Saturday 22 September 2007


It took four hours to drive up to Salzburg from Venice yesterday. The trip went quickly listening to some stories, practising math and playing some games. The flat plains around Venice quickly erupt into the alps. It's a very pleasant drive on good motorways. My only complaint is that the tolls are not cheap.

As soon as we got into Austria, I bought a vignette (tax disc) so we could drive on the Austrian roads. It's only about 8 euros for a month.

Before reaching Salzburg, we made a detour to visit the salt mine at Bad Durrenburg. Salt has been mined here starting with the Celts a couple of thousand years ago. It was mined up until 1989 when it became uneconomical to compete against cheap imports.

It's a fun visit as you have to put on white overalls and ride a small train into the mine. Inside, you also use slides and a underground boat to get about the mine. At different points, you watch parts of a film which explains all about the salt mine. The tour guide gives the tour in both Deutsche and English. It's all very well done and I'm sure the kids will remember it.

We then checked into our guest haus a few miles up the road, the Hotel Sallerhof. Nice place! Excellent rooms and good service. The only drawback is that the breakfast is typically German - cold meats and bread.

Today we spent the day in Salzburg and celebrated Jenny's birthday.

First, we did the Sound of Music Tour (four hours) as Jenny is a big fan of the movie - saw various places the movie was filmed as well as places that played a role in the real lives of the Baron and Maria. Toured around the nearby scenery all to a backdrop of Sound of Music songs. And I wasn't cynical once!

We then got back to Salzburg and soon discovered the city was having a beer festival with tons and tons of stalls and a beer tent. Great timing for a visit! So we walked all over the places, visited the fortress on the hill and dined in a beer tent. Afterwards, we wandered about the fun fair too. Even the weather has been good - not as warm as Italy but blue skies and comfortable.

Tomorrow we head to Munich.

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