Another day in Salzburg

Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
Trip End Sep 17, 2006

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Today was another day in Salzburg, Austria. We got up early and caught the bus into Salzburg. The first place we visited was Mozart's Residence. They had an audio guide in English for us to listen to while walking from room to room. There were many items there that belonged to Mozart including some pianos and organs. The audio let us listen to many sonatas and symphonies composed by Mozart. Once again I was in awe thinking that Mozart walked these same steps as me. We enjoyed hearing even more about Mozart's life, his family, his wife and children. The Mozart's were very talented starting with Leopold (Mozart's father), Amadeus, his sister Nannerl and both of Amadeus' sons. All in all Amadeus Mozart wrote 600 symphonies, songs and operas that started at the age of 4. During our tour of Mozart's residence we found out an interesting fact. The people in Mozart's time did not believe in using water to bath with because they felt that the water opened up their pores and allowed infections to enter their bodies .They would just dry bath their bodies. Interestingly, we feel that belief holds true today based on our experiences of the last three days. We then went to the Art Gallery. Not really our cup of tea but it was free with our Salzburg card. The best think I can say about it is that we saw an original Rembrandt painting WOOHOO! We walked to the Catacombs next to St. Peters Church since it was closed on Monday. The catacombs date back to 477 A.D. They were actually caves dug out by the Romans for burial. There is rumor that St. Maximus was tortured and then killed here. Later on in the early 1610's, Monks at St. Peters Church lived in solitude in these catacombs. There were several cave rooms with religious artifacts dating to 1178 A.D. It was a very interesting tour. One of the oldest manmade places I have ever been. We then went to Mozart's birthplace. It was enjoyable to see where Mozart spent his early years of life. Once again we had the English audio and obtained much more info on you can tell I love the music of Mozart. This has been very fun for me. We then went to the Hellbrunn Palace. This magical palace sits a few kilometers from Salzburg. The palace was built by Archbishop Markus Sittikus as a residence and not for governing, he had it built for pleasure. The castle courtyards are full of beautiful statues and fountains. But beware, the bishop was a bit eccentric...he had special mechanical devices set up that would squirt water from the most unexpected places. He loved to entertain and shock his guests with these trick fountains. Yes we did get wet. They were amazing! To think he did this in 1612 with little technology. He even had a miniaturized town built showing people working and walking around. It was truly incredible. He had a fascination with Ibex (mountain ram) and would catch them and keep them as pets. He was the 1600 equivalent of Michael Jackson! We toured the palace and it was wonderfully ornate. We have really grown tired of the crowds (and guys wearing Capris) here in the city, so we will spend the last few nights in the mountains. We have decided to change our plans and go to the Italian Dolomites (Mountains). It will be great to be far away from the maddening crowds. We want to do a little more hiking in the alpine region, so we leave tomorrow for Italy. Kevin wants everyone to know that he has drunk a beer from every country we have visited so far. It is fun to watch him gag them down as he dislikes the taste of beer.

Auf Wiedersehen...
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