Monday, February 6, 2012

Alpine & Bavarian Adventures

I just returned from two and a half weeks in an amazingly beautiful, warm, sunny place called Australia.  But first, since I never finished writing about our Christmas and New Year's trip, here's a little more winter before the summer...

After spending the day with Katrin in Steyr, we took the train to Salzburg.  We then spent the next day exploring Salzburg before the arrival of our fun friends Holger and Annett, who live a few hours away from Salzburg.  

I generally have a low tolerance for musicals, so I can't say I'm a Sound of Music fan.  We had to watch it in 7th grade music class, and I'm pretty sure I can't tell you anything about it now.  I thought about watching it before we went to Salzburg, just for kicks.  Then, I realized there were about a million other things I'd rather do than watch a musical.

However, apparently a lot of people go to Salzburg because of the Sound of Music.  We just heard it was pretty, and had good access to skiing (for Ken).  Both of which were true.

Salzach River.

Old Town.

View of the surrounding Alps from the castle in Salzburg, whilst sipping glorious glühwein.

Loved these Christmas decorations at the castle against the blue sky.

There was a room full of scary marionette puppets at the castle (and by "scary" I mean regular marionette puppets, which are frightening by nature).  This photo op made it a little less nighmare-ish.

Unicorns at Mirabell Palace.

Fountain at Mirabell Palace.  There were a lot of people taking pics by this fountain, and I later discovered that's because they sing some song around it in the Sound of Music.  Eeek.


Holger and Annett joined us the next day, and they drove us outside of the city to Flachau for some skiing in the Alps.

The fellas enjoying a little après-ski.

Annett is normally the ski queen, but unfortunately her back kept her from it this time around.  Thus, she had to hang with me as a non-skier.

While the guys skied, we took a horse and carriage ride in a little village!  This activity appeared to be meant for children, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Nice scenery.

Pretty day.

Petting the nice, steamy horses afterward.  It was chilly, and they worked hard.

It was so great to get to hang with friends during the trip - we had a lot of fun.  Thanks for meeting up, Holger and Annett!

Munich was the last stop of the holiday trip.  Holger and Annett dropped us off in Munich on their way home, so that saved us a train ride.  At this point in the trip, I'd fallen off the photo wagon.  But here are a few...

A stroll through the English Garden.

One last round of glühwein for the holiday season.

Best meal of the trip, pumpkin ravioli at a beautiful food hall in Munich.

And that seems to be about it for the Munich pics.

One last story, and then you can go.  

We were in Munich on New Year's Eve, so we decided to go out around 11pm to find a cool bar where we could ring in the New Year.  All dressed up and ready to go, we headed out on foot from our hotel near the central station...then we encountered people setting off fireworks all over the sidewalks, in subway tunnels, etc.  They were flying around everywhere!  We had not yet had a drink at this point in the evening, so rational fear still functioned in our minds.  Thus, we settled for drinks at the hotel, and listening to the sound of fireworks throughout the city until 12:30am.  Still a good time, though, and we'd already had plenty of good times on the trip!

Moment of Zen: Not getting hit by errant fireworks.