Day 19 Salzburg & Last day in Austria

 I guess its about time to wrap up my time in Austria once and for ….. well, until I come back.
And there’s no better way to do this, then to get dumped on all day. yeah remember that really beautiful photo from our balcony, well this is what today was like, basically ALL day. Bummer right? We learned how to deal, and just went into Salzburg for some of the day, til we realized that there wasn’t much to do while it was raining this much.
 We hit up Marbel Gardens. Which are obviously famous for being the stomping grounds to the
Do Re Mi song from Sound of Music.
 It doesn’t look like it was raining, but I promise you it was a constant rain. I didn’t even care that i looked like a noob all day. And for some reason i’ve been putting off buying an umbrella for weeks. So I decided to just poncho myself for the day. I couldn’t believe I was on the same steps as the Von Trapps. We started singin and jumping step to step like on the movie and old people around us started laughing. For some reason The Sound of Music is like the Olympics.. the whole world has an appreciation for it .. it seems that way at least.
 And then you can’t forget when they run and prance through the archway right? We did that too.
After we roamed, pranced, and sung through the gardens we stopped for lunch, then decided to head back to St. Gilgen for the night and pack for the rest of our Europe rendezvous. We all broke apart from each other the next day, most of the group going back to Vienna, where they parted ways from there; some to Sweden, some to Utah, one to even China. Both Kaitlyn’s and I headed to Italy.
Austria forever and always will have a place in my heart.
The cleanliness, the charming lederhosen way of life they still actually live.
I sense I’ll be back in the future. Especially to Vienna… 
my third home.
Advertisements
Day 19 Salzburg & Last day in Austria

Day 18 Halstatt

 I guess I should show you where we are staying here in St. Giligen. This is a photo I took off our balcony this morning. Now lift your jaw off the ground and accept how wonderful it is, because I’m not even used to it yet. I bet the locals aren’t even used to this view and how incredible their lives are. Today we took a bus, train, then ferry to our destination of Halstatt. That alone should tell  you how secluded this place is. Which is the beauty of its appeal.
 The ferry picked us up after the bus and train ride.
 Halstatt is basically a town that is built into this mountain, and is famous for its Salt mines. Also, there are many parts of the lake that no one knows how deep it gets. Comforting right? I was also informed that the Nazi’s hid some things in it, and supposedly some stuff are still there today. Somewhere.
 This guy is TOURIST OF THE DAY,
because he specifically leaned out of this shot, so I could get the scenery behind him, even though I was intentional trying to photograph him, and he had a really adorable British accent.
 Some more breathtaking water. Its just too fascinating that these exist. A glacier lake with a whole town built along it.
 We roamed around the town enjoying the Sunday lederhosen, and stencil art. We’re almost 100% sure this is Chuck Norris, because people in Eastern Europe LOVE him. We haven’t exactly found out why they love him so much, all we’ve compiled is that Walker Texas Ranger is one of the only shows they play on local t.v. here all the time, and in Slovakia they’re contemplating naming a bridge after him. I just don’t get it yet.
 Some of us decided to rent a motor boat and see our way around this place, on the water.
 Kaitlyn and I
 We couldn’t help but thinking that the loch ness monster resided here. At any moment we could imagine a massive snake-like creature the size of a sky scraper coming up from the never ending depths of this body of water and devouring our little row boat like a sunflower seed.
 we had to stop thinking about it.
 A castle on the other side of the water.
 It felt so tropical because of how green it was.
 We got some lunch/dinner after our watery adventure. This little pooch could be the second Tourist of the day.. he’d been partying so hard he past out.
 I genuinely never wanted to stop looking at this view.
Pure bliss. I love it when i’m reminded that its summer finally. I’ve been really enjoying our mountain excursions the past couple of days. Its nice to get out of the city areas of traveling and away from the crowds.  
The Alps is the perfect place to do just that. 
until next time…
Day 18 Halstatt

Day 17 St. Wolfgang hike

 Sorry I’ve been MIA as of late.. I’ve been somewhat of a mountain women the past couple of days. Okay maybe not that hardcore, but moved to a hostel here in St. Giligen, Austria. Its basically near where The Sound of Music was filmed. Don’t worry we’ve streamed it and watched it the past couple of nights, just to get in the spirit of Lederhosen, and Adelvice. The first full day we were here the group split up. Most of them taking the ferry around the lake of St. Giligen, while two others and I geared up to hike over a huge mountain to St. Wolfgang (a neighboring town).
special thanks to kaitlyn for letting us use her camera on this hike so I didn’t have to carry the big guy.
 Why wouldn’t you want to hike while you are in these mountains. Now I can say that I’ve hiked in the Alps two times.. doing two different pilgrimages. Be jealous. ha
 We were told it was a steep hike but in our heads we thought, yeahhh pssshht, we got this.
 It got WAYYY steep. This picture doesn’t show the steepness. I don’t even think i could catch my breath for a second to take a picture of how steep it was.
 Okay it may not have been that bad, but it got intense at parts. The view and the fresh air made it all so worth while.
 We weren’t the only ones on this trek. We ran into a pretty large group of older people. From the ages of 40-70 I bet.
 This is at the top of the steepest of parts. It was called the cave church, along with other names. There is an actual cave inside, as well as chairs for mass, and other things. There was also a book that we signed and were the only English speakers that wrote in the book so far. I checked.
 Sorry its sideways, I’m not skilled as a filmer. BUT, I am skilled at looking like a hot mess on this trip. props to me. Here is where we ring a bell to have good luck. And to make a wish.
 This is right after we got through the thick of the trees and were looking down into St. Wolfgang.
I love saying wolfgang.. its a great combination of worlds. The Austrian’s knew what was up when they named this place.
 yeah yeah, it looks like i’m falling asleep. I just look like that sometimes.
 I have never seen a salamander before.. this guy was walking right across the trail, we all got super excited to see him, but it was hard to get a photo that wasn’t blurry. He was a fast little mister.
 self timer.
 The end of the hike, opened up into this.. of course, there are meadows just like this one, everywhere. I just wish we knew which one Julie Andrews pranced through.
 ya, i don’t know.
 we’re getting pretty good at capturing the cheesy jump shots.
 Wolfgang locals love us. They also love beer.
 We then just walked through the town looking for where the ferry could pick us up.
 I don’t think we’ve ever been so creepy.
 We walked right into and it was perfect. Our pilgrimage was over and we were feeling pretty grand.
The ferry ride was nice to sit back and see how far we had actually hiked, which looked SO long and rough, but we enjoyed basically all of it. So did the Asian tourist that was taking photos from her iPad next to us on the ferry. Later in the day we went to get some food and ran into what we thought was a local wedding, because we think the whole town was there, and half of the wedding party was dressed up in their lederhosen (which fyi, is way less rare to see than we thought) we see these outfits everyday. Its wonderful. I wish America had an authentic outfit we all wore for special events. And no, a wife-beater with overalls doesn’t count.
Day 17 St. Wolfgang hike

Day 11 Goodbye Vienna

 Spoiler alert.. today I just documented with the iPhone.. and it felt really good not to carry my camera bag around. The photos aren’t as great of quality, but you know what, my shoulders were pissed at me for lugging the camera around, so they needed a break for a day. Also i’ll be disappointing my father because he says I need to blog more.. but today will be just be my  
last day in Vienna according to my iphone.
 We decided to spent the last day in the center of Vienna, at Stephenplatz. It was super crowded because of a festival. I swear Europe has “once a year” epic festivals every day. It can’t just be irony that we keep coming across them. As we were roaming the streets, we came across a gelato place named Lori.. holler. So we had to stop. we just HAD to.
 We got lunch first because we were starved. you’re probably sick of the food photos, but I don’t because we finally found Mexican food, we had been CRAVING it for the past couple of days. And Alan was right, “Vienna has just what you need, just when you need it”… and we needed mexican. Oh hallelujah.
 we decided that everyone with the name Lori should get free gelato at this place.. the gelato dishers didn’t agree. but we tried.
 pistachio, black cherry, and cookie somethin’ or other.
 The best part of today was the fact that we feel comfortable enough with this place to just enjoy all that we’ve learned about it so far. Also to just enjoy the day and the street performers, and the food.
 I took enough photos of St. Stephens, I thought I would photo the building across the street that reflects a lot of the older buildings. It being a modern building itself, and not matching any of the surrounding, I found it intriguing. Also took this photo for Catherina, because she loves this building.
 Then we were referred to the
‘Best burgers in Vienna’ by our new friends Fabien and Flo.
So we went to Smokey’s for dinner. It really was quite delicious. Judge us for getting American food in Europe..
 It was worth it. trust me.
 The last supper in Vienna
 The canal life is pretty hoppin, we had no idea. The fake beach, gets me everytime. lol
Fabian and Flo joined us for dinner, which was fantastic so we could see them again before we leave. I could talk to them for days, even though they make fun of how we say Justin Bieber .. because they say it like Justin Biebuh. Great guys.
 The day was perfect. It was relaxing and reminiscent.
Now I may get a little choked up talking about this, jk  but I love this place. Vienna is different from the other places i’ve visited because its just so livable, I genuinely already feel at home here. The local transportation is perfect, and can take you anywhere, anytime of the day or night.
I sense it won’t be the last time I come here.
Going to Budapest tomorrow. Lets do this thing.
Day 11 Goodbye Vienna

Day 9 Schonbrunn/Leopold Museum

This fine morning we struggled a little to wake up. A lot of our bums are bruised from our long bike ride yesterday. We still got up and made it to Schonbrunn. This is the summer house of the Hofburgs (the royalty of Austria back in the day)… thats right, just the summer home. Its bigger than their regular house.
 When you walk around to the side of the palace you can start to see the gardens.. which are what this place is known for.
definitely started to feel like Alice.. in her wonderland a little bit.
 Then you get all the way to the back and WHAM.. you see this.
so.much.land.
 I couldn’t stop thinking to myself, this is JUST their summer home.
 
And this is the view of the palace from behind.
 and also the view from the palace looking into the backyard.
Saw plenty of people going on runs back here. perfect place to workout. so much to look at, to make a workout interesting.
 I was creepin into someone elses photo. I always think that they will take their photos all the way to whatever country they’re from and put it in their family album.. and therefore i’m in someone elses family album.
 TOURIST OF THE DAY..
for the fluffy chops..
 Then ALL Of Vienna.
 This is the structure all the way at the end of their backyard.
yellow, i’ve come to notice, is a very Austrian color.
 We had to walk through the rest of the gardens, that were very maze-like.
 Does this remind anyone else about Thumbelina and the singing frogs?
 I really can’t believe i’m posting this.. especially because i’m jumping next to the model.. but it was just too funny to not share.
 Then Nicole pulled her butt muscle and things got even more funny.
 This place is tucked within the gardens, and it looks like they haven’t repaired anything on it.. which I kind of liked about it. I especially like that the arch perfectly frames the statue back in the trees.
 Secondly today, we headed back to the Museum Quarters in the middle of Vienna to the Leopold Museum, where we saw pieces from Scheile, Klimt, and Moser. All artists I enjoy. This one is an up close of one of Scheile’s.
 Ok.. this guy is phenomenal to me. It’s Koloman Moser. His color usage is what sells me. Just lovely.
 Also a Moser.
 Moser again, he did a lot of mountain scenery.
 He also did this fantastic figure painting. I adore how he used that mustard for the middle tone. A purple/blue for the shadows, and a light pink for the highlights. I basically had an epiphany in the museum over this painting. I sound like such an artsy fartsy nerd right now, and I don’t even care.
 Lastly, one of my favorite Klimt pieces. One, because its so unlike his most famous pieces, less cluttered, more simplistic. Two, because I guess I have a thing for water paintings, and teal. must be my thing.
 We ended the night hanging out in the courtyard of the Museum Quarters, where I guess young people hang out often. It consisted of beautiful boys, that Nicole photo creeped on. Us talking about the lack of such well dressed and as good looking boys in the states. And people bringing cases of beer with their friends and getting tipsy. As well as hacky sackers, scooterers, cafe’s, laughter, smoking (because everyone smokes, ugh), interesting smells, and GREAT people watching.
Tomorrow i’m going to Bratislava, Slovakia.. 
I never thought I would actually ever say that.
stay tuned..
Day 9 Schonbrunn/Leopold Museum

Day 8 Vineyard bike ride

 This day finally came. All the way back in February when I was deciding whether to come on this trip or not, I heard about THIS day we would have. It may or may not have sold me on coming.  
Just one day.
Did it live up to my expectations??? keep reading to find out.
We took an hour or so train ride out to a neighboring town of Vienna, or possibly a suburb of Vienna, we never really found out exactly where we were.
 Kaitlyn pulled a sacrament meeting and took a nap with her head resting on her knee. If only girls wore ties to keep from getting read marks on our foreheads.
 Trains are for some reason the #1 place to be lulled to sleep. Its just too comfy, especially with how little of sleep we get.
 We arrived and walked about 10 minutes to the bike warehouse place and saddled up for our
VINEYARD BIKE RIDE.
Our group ended up being about 28 people, of all ages. Tons of couples. I think a few couples were on their honeymoons. It definitely felt somewhat of a couples retreat, then 6 of us girls randomly from Utah State. Didn’t mean to break up the love people. We had Canadians, Aussi’s, Wisconsinians, Minnesotaians, Oregonians, and more.. all English speakers on this tour.
 dang you helmet for making me look bald all day.
 The weather started out crystal clear, then later got a little rainy misty for a minute, but overall, couldn’t have asked for better weather.
 At times our bikes ran into each other. Especially on the main roads before we got to the vineyards. Its hard to stay in a 28 person group on bikes.

Most of my photos were taken blindly. Its a lot more difficult to take photos on a bike than I thought. Hence the more blurry ones. Not to mention there was cotton flying in our eyes, and pollen. A piece of something from the air got stuck on my upper lip, so I went to brush it off, to find that it was a bug that squashed, plastering it all over my upper lip. yum. too graphic? ha
First stop was to the first winery. The tour guide was nice enough to provide grape juice for those of us who don’t drink.  I’m a huge grape juice lover, and I definitely have never tasted grape juice this fresh and delicious.
All the wines/juices that we tasted were white.
 Some wines have the best coloring.
Which I learned is based on the aging of the wine.
  We stopped in a little town that we past to eat lunch that was part of the tour. Which was just adorable. I think it was known for Apricots, because all the shops had apricot lotions, lip balm, seed nuts, scrubs, etc.
 …as well as interesting natural soaps
 On to the second winery. I was expecting the group to get a little tipsy, but they all seemed to hydrate enough to keep stable on their bikes.
 We then took this ferry across the Danube River which was completely fuel and energy free. It somehow needed nothing to move even against the current.
 Many people here will just drive their car right on this ferry to be moved across the river instead of driving around it. We just had a sea of bikes.
 The ferry was connected to this line, could also somehow help make it fuel-free. I don’t really know, but I do know our tour guide raved at how awesome it was for being energy free.
 Old and young couples. The whole group, standing next to the Danube. Our last stop of the ride.
I guess people swim here all the time. There was a sandy beach to enjoy.
 Some of us played volleyball and messed around on all the interesting playground toys. Some of which I’ve never seen in the states.
 check it.. thats me. lookin oh so nasty at the end of the ride.
17 miles completed on bike later, we treated ourselves to our first magnum bars of the Euro trip.  yesss
 On the last stretch, Kaitlyn caught this shot blind.. not even looking at me, just putting her camera behind her and shooting. It looks like i’m sad, but the truth is it was probably the best day of my life. At least in the top 5, for sure. I love the outdoors, and Austria is the place to go to indulge is some outdoors, and perfect scenery. I wish I had a camera in my eye balls that when I blinked would snap a picture and capture exactly what I was seeing, and my interpretation of it.
(which could also be re-named a go-pro sports camera.. but still)
Just ONE day,
This one alone, seriously made this whole trip worth it. 
*Maybe the next time I do this bike ride I’ll be able to participate in the couples part of this retreat.
Day 8 Vineyard bike ride

Day 7 Kunst. Museum/Cafe Cenral/Mak Design Museum

 This morning we woke up to pouring rain!! Which is always a little more annoying while you are traveling. But lucky for us there are cathedrals at almost every corner, so we took a gander in a few here and there. Which no matter what, have the most lavish looking ceilings and ornate statues. There’s never nothing to look at, lets just put it that way.
 This St. Augustine Cathedral was one we happened to run into to get out of the rain for a minute.
 I really can’t comprehend how people sculpt like this. Its definitely a section of art I stay away from but should dive more into. Its absolutely insane how one does this.
 The next cathedral held a HUGE mosaic of the last supper. I’m sure its one we’ve all seen before. The coolest part of this is (for those who aren’t aware) that its a mosiac… which means its all made out of  little small colored glass or stone pieces to create one huge piece. Just incredible.
 Then to the Kunsthistorisches Museum. This is us, trying to stay motivated to go through the 500 rooms of paintings. That’s barely exaggerating.
 This precious old man has to get TOURIST OF THE DAY… only because he was just sitting there in the museum copying a painting. And doing a good job at that.. even though he may not even be a tourist. I’m just going to believe he was.
 loving that reflection.
 Another famous one you may recognize
 Suzanne Thain (Heather’s mom) insisted we go to this famous cafe for lunch, even though its more expensive then we wanted to pay. She also insisted on paying, she is way too nice to us.
 Cafe Central
we felt a little under dressed
 I basically got a ham and cheese sandwich with some interesting sauce you dip it in.
 Then we all shared this apple strudel thing. The mini pitcher was full of warm vanilla sauce. It was to.die.for.
mouth watering as I speak.
 Just the gang hangin out with our homegirl Sisi in the painting above us.
 Later that evening we went to the MAK.. a design museum. There was about 6 different rooms of different types of design like textile, architecture, etc.
Definitely remember this one from some art history class in school.
 There was a room full of pottery, and china type stuff.
 Then an architect model room, I took this for my pops, reminds me of some stuff he’s done in the past.
 Of course they had to throw in a Gustave Klimt in almost every museum. This one was the size of a wall.
 This was my favorite piece of the day. The 3D puff like paint I was in love with. Very Austrian. Gosh, just so lovely.
 mmmhmmm. just look at it.
 Gold is everywhere. Not complaining.
 Lastly, we hit up the MAK Design gift shop. Had the coolest books and uniquely designed things you can use around the house. One of  my favorites was a map that is non tear-able, and is water proof, and you can crumble it up and just open it back up and use it. I came really close to buying one for our future travels around Europe the upcoming weeks.
Going to the Design museums get me pretty excited to start designing when I get home. The fact that there is no limits when it comes to design, gets me all fuzzy inside. haha. Always constantly working on new things.. and creating things.. something from nothing. its great.
Well that was basically it for the day, Some days are more packed with museums like today. Which to me, are pretty interesting, to you may bore you, so sorry for that. Stay tuned for tomorrows bike ride through Austrian vineyards. can’t even wait folks.
Goodnight Europe.. Good afternoon America.
Day 7 Kunst. Museum/Cafe Cenral/Mak Design Museum