Salzburg - Day 1

Trip Start Jun 02, 2005
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Trip End Jul 05, 2005


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Saturday, July 2, 2005

It's 4:30am here in Salzburg, and it's fairly quiet. There are a few other passengers walking the platform, and it's still fairly dark. We make our way to our Pension, albeit earlier than expected, and drop off our luggage. The man who answered the door was chinese, and I'm not sure if he appreciated us rocking up so early... but he was nice enough to let us drop off our gear.

A light rain was falling as we walked back towards the station (Photo 1). There were other tourists as well, who had made a home on the floor, most likely waiting for their connecting train. The shops weren't due to open for about 1.5hrs, so we made do, walking around, reading brochures, and generally, planning our day. I think the combination of the early morning, and the little sleep we had, kicked in hard and I was feeling pretty wasted. The only way to stay awake was to walk around, and we saw this cool train with heaps of Beamers (photo 2). The sky begins to brighten up, and with it, the mood of the morning (Photo 3). As a shop opens, we run in for coffee and breakfast... and move when the smoke in the room starts to irritate.

We book a mozart dinner, then as 9am hits, we make our way out into town. Our first stop is Mirabella gardens. I can't quite remember how this place was famous, but I think it may have been in the Sound of Music (Photo 5). The garden itself is quite lovely, with some pretty cool statues (photo 8). There was a wedding being held there, actually, a couple of weddings. We more or less had to duck and weave through the videos and cameras as we checked out the Mirabella Palace, and through the gardens. One of the weddings hired these dudes in green Lederhosen shooting old fashioned shotguns (Photo 6). It made a hell of a noise, and I only managed to get a blurry shot of them. In hindsight, I should have used the video feature on my camera :(

We spent about 1.5hrs around the gardens, then visited a nearby church. I think the thing that caught me as different in this church, is that the statues and frescos within it had a big crufixion theme about them.

Went back to the Pension to shower, unpack, and power nap. Lunch was at a hotel restaurant down the road. I settled on a salad, some of the girls went for a sausage type meal - i forget which.

We rushed back to meet up with our tour bus at our pension. The tour we joined is the Sound of Music tour, which I think nearly every tourist passing through Salzburg ends up doing at some stage. We bumped into this guy that we met, earlier in the day. Earlier in the day, we were helping him find his accommodation after leaving the same train we had caught into Salzburg. His tour had been cancelled (because he was the only person on it), so he joined our one. I forgot his name... hmm.. we'll call him John. He's from the states.

The tour was pretty cool. The guide we had seemed very feminine, but maybe that was just in his gaiety speech, or flourish of arms as he spoke. He was quite funny and definitely entertaining :) He took us through mountains, lakes, places where they did filming, told us a bit of history of the movie, the scandals, the screening dramas... lots of stuff. And yes, there was singing on the bus! Though admittedly, I didn't know many of the words, but Justy did *grin*

We had lunch at this little cafe (Photo 15 - just behind pink awnings). The apple strudel with vanilla apparently here is the pick of the lot :) Outside, I walked past these 3 chicks, 2 posing for a photo & 1 taking it. They were getting ready to smile, and I just did those rabbit ears behind the photographer. After the shot, one of the posing girls told their friend what I did... but I quickly walked away ... from the scene of the crime!

We travelled back on the autobahn, which is apparently U.S owned, and if ever the military aircraft needed to land, they would convert it back to a runway for U.S use. I think it's one of the very first autobahn's in the world.

In Salzburg once again, as we walked back to our pension to pick up our dinner/concert tickets and get changed(?), I noticed the Korean chicks that I did the rabbit ears to were walking behind us. After a bit of umming and arring, I went up to talk to them for a little bit. That's how I found out they were Korean. I can't remember what we talked about in our 2 minute conversation, and as I left, I regretted not getting any photos to send back to Dennis :)

We walked past the Mirabella gardens once more on our way to our Mozart dinner. We lost Jenny along the way, and after frantic searching, found her waiting for us at the entrance where our dinner was held. They served the meals in between concert performances. There was a small orchestra of about 5 people, and 2 Austrian opera singers. I particularly enjoyed watching one of the female violinists as she played because she used a lot of body movement - I guess it makes it more interesting. Just listening and watching the performance rekindled my fascination with the violin, it's quite a cool instrument when played well :)

On our table, we shared it with this lovely family from the states. Ted (the Korean guy to my left in Photo 22), and KailaAnn Kaleikaumaya Timbreza, his godchild(?) and Ted's wife Loretta (taking the photo unfortunately) where from the states somewhere. Ted's a Korean/American, and Loretta a Hawaiian born are Kaila Ann's guardians. I didn't ask about how that came about, but Ted was really cool. He was telling me how he scored Loretta, something about a bar, a night out, a night together, and a happily ever after :) I got a bit more detail than that, but you get the picture :) I'm not sure if it's because they can't have their own children, but they dearly love Kaila Ann and treat her as their own. I didn't pick up what Loretta and the girls ended up talking about, but Ted and I just went through topics of golf, travel, music, women, history and people in general.

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As an aside, I just had a phone call to my home number (in London) from a mobile phone sales lady. Her name is Samantha, and she's from India. I used the line that I didn't have a job to try and encourage her to not sell me anything, but we ended up chatting for a bit. What did we talk about? She met her husband in the call centre as well, and they're planning to move to Australia. She sounds like she very much loves her man... talks highly of him. They don't have kids yet, but planning to when they settle in Australia. She's from Bangalore, and says it's a very beautiful place, and says I should go visit it when I get the chance. All in all, quite an interesting chat... just thought it's strange chatting to a telesales person about these things :)
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We got a bit lost walking home after the enjoyable concert. I kinda realised we were lost when a mountain suddenly appeared beside us .. and reminded us that we should be referring to the map :)

I fell asleep waiting for the shower, and was out cold 'til morning. It's been a long day. Till tommorrow...
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