Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Is this thing on?

On our way to Salzburg this past weekend, we spent one night in Bolzano, a mid-sized city in northern Italy. The highlight of our brief time there was our hotel upgrade to an executive suite about the size of our condo in Atlanta. Thanks Starwood Preferred Guest points! It was also interesting to see the German/Austrian influence in the Italian town – architecture, people, language, etc. It was very different from our previous two stops in Italy (and much colder).

We arrived in Salzburg Sunday night and luckily found one restaurant still serving dinner near our guesthouse. Although completely charming, the place we stayed was about 20 minutes outside of the city center. We spent most of Monday walking around the city, avoiding the tour groups, and enjoying the food! Below is a picture of Jonathan with his first, but not last, pretzel of the day!

From her study abroad days, Heather remembered the famous Augustiner Braustubl Tavern beer hall/garden, and Jonathan was definitely looking forward to a visit. This was our favorite beer hall/garden so far! It was much less touristy than the beer halls in Munich and also much larger. Visitors can actually bring in a picnic or purchase local food from the vendors. Below is a picture of Heather enjoying our dinner Monday evening and her 1 liter beer!

One thing that Heather missed while studying abroad in Austria was the "Sound of Music" movie tour. After much debate, we decided to do a self-guided tour of the major movie sites in Salzburg (which we recorded with Heather commentating), rather than joining a tour group. The highlight of our tour was visiting the Stift Nonnberg (Abbey) where several movie scenes were filmed. The nunnery is actually considered to be the world’s oldest with constant occupation of the site since the 700s. Below is a picture of the alter area of the church. We also heard the nuns singing their morning prayers, which was really cool!

Even though he hasn’t seen the movie and isn’t really a fan of musicals (shocking!), Jonathan was a good sport! Below is a picture of Heather after narrating an explanation of a movie scene filmed in the beautiful Mirabell Gardens.

After a long day of filming, we decided a return trip to the Augustiner Braustubl Tavern was necessary. Luckily it was sunny enough to actually go out into the gardens! The picture at the top of the blog was taken while we were trying to set the timer on our camera to capture our experience in the beer garden. They also had TVs set up so we could follow the World Cup games!

Last night we ate a four course meal at our guesthouse that was one of the best of our trip! We should have skipped lunch! Interestingly, we were seated next to an Australian couple also on a three month holiday! We decided we live in the wrong country as the husband described how he gets 15 weeks of vacation a year (1 for every year with the company) plus the standard 4 weeks!

Today we took a train to Vienna (on which Heather accidentally squirted hand-sanitizer in the eye of the guy sitting across from us) in time to drop our bags off at the hotel before catching the USA soccer match! After the game (which the USA dramatically won in the final minutes), we grabbed dinner, explored the city a bit, and then shared coffee/dessert at one of the city's famous cafes.

Beer List:
• Stiegl Weizengold Hefefein (an Austrian Hefeweizen)
• Stiegl Weizengold Dunkel (an Austrian Dunkelweizen)
• Stiegl Zwickl (an Austrian Zwickelbier)
• Augustinerbrau Kloster Mulln Marzen (an Austrian Marzen)

1 comment:

  1. I miss you two!! I can't wait to see the video tour from Heather - I love love love that movie!