Salzburg is another lovely town in Austria. Our apartment didn’t look so great from the outside (made me miss Tulfes even more) but when we went inside our concerns were put to rest. The apartment was very nice, the kids had pull down bunks which they were excited to try out. There was even a fancy coffee machine! What more could you ask for?

We unpacked and went searching for a supermarket. In the end Salzburg became known as the week of the supermarkets – I think we went every day to a different supermarket, in search of the ever elusive Austrian meat! Eventually we found it in a large supermarket in a mall outside the city -also that was when we experienced an actual Ikea warehouse. That was kinda fun after having seen groovy Ikea furniture in most of the apartments we’ve stayed in. Big place, lotsa cool stuff, cheap hotdogs and refillable coffee (yes instant coffee from a machine, we know its not REAL coffee, but it suits cheap hotdogs!)

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The day we arrived we wandered into town after dark – the place was buzzing as it was Museum Night where (for a price) you could visit all the museum until 1.00pm. The kids were pretty tired so we decided to save our money for the Salzburg City card (a tourist card giving you free entry into all the attractions for a certain number of hours).

It was fun walking around the town when it was all lit up, but we were glad to get home for a good night’s sleep.

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Dancing to the Night Music in Town

The next day was raining so we stayed home and did school and planned our Salzburg card sightseeing. On Wednesday we made the trip to the mall (apparently Europe’s biggest shopping centre, it has won all sorts of design awards. It didn’t seem that big to us, but then we’re looking forward to the malls in America! It did have a McCafe and kids love the 1 euro milkshakes so happiness abounded!) Did I say there was even meat in the supermarket! I did also notice they sell a lot of softdrinks over here, it has it’s own department plus a huge walk in fridge (not just an aisle). Explains the environmental concerns about plastic and tin bottles and cans! I wonder where they put it all? We saw an interview on BBC news with the CEO of Soda Stream who was described as “effervescent” – and he was. He did a superb job of promoting Soda Stream’s environmental friendly aspects – made me want to come home and buy a soda stream and we don’t hardly drink fizz at all!

Thursday was our first sightseeing day, starting in the afternoon. We walked around the catacombs (cavelike chapels and crypts hewn out of the stone) first, which was a bit disappointing, because we’d been imagining them to be something like the ones in Paris we read about in 39 Clues (but never managed to see when we were there).

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After walking around the cemetery we visited Mozart’s birthplace. It was interesting to learn about his family and his history, what a genius! The layout was a bit confusing and we ended up missing a section but had to move onto Mozart’s House where he lived from about 17. His family seemed very close and it was sad to read his letter he wrote to his friend asking him to prepare his father for news of his mother’s death (Mozart and his Mother were travelling when she fell ill and died).
The actual house looked very spacious with a large room where his father use to display pianos for sale. It would be perfect for a Tae Kwon Do cum Gym room, though Amy thought she could do ballet in it or set up an obstacle course. Pretty good for a second story apartment. We watched some interesting You Tube clips about ‘child genius’ – there was one of a three year old playing his violin at an orchestral concert. Made the kids think they perhaps should do a bit more music practice when they got home!

After the museums we walked to catch a ride on a tour boat. The weather was not so great, but it wasn’t raining too much. The trip was pretty short and uneventful, but the kids loved it because they got sit right up the front and pretend to steer the boat with wooden steering wheels, plus the captain gave them some captain hats to wear.

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The next day we went to the Natural  History and Technology Museum as early as we could. It was excellent! So many great displays. Daniel and I mostly visited the Natural History part, while Amy and Peter did the hands on stuff on the science side.

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We all loved it. I enjoyed seeing all the different animals, and took my time over the birds – there are so many weird and wonderful birds in the world! There were lots of animals I’d never seen before, but Daniel told me all about them!

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I also loved losing weight – simply by visiting another planet:

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When we finished there we went for a walk down the main tourist street, Getreidegasse and stopped at, yes, you guessed it, McCafe, for more milkshakes!

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In the afternoon we went to the Fortress, up this incredibly steep funicular. Great view, a little boring fortress! We missed out on seeing the Marionette (Puppet) museum (because we were too late) which was a shame, but the saw some interesting things in the rest of the fort. The kids were tired and ready to go home so perhaps didn’t quite appreciate it as much as they could have. Had a nice chat to a gentleman from Russia on the way down the funicular who told me that St Petersburg is the most beautiful city in the world. Also spoke at the same time to another man from Germany who said Sydney was the best city to live in in the world. I don’t know, I’ve seen a few cities now and still prefer smaller places, perhaps Tauranga is a pretty good place to live. Have to try it again soon..

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I do have to mention that yes, on the way home we popped into a supermarket – again -to get some milk.

The best of our sightseeing was yet to come. On Friday morning we went up the cable car to the top of Mt Untersberg, climbing 1320 metres to reach 1776 meters above sea level). It was a pretty high off the ground ride (286 metres at its highest point), and had an enormously long free-hanging span of 1.548 km between the valley station and the first post.

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The sky was perfectly clear and we could see for miles (praise God, because the weather report was for rain all day). It was somewhat colder up the mountain but still pleasant and we walked around soaking in the view (and trying to stop the kids from bickering (intense sightseeing is not that great for sibling relationships, I have to say).

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The way down was not so crowded as coming up, so we got to move around a bit more and take plenty of photographs. What fantastic weather (did I tell you it was suppose to rain!! I was so pleased!)

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After our descent we made our way to the Salzburg Zoo. What an excellent zoo – all the animals seemed very close, most of the fences were quite low (well, except the big cats, thankfully). Some enclosures were only surrounded by water – there were no fences. Those monkeys must really hate to swim, because the only thing between them and us was a bit of water.

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There were plenty of animals to see, though Daniel was taking a tally of all the different animals and apparently we didn’t see them all. Still we took 4 hours to see 100 different species, so I’m not quite sure how we’ll manage 600 animals at the Prague zoo!

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No problem, says Daniel, its open till 9.00 at night and we can go two days in a row! I do remember some great art in Prague, and the bridge and the sights – sounds like another intense sight seeing trip! Perhaps next week in Vienna we better take it easy a bit..

Which is what we got ready for when we finally made it home – yes it was time to move on again, this time to Vienna.

(Week 34: Saturday, 6 October 2012 – Saturday, 13 October 2012)