Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 4: Swimming and heading home

We had to check out of the room by 10am, but the owners were kind enough to let the kids swim a bit longer. A few kinks, we didn't realize that there weren't towels, and the pool was cold.

The kids had fun, but it didn't last long. Without towels they weren't really able to warm up, and putting clothes on a wet body is we were outta there. Another European hotel quirk...
While they swam, Shane and Theo explored the grounds.

A few more pics of our adorable hotel.

The entrance.
We saw so many incredible chapels on the drive....this is the only one I captured.
Like I said, we'll be back.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Salzburg, Austria: Day 3

We crossed to border into Austria in the blink of an eye. We weren't even sure it'd happened.
Our first stop was the salt mines. We'd heard that it would be great for the kids, only Theo wasn't allowed.  I told Shane to choose what he wanted, he chose to sit it out with Theo.

I headed down into the earth with my older three to learn about salt.
It was fun. We rode a train, and some really longs slides. It was freezing, lucky for us we got to wear an extra layer of clothing. There was also a boat ride, and lots of walking. We even crossed back over the German border.
A little brine tasting...
down the slide!
After we emerged back into the sunlight, we decided to go for lunch in downtown Salzburg.
The city was phenomenal. The architecture was gorgeous. The people were lined up along the river to soak up the lovely sunshine. The weather couldn't have been better.
Lots of people in their fancy leiderhosen and dirndl's. I was under the impression that these were only worn on special occasions, or that it was an older tradition. Boy was I wrong. I saw women standing in their driveways visiting with their neighbors wearing them. Apparently they are still an "everyday" wear.

A view of the Salzach river.
Ice cream for lunch = happy children.
It was quite difficult to keep these boys out of the water...
and this one from dreaming the day away.
a disturbing statue of Mozart

We strolled an outdoor market and wove in and out of the crooked streets. We walked the famous Getreidestrasse to see the shops, then rounded back to the outdoor market to pick out a watercolor.
We found the perfect one. This woman, Bianca, was just painting away on the corner.
This seems to be a European tradition. It's the third country we've seen it in. None of which have we been able to contribute. *must get padlock to carry in diaper bag!!
We crossed the river in hopes to make it to the Marionette Theater before they closed, with no luck. A must do for next time, especially after seeing this window!
 So we hopped over to the Mirabell Gardens to see a little bit of The Sound of Music. 
The kids played at the park then explored the Dwarf Garden.

knock, knock.
famous Pegasus fountain
also famous, the Theo scream.
Ryli, doing what she does. Drawing and Writing.
This could've been our chance to run. He was stuck....
Cannon liked this guy.

My favorite dwarf, with a dwarf.

Stone lion taking it from a 10 year old boy.
We finished up our day in Salzburg by strolling the garden then a quick stop at the Salzburg Cathedral.
                  We plan to come back to Salzburg to wrap up our tour, one of these days...we missed a lot.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Berchtesgaden: Day 2, Königssee

We headed over to the Köingssee, or King's Lake. We found great parking, and then found something to eat. The kids were only interested in ice cream, so we got them a pretzel. Shane and I sat down and ate the local fare. I had potato pancakes and a bratwurst and Shane had a ham sandwich.

We finished up, stopped at a couple of shops and finally made it down to the docks.

On the boat-

 This guy made motorboat sounds the whole time.
The novelty of this boat ride is that the captain stops the boat at Echo Point and pulls out his trumpet.
When the weather is just right you can hear his echo's twice, but you can usually only hear it once.
It was beautiful, and such a treat. I'm pretty sure we heard the echo twice.

St. Bartholoma- the first chapel was built here in 1134. It was rebuilt in 1697.
Our boat.

The water was even more beautiful and jade green in person.

I'm pretty sure these silly, drunk boys in lederhosen were making fun of me. As soon as they saw me taking a picture they all stopped and looked and said "cheese!'"
Then we made it inside the chapel.
The detail and design were perfectly quaint and intricate.

And while Ry drew in her travel journal-
these two were having a testosterone fest on the grass patch. They should feel lucky that the lederhosen boys didn't come jump in....
Goodbye, St. Bartholoma...

We got back on the boat for a final stop at Salet.

"love thy neighbor...and do it now!!!"  --Shane Sharp
The kids had a blast collecting sticks, climbing and chasing.
The inevitable ninja pose.
Bustling creeks,
ducklings and their momma.
This place was gorgeous!
We hiked another 15 minutes to the Obersee. The highest waterfall in Germany is hidden back there. I also told Ryli if she were quiet enough she might see a unicorn or fairies. They never were quiet enough...
We finally let Theo out.

He played with his cars in the rocks the whole time....

Until he saw the cows.

He really enjoyed mooing at them, and telling them by. But he certainly preferred his distance.

Leading the herd.
On the walk back to the boat we found ourselves being herded by the cows with giant bells on their neck. It was equally scary and cool.
After getting back to the main dock we decided to set out for a pizzeria. It's really the only hope we ever have of feeding our children in Europe.