Austria

Innsbruck

The drive from Hallstatt to Innsbruck took us half of a day probably because we kept pulling over to take in the beautiful fall scenery.  We've seen some amazing fall colors before in our lives but never like this, and never in Bavaria. The forest is so dense here and the colors are everywhere.  Here are some photos we took on the way to Innsbruck.

We made it to Innsbruck, our last stop in Austria before we head over into the German Alps.

We got lost wandering the streets and dipped into different stores to try some local gelato and speck (from our friend Liana Weber's family stores) and also some schnapps. These "Speckerias" specialize in various meats from wild boar to venison and elk, all of the meats are air-cured or smoked.

Schnapps!

Schnapps!

The streets of Innsbruck are adorable.

The streets of Innsbruck are adorable.

We walked over to the ski jump and were lucky enough to see a man practicing his skills. One thing we know for sure is that we will be coming back here in the winter. A perfect place for a ski trip.

See you again soon Innsbruck!

Hallstatt

One of the places we were most excited to visit! We have seen pictures of this place starting to pop up all over the internet and knew we needed to get there soon. It definitely didn't disappoint. The main square (above) and the view of the church and lake are so beautiful.

Hallstatt is one of the oldest towns in Europe with relics dating back to the Celtic Ages of 800-450 BC. It also has the oldest salt mine in the world.

We felt like we were inside of a fairytale while walking along the cobblestone streets of Hallstatt.

Checking Hallstatt off our Bucket List!

St. Gilgen

It was during this early morning drive to St. Gilgen that we knew having a rental car was the smartest way to travel around this area. The roads meandered through the Bavarian countryside as the fall colors had just started to turn. It was a foggy crisp morning until we turned a large bend in the road and saw the sunlight shining down over St. Gilgen and Wolfgangsee Lake.

This is the small but beautiful Mozartplatz in the center of St. Gilgen.  This small mountain retreat was where Mozart would come to enjoy peace and quiet.

These funny shops sold all your Bavarian style needs! Winter slippers to dirndls and lederhosen.

Jeff hanging off the balcony in our cute hotel.

Jeff hanging off the balcony in our cute hotel.

The next day we went for a drive around the area to see all of the other lakes. We saw many of them but Attersee Lake impressed us the most with its turquoise water. We randomly saw this great dock and a few benches and hopped out of the car. We learned that Gustav Klimt was an artist who had painted many scenes of this lake and its churches. To get the view he wanted he needed to be on the other side of the lake, being a very big lake he would paint as he looked through a telescope. (Last picture is Klimt's paintingof the Church in Unterach on Lake Attersee)

We love our rental car which has been the best way to explore Bavaria.

Salzburg

Salzburg, home of Mozart, by day and by night.

For this trip to Europe we made some changes compared to our last visit trip. The two big changes were coming in the fall rather than summer, and also picking small mountain towns compared to larger cities. Every so often we still have planned medium and a a few large cities, Salzburg being the perfect medium sized city. We were both very surprised at how much fun we had here.

We always like when we learn about cool, hidden secrets while abroad. This statue of Mary is in the center of the square with her back turned to the church. When standing in a specific spot looking at the church, the two angles align perfectly on her solder while placing this golden crown on her head. (Picture above and below)

This ancient water wheel was used to flush out the dirty streets weekly. The dirty water would flow into the river and downstream, because of this it is thought that this was the reason that Salzburg never suffered during the Black Plague.

We stayed at the Stadtalm Cafe and Hostel which was located on top of this cliff. The best way to reach it was to take this elevator to the top. Worth the effort once you saw the view.

View of our hotel's cafe on the cliffs overlooking the castle and city from our window.

View of our hotel's cafe on the cliffs overlooking the castle and city from our window.

Lover's lock bridge in Salzburg.  These bridges are becoming very popular all over the world. Sometimes we even see locks in random places.

Lover's lock bridge in Salzburg.  These bridges are becoming very popular all over the world. Sometimes we even see locks in random places.

Our favorite thing we did in Salzburg was visit the Augusteiner Beer Hall and Garden. We went both nights we were there. This place is giant and reminded us of a sports arena except the sport is... beer! They have a self service beer counter which is fun if you can figure out the steps. This doesn't seem that difficult, but when you are mixed in with the locals who have been doing this since they were 14 things get tricky. 

1. Pay for beers at counter and receive ticket

2. Grab a stein (.5 liter or 1 liter)

3. Rinse stein in the fountain

4. Give steins and ticket to beer man

5. Receive large beer and have a drink!  Prost!

Our favorite little snack here was the shaved black radish with course salt! For 1€ this giant plate of spicy/salty radish is the perfect snack to go with a beer.


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