Before landing in Germany, we had an excellent view flying over the snow covered Alps. On the train ride from Munich through the Bavarian countryside, I enjoyed gazing at the red roofed houses with smoke drifting from each chimney, the tall pine forests and rolling hills.
Once in Salzburg, I was pleased to note how compact and walkable the city is. The architecture is interesting, all stone and stucco, apartments over shops and restaurants along the cobble stoned streets. Most of the buildings, even the simple houses and restaurants, are older than anything ever built in the U.S. I love the sense of history I feel througout Europe. Traveling internationally makes me acutely aware of how young we still are as Americans.
I have never felt the weakness of the U.S. dollar before like I do on this trip. As I sit here writing this, I am doing my best to appreciate the full feeling of having just eaten a very expensive breakfast. Granted, hotel breakfast buffets are typically overpriced in any country, but with the current Euro to Dollar exchange rate, I could have purchased a new pair of shoes back home for the price that I just paid for my eggs, fruit, croissant and coffee. I’m determined not to let that spoil my trip though. I’m in Austria, and it’s beautiful!
In the garden right behind the Sheraton Hotel in which I am staying, there is a statue and flower beds where one of the scenes from “The Sound of Music” was filmed. Last night, I passed by the house where Mozart was raised on my way to the traditional Austrian restaurant where we ate dinner. The mixed grill sampler plate with roast pork, steak, venison, sausage, roast potatoes, and petite green beans was delicious.
Today I plan to stroll along the river, visit the castle up on the hill, take a closer look at the monestary, climb the stairs to the top of one of the copper domed buildings, and enjoy some of sites of Salzburg.