Sunday, July 27, 2014

Austria: Salzburg

This being my third trip to Salzburg (I know, #firstworldproblems) we didn't really do a whole lot except walk around Old Town before heading back to Munich.  It was so close to our planned Berchtesgaden route that we felt it would be a shame not to stop over for a bit.  Sissy checked out Mozart's Birthplace (my favorite Mozart site in the city) and we perused the different squares, streets, and soaked in some sun and architecture.  The cathedral there is still one of my favorites.  If you like Mozart, or you like The Sound of Music, it's worth a stop.  The movie was filmed all over the place, but it does such a good job of integrating sound stages and real locations you can feel like a von Trapp.

Here are a bunch of photos, minus a lot of narrative given Salzburg speaks for itself. I do love the Mirabell gardens, but there wasn't time this trip to visit again.  If I had longer, I would lay in the sun and read a book there by the steps from the movie.

The bleachers aren't usually there, those are for a festival.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Munich: Bavarian Feast at Der Ratskeller

We had a "traditional" German feast at Der Ratskeller (located at Marienplatz) and Munich along with the rest of the travelers in our group.  This included the tapping of the keg and a family-style meal with music, yodeling, and the works.  I've got to admit, for a themed dinner it was not overly cheesy (well, minus the Chicken Dance) and really quite fun.

More cowbell!  Also, the cowbell lady was a yodeling pro.
Overall, I feel like I ate similar meals to this throughout the trip.  Mom and Sissy definitely struggled, as the only meat they eat is chicken (Mom also eats seafood).  I found that the concept of vegetarian meal options doesn't seem to exist as prominently in Germany, much as I experienced in France.
We drank beer (of course!) and wine (summer = German Riesling Spatlese for me!).  This is where a fellow traveler introduced me to a Radler, a beer mixed with lemon soda.  Delish!  We started with a Munich leaf salad with small meatballs, then moved to a meat platter of different sausages, wiener schnitzel, veal knuckles, and roast chicken.  For side, there were fries (I ate a lot of fries in Germany), sauerkraut, and dumplings.  Dessert was a treat too, with a curd cheese strudel and vanilla sauce, plus chocolate-covered strawberries.  Woof, we ate so much!
It was a great time for the entire family... We just don't all sit around a table together that often anymore as we live in different states.  I think that was probably the best part of the meal in total.  I'd definitely recommend Der Ratskeller for a traditional, campy fun themed dinner in Munich, or Bavaria for that matter.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Munich: Residenz München

Since we already had Mehrtagestickets to see a number of sites in Bavaria, I asked my family if we could visit the included Residenz München and Treasury, in the heart of the city.  It is the former palace of the Bavarian monarchy (from 1508-1918), and the rooms are just fascinating.  I haven't been to many palaces where you can walk through literally a hundred rooms and see different types of decoration, tapestries, art, and more.  While Schloss Nymphenburg was impressive from the outside, the Residenz takes the cake on the inside.  I just can't even imagine what it was like while it was used to live in!  It was interesting to hear that while much of the building was damaged in WWII, many of the paintings (including those on the ceiling) were taken down to protect them.  You can see some darkly painted spaces on the ceilings where the paintings were too big to remove and were destroyed beyond repair in WWII.

Exterior of the Residenz
Here are a BUNCH of photos to give you a sneak peek behind the walls of this gem.  I can't believe there weren't more people walking through it, given you can see so much more than other grand palaces I have visited.  (Bonus: it's one of the few that is okay with photos inside!)   From the outside, you'd never guess that all of this was right smack dab in the middle of Munich.

Antiquarium, built to display the Duke's sculptures

I kind of liked how paintings felt integrated into the walls.

Tapestries were all over, making rooms feel so big.  Most rooms were pretty small/narrow.

More photos after the jump, included royal jewels!
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