A multi leveled space we went upstairs towards the area marked “specialities” and found an area with small shops offering their dinner wares. One would be meats, the next pastries, then cheese, vegetables and lastly the deli with schnitzel, (pork) roasted chicken and a huge variety of salads. Katy went for the chicken and side order of carrots. I chose the schnitzel and an order of three bean salad kind of thingy.
After setting up shop in the huge and ornately decorated beer hall with the locals pounding down beer steins as big as your head, I made my way to the diet coke and mineral water bar for a refreshment. Katy was given a big beer stein and told to hit the tap of mineral water which she really enjoyed. It was the same 4 spiket tap that everyone was rinsing out their mugs with, so we knew it was the good stuff. I headed over by the huge keg of daily, or maybe hourly offering of homemade suds, and grabbed my coke.
The meal was fantastic, priced at under 20 euros and topped off with a rye pretzel for the walk home.
We were quite the comedy act this morning. We rushed through breakie at the Heart of Joy cafe which was easier this time without the veggie ham supplement and rushed over to the bus stop for our trip on the 840 bus. It was listed on the sign by the way. At the appointed time 9:15, now 9;20 now 9:25 and stil no bus. I asked one of the old guys at the stop and he sent us across the street in the opposite directiopn. This was accomplished with a nod of the head as we were at that language barrier again. I walked up the road 50 meters at most to check the next bus stop which had no sign for the 840 either.
Frustrated we went back to the bus office and ran into the same clerk that helped us yesterday. It was evidnet he was frustrated with the two dumb Americans that couldn’t find their way to the bus stop. He was corect. We couldn’t. With 45 minutes to spare before the 10:18 bus ( yes, we were standing on the wrong side of the street for the 9:18), we walked up the main street and did a bit of struedel shopping. 2.40 euros for a warm apple struedel 1/2 inch thick and the size of a piece of note paper. We needed to get on the bus before a reload was ordered.
We made our connection with the 840 and off in the rain and mist we headed north towards Germany. The ride was uneventful, gained little elevation but took us behind the Uberstantedat (sp) Mountain, 6000 feet high. Maria ran down in three minutes to the monastery below because whe was late for prayers in the Sound of Music. Tough feat even if you fell off the mountain to get to the monastery in 3 minutes, but that’s Hollywood for you.
Through the mist we could see the rugged landscape and sharp ascent to the top. Aloing the road was a tributary to the Salt River brimming with spring runoff.
The village of Berchtesgaden is on two sides of a valley behind the big mountain and appears to be suffering from urban sprawl if you will. The old section of shopping and touristy goodies was halfway up the hill (only kidding) but still quite a climb after passing through the train station. We were both winded when we reached paydirt or the old city whichever you wish to call it.
Hungry and cold we popped into the first cafe we saw and interrupted the owner and three of his buddies, but didn’t feel unwelcome or for that matter welcomed either. We took a seat, Katy ordering coffee and I went for the goulash soup and diet coke #4 combo meal.
The soup was out of this world with pork, veggies, potatoes and seasoning. Katy took one sip and our order was now two bowls of soup. The owner was warming up to us, and showed us some of his winter photos of the area. It reminded me of the winters in Traverse City with the trees covered in heavy white wet snow, and his pictures of the snow piles as well. We did feel somewhat uncomfortable when after our brief exchange, he went back to his cronies and had a good laugh at our expense I assume. Being the language minority is at times uncomfortable particulary when you are the only one there that doesn’t get the joke or is the joke all by yourselves.
Thank goodness the shopping area was on the level for the most part and had some fine German-Austrian Bavarian clothing, women’s gear and bakeries. As a matter of fact, about every other shop was a bakery. We walked the length of town and left the struedel supply intact for the summer season. In the middle of town, a huge construction project signified the coming of a huge chain hotel. We did not get the name, but some of the old world charm is soon to be duplicated by corporate America.
The bus driver had lunch at the train station/bus stop and he assured us we were in the right place and just watch for him. A nice guy that made an effort to make us comfortable and answered our questions through an interpretter girlfriend. We can take the same bus to the salt mines tomorrow if we’d like. The trip cost was 19 euros total for the round trip. Cetainly better than 37 euros each on the tour bus.
Dinner in Salzburg
We left after nap through the Mirabell Gardens towards the Old City and came to a square just before crossing the river. A street vendor offered currywurst, hotdogs, bronans, (sp) and other Austrian specialties of the sausage family at 3 euros each. I am a sucker for a local treat and went for the currywurst served with the roll on the side, either cut or pick it up whole with your fingers, and mustard on the side. It was blander than I thought it would be, and then put out another 3 euros. You eat right at the stand. This time I had an Austrian sausage called Bronan with onion, roasted onion and curry. Much more to my liking.
He asked where we were from and the conversation moved to going around the world. He boldly asked me how much that costs and the story began.
“Free” I said “with miles and points” I told the story to his amazement and he asked questions for at least a half an hour.
We left good friends and the handshake was warm and genuine. That is what travel is about to me. Meeting new people, the average guy in a far off land. He talked to me about his sausage, and I told him about miles and points. We both went away richer from our experience.
Katy is not a street vendor type. She goes for fresh fruit, non fried foods and yogurt kinda stuff. The grocery store was closed so we popped into a traditional Austrian restaurant and she ordered the pork in a pan with bread pudding and cabbage salad. I, of course, in the interest of fairness to my blog buddies, tried the strudel at this establichment, so I could properly report on the differences between establishments. It is all good, I’m happy to convey.
The dinner was fantastic and I actually broke a sworn code to never take a picture of a meal. The presentation was simple but just perfect. The tastes complimented one another perfectly.
I will modify my code, to no airline meals.
Observations at our Three Week Mark
We have been to seven countries so far. Of the three European cities we’ve been to, Salzburg is the T-Shirt we will buy. It just feels right to us, is not too large, the scenery is gorgeous and the people helpful. Munich was just too big for our taste and Zurich, nice, but not as quaint as Salzburg.
We are lingering in each stop one day too long. This is a hit and run trip to catch the feel and ambiance of each city and we have felt all along our route, that we have stayed one day too long at each stop.
Observation #2 I need more long sleeve shirts and fewer short sleeve. So as is fitting, I’ll dispose of the Clemson short sleeve, being a South Carolina fan at heart, and pick up something here. I have a feeling that it will be chillier at our next stop, Innsbruck, Austria.
If I’m not mistaken, it is the home of:
” the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat”
Anybody remember the author, (he is gone now) and if I’m heading to the right place?
If so, I’ll send along the photo, if I can find the exact spot.