Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day 7 & 8 - Passau, Germany

Our last days of the trip were spent back in Germany. Waking up and eating breakfast we were treated to this view out of the window.
Again, we had another morning tour about town that including taking in some stunning views of the rivers, St. Stephan's Cathedral and the local city hall.

After a lunch that included ice cream covered waffles and eiskaffee (coffee over ice cream) we made the horrible decision to hike up the hill to the Bishop's fortress, Veste Oberhaus. About 5 minutes into our misguided adventure I just wanted to be left for dead, but we persevered onward until we reached the fortress. Seriously, next time just pony up for the funicular!

Timing is everything with these trips as Passau was completely flooded out in the summer of 2013. Thankfully everything was repaired and opened back up in time for our visit. It was a beautiful city with delicious ice cream waffles - what more could you want? 

On our last day we had to bus about two hours to Munich to catch our flight home. Once seated on the plane it was announced that it was our pilot's last flight after 43 years of service. His family was on board and there was much clapping and cheering. And, as a custom, fire engines sprayed water over our plane as we taxi'd down the runway.

That was about the only good part of our trip home since from there on out it was a nightmare. We flew from Munich to Atlanta where we had a couple of hour layover, but our flight crew never showed for the next leg to San Fran so we were late getting into California and missed our connecting flight to Chico. Delta couldn't give two sh*ts about it and said it was only their job to get us to San Francisco, but not on time. By then we'd been up for over 24 hours and it was emotional meltdown time. Chris called Best Western, with whom he's a platinum member from all of his traveling, and by some miracle was able to get us a room for the night that included a shuttle from the airport. The next day we had a flight home to Chico scheduled at 10:00 am, but it kept getting delayed over and over until we weren't flying out to close to 3:00 pm. I was so livid by then and completely over this trip. Lesson from this experience? San Francisco International Airport is the root of all evil and should be avoided at all costs. But besides that, Austria was a beautiful place to visit, though I'd still choose to go back to Germany between the two. 

Day 6 - Salzburg, Austria

Where the heck did almost two months go??? Well, before I completely forget the details I'd better finish posting the pictures from our vacation!

Day 6 of our trip was spent in Salzburg Austria which was by far my favorite stop of the trip. Salzburg is everything I wanted in an old European city - beautiful buildings, quaint little pedestrian streets, and the feeling of literally being back in time. I loved, loved, LOVED Salzburg. We weren't docked in Salzburg so we had to bus in, passing the town of Mondsee where the wedding scene from The Sound of Music was filmed. You could see the chapel from the road as we drove by a beautiful lake on our way to Salzburg.
Once in Salzburg we had a morning walking tour that took us by some popular landmarks like the gardens where the Von Trapps sang Do Re Mi in the movie (they were having a wedding there as we walked by), the cemetery from the movie (the set was recreated in Hollywood because they couldn't get permission to actually film in the cemetery), and Mozarts birthplace and family apartment.

After our tour we spent the afternoon walking and shopping on our own which including taking the funicular up the hill to see Hohensalzburg Castle, dating back to 1077, which offered amazing views of the city.

Hands down, if I could go back to anywhere in Austria it'd be Salzburg!