Saturday, July 30, 2011

european excursion

hello, sweet friends!
i am finally back safe and sound in good old londontown :)
ok, technically i've been back for a few days now...but i've been tired from the travel, ok??
anyway, here i am, and i'm so excited to share stories and pictures from my trip to germany and austria!
in all the summers we've been staying in london, i can't believe it took us till now to start exploring the rest of europe! my parents have been on their own to italy, czech republic, and switzerland, and on my own i've been to ireland, but this was everybody's first time in germany and austria. i was super excited to be able to actually use my german, which i studied (sort of ;) ) for five years in high school. i am by NO MEANS fluent, but it's surprising how much comes back to you when you're surrounded by it! most people were really patient with me and listened while i butchered their poor language, and i really feel like i got a good grasp on it after a few days! i learned a lot of new little tidbits that i hadn't heard before, and it was super fun. it even made me consider doing some sort of masters program abroad in austria to become all the way fluent...we'll see if that ever pans out :) any of you that know me know that i just love america too darn much to leave it for too long, haha!
back to the trip. we flew out of london into munich, germany. those of you that know me also know that i despise flying, but the flight was only an hour and a half so it was very easy! 
we arrived in munich exhausted (due to having to leave the flat before 5 am) and hungry, so we left our luggage at the hotel and headed to an authentic Bavarian restaurant down the street that the lady at the desk recommended to us:

my meal - Kaeseschnitzel; essentially mac&cheese, but the consistency of the noodles was something similar to cold scrambled eggs. it was yuck :( but hey! when in rome...

mom loved her meal, on the other hand: assorted Bratwurst with Kartoffelnsalat (warm potato salad) and Sauerkraut

for dessert we shared warm Apfelstrudel - delicious!!!

now, after we ate and got our bags up to our rooms, we decided to venture into the city, since that would really be our only day in Germany - we left around noon the next day for Austria. however...being the absent-minded silly girl that i am, i left the camera in the hotel room, and we therefore have no more pictures of Munich until we are in the train station to leave...haha! a big disappointment to all of us. i guess we'll just have to remember Munich all on our own...
anyway, here we are at the station the next morning: 

us with the lion, munich's mascot.

waiting for our train...

...and the mixed emotions about being on said train.
blurry because it was taken out the train window...but still incredible, no?

our arrival in Salzburg!

what our sweet little rooms looked like...hard to tell just how adorable they actually were.

entryway into the adorable breakfast nook!

out in the gorgeous streets of Salzburg...

the people of Salzburg are very proud that Mozart was born there. well, that and they probably make TONS o' money by selling these extremely popular chocolates called "Mozartkugeln" - Mozart Balls (...heehee)

they have marzipan and a pistachio in the center...not quite yummy enough to warrant all the hullaballoo in my opinion, but neat anyway :)

the outside of our hotel.

the people of Salzburg are awfully trusting with their newspapers; they leave them in these plastic bags and i guess just assume that people will put a Euro in the slot. sweet!

the view of the fortress up on the can see it from just about everywhere in Salzburg.

one of many, many pretzel stands!

 this church courtyard had the most incredibly beautiful graveyard, with these painted iron grave markers. it was one of the prettiest places i've ever been.

monastery built into the rock wall.

then we took an incline bus up the big hill to the top of the fortress!

these views filled my heart with absolute joy. so beautiful, these pictures just don't even do it justice.

 funny little information box. we paid a Euro to listen to a strange voice narrate our view.

marionette museum in the fortress...we didn't go all the way in because you had to pay, but i think i got my fill of creepy stringed dolls in the entryway.

 we stopped for drinks at this little cafe at the top...coops got hot chocolate...

mom and dad had a glass of wine and a beer (very Austrian)

and i had a cup of english breakfast tea :)

 that view...

the next morning, we got up early to have breakfast in our sweet hotel before venturing out on the official Sound of Music Tour!

dad looks a little bit less excited than mom...but he had fun, i swear...

yeah. the womenfolk were much more excited.

check out those cables - they still use the cable cars today!

 aaaand our first stop, the house - MANSION - used for the back of the Von Trapp's house in the movie!

 how amazing is that??

 our cutie pie little tour guide.

hahaha, you can see by cooper's face just how excited he was.


sixteen going on seventeen? yes. that gazebo.

 more views. i know the pictures may seem redundant, but i could NOT get enough!


a perfect example of the many beautiful, perfect houses in austria. we were told that flower boxes are a huge deal there...people are very competitive to have the fullest, most beautiful ones!

*ok, i am nowhere near finished, and this is just taking up entirely too much space! so, i will bring you the rest of my trip later on :) hope you enjoy these ones for now!*