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November 24th 2016
Published: October 22nd 2017
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Good night sleep until the bells of the church rang 100 times at 6:00am -- obviously time to get up!

Breakfast was included with our room so we enjoyed a typical bread, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, yogurt, cereal and pastry breakfast. You would think there would be something there Brennan would enjoy, but for some reason he was not a fan. He went back to the room without eating, complaining of an upset stomach. G&G enjoyed a nice breakfast. We made him a ham and cheese sandwich for later.

We stopped once again at the larger hotel to check email and headed out to Partnachklamm, a hiking trail through a gorge. We did not have time to spend 1-1/2 hours doing the circuit hike nor the desire to spend over 10 Euro to hike through the gorge so we opted for the steep hike where you could look down on the gorge. It was quite impressive and many of the rock formations were granite. Brennan enjoyed throwing rocks straight down from the bridge to see if he could hit the narrow stream and to see how long it took to reach the bottom! Great hike!

Down the road to a little town touted as the most beautiful in the Bavarian Alps, Mittenwald. It is truly magnificent with its ornately carved gables and painted facades. It is also known as the Village of a Thousand Violins because in 1684 violin making was introduced and the art continues today. We enjoyed walking the streets and got to watch a violin maker in action. Also went to a market and bought some lebkuchen and butter cookies!

We chose the local roads over the autobahn so it took us a long time, but was much more picturesque and relaxing, to reach Berchtesgaden. We drove through Berchtesgaden and headed immediately to Konigsee to catch a boat to St. Bartholomew island. It is a beautiful mountain lake that we had visited several times.

Since it is an off-season, on a weekday, the area was a ghost town. We could have waited 30 minutes for the last boat, but would not have been able to get off and wander or visit the chapel so we nixed it. We then went up to the cable car area after learning that Brennan would like to ride one, but that was closed for the season.

As we were quite hungry and had seen that the Christkindl Markt was open in old town Berchtesgaden, we parked the car and strolled around. We happened upon a Christmas children's program in the market which was cute. The children were all dressed in nativity scene clothes.

We found the square where they sold Christmas trees and where we visited with Bligh and she desperately wanted a tree. She convinced us and we bought one of the last trees on Christmas Eve that was really huge so they cut it down and we drug it back to our gasthaus. The epic story is that we tried to sneak it up the steps to our room, put it in a garbage can, started decorating it with cards and decorations we had purchased only to hear a knock on the door! Oh, oh, we were caught! The owners brought us a stand, lights and decorations! We will never forget that Christmas Eve. We sent them White House ornaments for years later.

We chose a Christmasy gasthaus for lunch where we could watch the market goers. Turns out our cozy corner was where you left the restaurant for the toilettes! The door swung open every two minutes, brrr!! Anyway, since it was Thanksgiving, we substituted turkey for duck that had a cranberry sauce on the side. Our second plate was red fish. With sides of red cabbage and potato salad. It was all very good until the painful attempt to get the check.

Still had to drive to Salzburg. We found our hotel, but it was far from downtown. We were a bit disappointed because we wanted to go to the Christkindl Markt. It turned out to be just fine since we had free parking and we were on a direct bus line. We bought bus tickets from the hotel clerk which were good for 24 hours for 10 euro.

After packing the necessities for our trip to downtown Salzburg, we took the #4 to the city center. What a beautiful sight! The Cathedral area was surrounded by pedestrian lit streets and Christkindle Markt booths spreading out in all directions, truly incredible. We had some gluhwein, shared a goulash soup and strolled.

We decided Austrian prices were more expensive than German but really enjoyed the sights (and sounds)! There was an orchestra on the top of one of the cathedral towers and Alpen horns on another. They took turns playing. Really a wonderful experience.

We also looked for Cornelius' office address so that we knew where to go tomorrow.

Brennan was hungry so we looked for something nearby, but there were not many restaurants. We ended up at a bier stube, Zipfer Bierhaus. We had to walk through a smoke-filled smoking section (who knew there were such places) and then into the smoke free section. We had a very rude server who was disgusted that we were only ordering for Brennan. We had a bier and wine and Brennan had his daily dose of Wiener schnitzel. After paying, and giving the rude dude a tip, he was very happy and his rudeness seemed to melt away.

Took the #4 back to Hotel Turnerwirtz. Brennan had a FaceTime with Mom, Dad, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents for Thanksgiving.

Off to bed.

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