So, after we finished our tour of the Salt Mines in Berchtesgaden we had lunch and hit the road for...
Okay, it sounds crazy but really, it's only 3 hours from Berchtesgaden and a 6.5 hour drive back to Mannheim. We thought it was worth it to be able to see Vienna. Well, Matt had already been there for work last summer but I hadn't been and we were SO close already! It was very spur of the moment (or we would have dropped off those candles for you Mom and Dad...sorry!) and we were excited.
Matt's iPhone was invaluable on this trip because of the Internet connection. We had to use it while we were still in Germany though to avoid roaming. While we ate lunch in Berchtesgaden I looked on TripAdvisor and decided on a hotel pretty quickly. We were amazed when we saw the room!! It was actually a suite and we had another balcony! It was also a GREAT price. I have no idea why but we were very excited and enjoyed having the space to spread out a little bit.
After getting the lay of the land and a map from the front desk we took off. We walked around a bit, taking in the sights and taking some pictures. We saw a fun street performer (Matt and I love street performers and it's an official sign that summer is on its way when you start to see more of them).
Austrian architecture is so romantic! Take away the traffic and noise and it's a bit like a fairy tale, with all the light-colored buildings with the intricate carvings. We walked through a beautiful little park and through some pedestrian areas. We could have rushed around trying to see all the sights that the guidebooks say you shouldn't miss but we just wanted to "see" Vienna. There was one place that I really wanted to see though...Schloss Schönbrunn (AKA Schönbrunn Palace). We got there after dark and Matt got to use his new tripod again and got some GREAT night shots of the Palace. During the day it looks like it's made out of gold but at night with the outside lights on it just glows. Again, very romantic architecture and the pictures of us in front of it are romantic too. Matt does such a good job taking pictures!
After Matt got some great shots of the palace we hopped on the subway and headed back towards our side of town. We had passed a takeout pizza place earlier in the evening and pizza just sounded (and smelled) so good so we found a little place to eat. I don't think I've mentioned it before but I just love Italian restaurants that are outside of Italy. Italian restaurants in Europe are always owned by Italians that have left Italy. Now, my German is pretty basic and my Italian is even more so but I'm always thankful that I at least speak a tiny bit of Italian in these circumstances because we walked in and a man in the restaurant asked us "Due?" (pronounced "doo-ay" and means "Two?" in Italian). So I said "Sì" (pronounced "see" and means "Yes" in Italian) and he said "Prego" and pointed us to a table (pronounced "pray-go" and means "Please" in Italian). Like I said...my Italian is limited but I got the point. I'm pretty sure I thanked him in German...for some reason all of this makes me giggle lol.
At this point it was late so we headed back to the hotel and watched some CNN World and Sky News and caught up on what had been happening over the last couple days. Usually, unless we're in a country whose first language is English, CNN World and Sky News are the only channels we get in English and that's only if they have satellite television. If they don't then we pretty much keep the TV off, although I do remember watching Sahara with Matthew McConaughey dubbed over in Czech when we were in Prague lol.
Monday morning we got up, ate breakfast, ran by a few shops and then hit the road for our trip home. It was a fast weekend but we really enjoyed ourselves. It was fun to not really have a schedule or a plan and just go wherever we felt like it at the moment. I'm sure we missed a lot of museums and churches that the books all say are important but we're not generally museum people and there are a LOT of big, old churches in Europe. It was nice to just people watch and have fun
Note: Right now the most of the pictures from our trip aren't on my computer but I'll get them loaded probably tomorrow so check back in a day or two if you want to see them.
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