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Christmas in Austria

Day 3 The hills are alive...somewhere under all that snow!

AUSTRIA | Wednesday, 21 December 2011 | Views [672]

Well it snowed all night and was still snowing heavy this morning. I thought it would be a great day for the sound of music tour instead of shuffling through all of the slush. It was but it did make it hard for photographs and some of the scenic mountain views since they were pretty much obscured from view. It did however make it very pretty and very Christmas like.

We got underway early and headed off to Leopoldskrone (literally Leopold's Crown) the palace where the gardens, lake and view of the untersberg were filmed for the sound of music. Then we headed to Hellbrunn for a quick dash to the gazebo for a photo op. I won the trivia contest on board and won free drinks. I did find out though that the pretty castle on the hill I took pics of last night is called the month castle. Apparently it took 6 years to construct all of Hellbrunn and its 60acre gardens. In the last month a friend bet Markus Sittikus that he could not build a castle up on that hill in a month. He took that bet and won but it cost working the men round the clock and cost 6 lives.

After that we headed out to St. Gilgen. It is a beautiful town right on the edge of the kongisee which means king's lake. Unfortunately the clouds and snow were sooo very heavy that we skipped it because you could not see very much. The next stop was at Mondsee which means Moon lake. It is a beautiful little town on the edge of the lake and the cathedral in which the wedding scene from the sound of music is located here. It is St. Michael's. Last time I was here it was under restoration so it was hard to get any good pictures inside the church since scaffolding was up everywhere and plastic sheets covered almost everything. Not so this time much to my pleasure. After that was a quick stop in a couple of tourist shops for souvenirs, the best apple strudel I have ever had (i have been waiting to go back) at Braun Bakery and we were on the road back into Salzburg. I am drying off and dropping off at the hotel right now and then I am headed out to validate my ticket at the train station for tomorrow mornings train to Vienna. I decided today to wait to do the fortress and palace since all of the spectacular views are obscured today by cloud and snow. I will have dinner at the hotel Stein. The were recently used for filming for Tom Cruise's Knight and Day film. They have a roof top terrace with a restaurant that has the most unbelievable view of the city. They have large heaters up there so that you can eat on the terrace all year round. It should be a good time. I will then be headed back to the hotel to head to bed early since I have to be up at 4am for my train to Vienna. Tomorrow will be a crazy busy day and my update will be later than usual as I won't return on the train from Vienna until the late evening.

Cheers all and thanks for following my trip!

P.S. Had dinner at the terrace of the Hotel Stein. Service was really bad but the view was amazing. Added a video here since the night lights and snow were making it hard to get a good pic.

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