The time changed so instead of waking up at 7:30.. stupid alarm clock went off at 6:30. Oh well, we were awake and dressed for breakfast right when it started. This place was so fancy, you couldn’t just sit anywhere to eat. Your room has its own table. Fancy cloth napkins and a tea set filled with coffee all for me, except the girl forgot the sugar. Had to ask for it. So glad we didn’t have to leave tips because she was kinda rude 😦 After breakfast we packed the rest of our things, checked out, and left our stuff in the hotel parking garage and attempted to explore down by the lake a little more. As you can see, we didn’t see much, lol.
We spent the next few hours weaving our way through the alps. Got stuck on a traffic jam. We sat there for over an hour. We switched seats while sitting there and I did more mountainside driving. Got lost as some point and ended up at a military base.. oops. Needed a place to park and check our maps… accidentally parked in their private parking lot.. double oops!! Haha. Got it figured out no thanks to some construction problems. A few hours later we were lost in Berchtesgaden trying to find our way up the mountain to Obersalzburg and Kehlsteinhaus. Thanks to a really nice taxi driver, we found it. Now, you know Karin and I both have varying degrees of being scared of heights. Well, this day we proved mine was the worst. Took the 11:25am bus. We were both fine on the bus thinking we had sat on the side that wouldn’t be facing the open valley. WRONG!! It started weaving up and up.. and up and up.. to the point where Karin was mearly turned away from the window, but I had my head between my knees nearly in tears. At one point I was stupid enough to look up and try to get some pics with my phone. Well, at that point, I really did start crying. I HATE heights sooo much!! There was a group of Germans sitting next to us. The men were kinds laughing, but felt kinda bad. The women were completely sympathetic and telling the men to stop laughing, while themselves laughing. It was actually a really funny situation. I was laughing and crying at the same time. Karin and I kept asking each other “why do we do this to ourselves??” haha. It was a 4 mile drive up the mountain and we were sooo ready to get out of that bus. Karin had to almost drag me over to the scenic view at the bus drop off. Pretty view, kinda foggy, and snow already on the ground. This place is where Hitler use to go as a retreat. There’s a tunnel with chandeliers and an elevator. They somehow managed to cram 50+ ppl into that elevator. We all got REALLY close for that ride, lol. Turns out we went 1834m up just to go to a restaurant and see a bunch of birds and fog. Ate some spatzel really fast and had hot chocolate. We decided to only stay up for an hour and had our cards stamped for 12:40pm. I stood on the balcony and took pictures in the same spot Hitler use to stand with Eva Braun use to stand and look out over the valley. Had lunch where he sat. Made it back down just in time for the bus. This time we pretty much just played on our phone/iPod so we wouldn’t have to look out the window. I plugged in my headphones. Accidentally looked up once and ended up hiding my head in some Italian guy’s shoulder, haha.
On to Salzburg!!
The trip to Salzburg was relatively short, well, in road trip terms; only about 30km. We were there in no time, and let me tell you… Sound of Music totally killed the way Salzburg looked to me. I was expecting a big, gorgeous city. Extremely unimpressed. Entering the outskirts was awful. Kind of ghetto-ish with lots of construction. We eventually made it downtown and got completely mixed up. Ended up on a roundabout with a light. Wth?! A light!! FINALLY found parking and made our way into the square. First thing we found was shopping. Of course, it being a Sunday in Austria (the same as Germany) everything was closed. Down between the buildings of the university you come to the beginning of the square. There is this HUGE gold ball with a man standing on it. Kinda weird, but ok. The usual tourist things for sale as well.. and as usual, I bought a purse and a shot glass and postcards, but I also bought apricot snapps. Traditional Austrian flavor 😀 Never had snapps before, haha. Karin bought her usual postcards and little things for Klarka. Not in the city 20 mins and we already had a bag full of souvenirs; we’re horrible shoppers together, lol. Karin was fascinated by the horses pulling the carriages and took tons of pics. I just thought they were nice. With our new tourist map, thank you Karin for getting this, we went on our merry way looking for the Mozart’s Birth Home. Didn’t actually go inside, no time really, but we’re only 4 hours/350km north so we can easily come back. Salzburg is also where I introduced Karin to Arizona tea. I chose my favorite flavor: Ice Tea with Lemon… she chose based on the bottle, haha. Green tea something. It was light green with cherry blossoms I think. We tried each other’s. I didn’t like the green tea as much, but she liked my lemon flavored tea. So a bit more wandering and more pictures. Had some coffee at an expensive, swanky café with outdoor beds/couches to relax on. Walked back through the square to the funicular. Now, I’ve never ridden one, didn’t even have an idea WHAT it was until Karin explained it to me. Seems Prague has one, but it’s been in repair for the last few months and we haven’t been able to take it. Sophie was going to take Brette and I, but it wasn’t open, but I digress… I’m good at that, haha. Remember Karin and I are both scared of heights? Well, this is where we differ. The funicular is completely closed in and surrounded by cables and protection. Karin still freaked out and refused to watch the ascent. I got it on video, the descent as well 😀 YouTube when you get a chance!! It’s like Salzburg just rising up. As it turns out, the castle isn’t that impressive itself, but the views are gorgeous. I have tons of pictures. Even some cute ones from the gift shop. I think we only ended up spending 30-45 minutes up there before taking the funicular down. Karin was brave and stood where she could see everything.
So from the funicular, through the city, to the parking garage and attempting to leave the city. Could this place be any more confusing? Yes, yes it could, haha. There was nothing there that reminded me of Maria or the Von Trapps. Kinda sucked actually that I didn’t really see anything I recognized. I would still totally recommend the city for a day or two to anyone who wants to see where Mozart was born 😀
From Salzburg we started to head out and took the scenic drive through St Wolfgang and Bad Ischl. We are so going to come back here in the spring!! It’s so gorgeous!!
Well, HUGE storm hit outside of Linz as soon as we hit the A1 West Autobahn. Rained so hard we couldn’t see more than a car length ahead… until the lightning hit. We pulled off the highway, along with a few more cars to a place called the AutoGrill and made a mad dash through the rain. Got SOAKED. What else is there to do for an hour while waiting for the rain to stop? Wifi and cheesecake!! Well, chocolate cheesecake and hot chocolate on my part; apple strudel and tea for Karin. OMG, I walked downstairs to use the restroom, and they were across the hall from each other… the men’s room door was WIDE OPEN!! Men just peeing in the urinals and the door open for all to see. Not something I wanted to see at the time, haha. At this point Karin and I are exhausted so we decided that we’d just google a place to stay in Cesky Budjovice and leave in the morning after a good night’s sleep and breakfast. Klarka wasn’t due home til around 2 and we could easily make it back home by 11.
Well, after about an hour we decided to pay and leave. We walked from the restaurant and through into the shop where we browsed a bit, of course Karin bought something small for Klarka. We set our iPhone/iPod down to dig for Euro change. Karin picked up her iPod and we were out the door. My turn to drive. So we get through Linz and into the Czech Republic – you can tell because the road just got A LOT worse and didn’t have any lines, haha. About 20 mins after we cross the border we get a phone call from a weird number. We almost ignored it for fear that it was one of Karin’s clients. It was actually this really nice lady named Manuela from the AutoGrill in Austria. Now, did you catch the bit about setting our things down? If not, only ONE of the two were picked up. Karin got her iPod… I somehow managed to leave my precious iPhone in a gas station in Austria!! How? I don’t know. That stupid thing usually never leaves my hand. Oh well, she did promise to put it in the mail right away though. LOVE YOU AUSTRIANS!! Munich people are rude, Austrians are my heros!! Haha. (Got it a week later.)
We pulled into Cesky Budjovice at around 9, checked into a great looking hotel named Hotel Budweis. Yes, I know how it sounds… the beer is named for the town. After dropping off our stuff, Karin took me to this restaurant on the square that’s her favorite place to go. We each ordered huge beers.. again and dinner while chatting. Gorgeous waiters, by the way 😉 Great food, great dark Belgian beer, yummy chocolate mousse!! Back to the awesome hotel. Turned on the tv… could hear it in the bathroom. Yup, there was a speaker in the bathroom ceiling!! Loved it. Karin let me borrow her iPod til I got my phone back. She was passed out before I got done. Bed time. Next morning was so uneventful, but a nice leisurely drive back home. Klarka arrived right on time.
And that’s the end. Fun, right? Seems roadtrips can totally test any friendship, or for some of you out there, your relationship.