first aid kit I packed in your duffle! (hey, don't yell at ME! YOU'RE the one that brought up the "D" word!) :-)

    I love the picture with the umbrellas and the fountain too. And I am so proud that you were declared the winner for the cake choice! (It is a coveted award in the Schroeder family when at restaurants.)

    I think I'm just going to have to watch The Sound of Music tomorrow! And DO try to find some Schnitzel with noodles before you leave!!! I'm very curious about that!

    YAY YOU for your very impressive extreme athletic kite flying!!!! You make a mother proud!

    The cow's taste buds were "BOUNCY"?????!!!! EEEeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!

    You should have bought the hat.

    I don't want to hear the details of the dangerous high speed activity. I'm going to pretend I didn't read that part.

    I love the many shots of your kite sticking out of the back of your backpack.

    Ya know...I can very easily picture you and Christie in that German garb and dancing that little dance that you guys do!

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and photos with us. It is very much appreciated.

    Love you,
    Mom

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  5. Who is the guy on the giant golden ball and how did he get up there? Why aren't you up there?

    I also would like to know which piece of meat was the tongue.

    Sara was both amused and disgusted by your food stories...and of course was gompletely ga ga over the Sound of Music stuff.

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  6. Super impressed with the kite flying pictures, you have never looked so athletic!

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  7. OOOh! I just noticed the creamy looking stuff that was served with your Crisp Apple Strudel (I can't say those words...I must sing them). What is that? It looks too runny to be pudding!

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  8. **MA ANSWERS**

    No, i didn't break any laws this time flying my kite. (not that i know of, anyway.) :)

    aw, cute! i didn't even see the couple kissing! and yes, the tongue is the gross-looking stuff above the bread.

    of course i sang the songs in the corresponding places. what did you expect?

    haha, the guy on top of the golden ball is a statue. trust me, if i could, i would totally get up there.

    thanks justine.

    the stuff on the apple strudel is vanilla cream. i bet you're getting excited. don't. it was kinda bland and grossed me out after awhile.

    i wonder why i haven't heard from lindsay yet...this should be her favorite place...

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  9. YAY!!! That is where The Sound of Music was made!!! SO EXCITED!!!

    *** Comments***
    ---Sorry I didn’t respond as soon as I normally do! I don’t go on the computer at all during the weekend because I am on the computer allllllll week while at work. Holy crap you posed THREE new blogs!!! So much to look at and SO much to say! Haha!
    ---Oh my goodness, the cake and hot cocoa sounds scrump-dilly-uptious!
    ---“why go to worship when I could go ON A SOUND OF MUSIC TOUR!!” Agreed!!! BaHAHAHAH!
    ---Christie---I don’t blame you for not knowing who got married in the movie, the wedding in the second half (the scary half) that I’ve only seen a couple of times. ; )

    ***Comments on Pictures***
    ---Pic 1---I should probably know this, but what’s the deal with the HUGE golden ball and the little guy on top? Is that a real person? I think you should have found a way to get up there and pose with him! (I wrote this before reading Sara/Chris comment, “great minds…”)
    ---Pic 2-7---Yadda yadda yadda, great pictures but get to The Sound of Music! I’m TOO excited!!!
    ---Pic 8---That’s SUCH a bummer that they were fixing the fountain!!! The picture still makes me want to randomly break out into song, “I have confidence in sunshine, I have confidence in rain, I have confidence that spring will come again, Besides which you see, I have confidence in ME!”
    ---Pic 9---It’s called “The Female Song” Brian geeze… “A-fwap-a-goin’ SUN!!!”
    ---Pic 10---I realize the trees don’t look like easy climbing trees, but did you at least try or consider climbing a tree?
    ---Pic 11---It’s too bad you couldn’t go inside the gazebo… I understand why you can’t but…sigh… I would just loooooOOOOOoooooove running around and around and jumping on the benches. I always thought that looked like fun…
    ---Pic 13-14---Oh… my…..GOD!!! It’s reeeeally the Von Trapp house… *tear* Haha! Does someone really live there? Why couldn’t you get closer? Couldn’t you ride a duck over to take a closer look??? I want to touch it like the castle in Disney World…seriously!
    ---Pic 15---Well done with your fountain dancing. Haha! Why didn’t everyone else join in??? Was it just too cool to frolic around the fountain? I should have been there to boss people around and take pictures! ; )
    ---Pic 17—Haha! This is cute! But I have to say it reminds me of the second half of the movie (that I always skip) when they are doing the scary performance in the scary dark arena with the bad guys... You should have taken a scared pose doing that too! = )
    ---Pic 19---You SHOULD have bought that hat!!!
    ---Pic 20---HOW FUN!!! How fast do you think you went down the hill? I saw some of your friends pictures on fb of that same ride, it looked like a blast. Did it hurt your butt?
    ---Pic COW TONGUE---Ok, so you know how we talked about being numb to the shocking foods Andrew Zimmern eats on Bizarre Foods? Well, at first I thought “humm interesting, good for you!” but then you said that the taste buds were “a little crunchy and bouncy” and it made my stomach do a flip… pretty sure if I was in your shoes I wouldn’t be able to do it. I would however be brave and tap-tap it with a stick!
    ---Pic Traditional Salzburg Dress---forget matching windbreakers Brian & Christie, these outfits are MUCH more fun! ; )

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  10. HA! Well worth the wait Linds! You did not disappoint! :-)

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  11. yay!! i knew you'd like those pictures, linds!!

    i considered climbing the trees, i really did, but i knew we didn't have enough time. what i would have done for a ladder...

    we couldn't go closer to the houses because they're private residences and the jerks who live there don't open the places up for tours. doesn't that stink?? i totally would have just walked up to touch them too!!

    yes, they are way too cool to dance around the fountain...or just sick of me freaking out at every Sound of Music sight.

    for picture 17, what picture are you talking about? the 17 that i counted was the garden in which they sang the female song...

    the alpine sleds did not hurt my butt, and i'm not sure how fast they went, but it felt fast! the trick is to see how fast you can possibly go without tipping over and...dying. i did a really good job.

    you would have loved the cow tongue. yes, the one slice with taste buds on it took some concentration to suppress my gag reflex, but the rest of it tasted like really light and delicate summer sausage. next time we're at a meat market, you're trying some. :)

    the more i think about that hat and jacket, the more i want to go back to salzburg. at least for the hat. the jacket's probably expensive.

    thanks, linds, for the comment!!

    (this is from london, by the way...wait for THOSE stories. lots of fun!)

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