Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marionettes, Mozart and More

Hello, QT and KT here just reporting on another fun filled day here on our journey. Today we explored Salzburg - literally salt town. There was a beautiful fountain in front of the royal residence.
We didn't take a horse ride, but there were many carriages available, and it looked like a really fun way to see the sights. Hmmm, maybe on our next trip?
One of the first things we did was go up the old castle of Hohensalzburg. It is a medieval castle that overlooks the whole city. It was massive, but we didn't spend too much time here as we are going to a different castle, Hohenwerfen later. (Stay tuned for that post)
Here Auntie Monica is finding out why there is a statue of a bull in the courtyard of the castle. It seems that one time the castle was under siege and they were running out of food, but they didn't want the attackers to know that. So what the creative people in the castle did was parade the one remaining ox in front of the attackers. Then that night the painted it a different colour and paraded it around again the next day. They then washed the paint off, got a different colour and showed the attackers a 'third' ox. The attackers, thinking that the people in the castle had enough food to last for a long time, left. The people of Hohensalzburg were sometimes known as Ox-washers.
After the castle on the hill, we went to a really old but beautiful cemetery. It had a building that was attached directly to a cliff. This picture is a view out the window of that building.
Here we are in the old building, in a chapel. The painting on the wall (called a fresco because it was painted onto fresh plaster) is really old - probably over a thousand years old, because the monastery and church date from about 700 AD.
Then we had to go and find Mozart's birthplace. It is amazing to think that these building are still here, and that we can visit them. Inside was a museum that told us a bit about Mozart and his family.
One of the specialty treats in Austria is called a Mozartkugeln, a chocolate and marzipan treat. Apparently it was something Mozart liked to eat - or so I heard. Anyway, they had whole stores devoted to this candy, so we had to get a picture.
After the Mozart museum we went to a beautiful palace that had free public gardens. The palace is called Mirabelle, and we didn't go inside we just walked around. The view of the Cathedral in front of Hohensalzburg is one reason this garden is situated where it is. It really was an amazing sight.
Finally, we got to go and sit down for a while. We went to a marionette (puppet) show of Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream. The show was amazing. This first picture shows the stage, and how beautiful the theatre looked.
Here are two of the marionette's, Bottom and Puck. The marionette's are only about two feet tall, but they way they show them, you almost think they are life size. It was fantastic.
After the show we had dessert at the Sacher Hotel Cafe. The original Sacher Hotel is in Vienna, but since we weren't getting there this trip, we thought this would be ok. We had Sacher Tort -a very famous dessert. It was yummy and very chocolate-y.
Our last stop of the day was at Hellbrunn castle. There were amazing gardens, beautiful buildings and some cool statues. The unicorn is one of a pair that guarded this path.
We also thought this dog statue was cute, because it was not the usually Greek or Roman type of statue.
We took a tour of trick water fountains, where we did get wet, but on the tour there was also this amazing city scene. This was built in 1750, and of the 180 figures, 150 still move. And all of the movement is done with different water pressures. It was spectacular. Then we finally went home, tired but happy. Bye for now.


Blogger Darcy and Sharon said...

Rachael & Kaitlyn really liked the statues! Glad you're having fun on vacation - now we're going on vacation, too. We're going to Pender Island this weekend and Kelowna next weekend.

11:06 AM


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