Hallstatt, Salzburg, and Venice

Author: Ale /

Guten Tag! 
The night before we left Hallstatt we sat on our porch in the dark and watched the mist and clouds come down over the lake- it was so peaceful and quiet we just couldn't get enough of the place!
Waking up in Hallstatt was heaven.
Here was the view from our breakfast table :)
As soon as we ate we started hiking up the mountain to the salt mine for a tour. 

The hike was an hour long and extremely steep.
I kept us entertained though

I spent a solid hour going though the entire story line of The Sound of Music with Meryl.
I included all the songs (in order) as well. 
I considered it pretty talented to be able to quote the whole movie and remember all the songs in order... I think Meryl was probably ready to strangle me.
Not everyone loves that movie as much as I do... it also didn't help that I couldn't remember all the words to all the songs so she had to hear a lot of the same verses of Do Re Mi, My Favorite Things, Edelweiss, and Climb Every Mountain.

Who doesn't want to sing those songs while in the Alps of Austria?!
Here is a duck we found up the mountain...
I tried to feed him some bread from breakfast, but he wasn't having it.

The man at our hostel telling us about this hike said there were only stairs at the beginning.
Most of the hike looked like this... or steeper.

The stairs were worth it though- just look at that view!

The salt mine is over to the right hidden in the trees.

Meryl wanted my calves documented for the world to see- we told you they would be rock hard by the end of this trip.

So for the salt mine tour we get to wear these awesome outfits.

Attractive right?

Don't mind me I'm just going to be a awkward as possible in this outfit

I think I made the other people in our tour uncomfortable

So we headed into the mine.

Salt has been mined here for over 7000 years so they say.
We learned how the salt even got to be deep in these mountains and how they mine it out.

We also got to see a light show down there.
I think our tour guide was kinda in love with us... we were the only English speaking people in the group and I had a lot to say. 
During the lights show he brought me a rock to throw into the pool of water below... apparently this was a privilege.
It actually was kinda cool to see the ripples in the light.
Our tour also included two rides on slides and a tiny, free container of salt.
Our tour guide must have really liked us because he gave Meryl and I both rocks from the mine and told us to hide them.
When we looked at them on the way down the mountain we realized they are pretty sweet looking rocks normally sold for an exorbitant amount in the gift shop.

We also got to lick the walls and taste the salt on this tour.... actually our guide just told us the walls were salty and we were the only ones brave enough to try.
I'm pretty sure the rest of the group thought we were nuts.... but for the record the walls of a salt mine are VERY salty. 
This awesome automated man told us the story of the prehistory salt miner found dead in the mine in the 1700s- he is buried in the cemetery somewhere.
It makes me wonder how they even know the guy was prehistoric since they don't even know where the 1700 miners buried him, but they are kinda proud of the story so I didn't ask. 

This is on the train ride out

I was worried we were going to be running late to catch our bus cause we still wanted to shower so I decided to run down the mountain.
Meryl wanted it to be known I put her though a lot- it wasn't easy with her bag and layers of clothing she brought for the tour.

So we showered, walked to the bus stop, got asked out by some Austrian art students we asked for directions to the bus stop, told them we didn't want coffee, caught the bus, switched buses in Bad Ischel, and rode the rest of the way to Salzburg!

Recognize these stairs?!
Yes everyone, I was singing The Sound of Music for a reason all morning... 
It was filmed here and they sing Do Re Mi on these stairs!
Here I am freaking out because it's actually sunny in Salzburg!
I've been here twice before and each time I have almost froze to death in the wet and cold.... so I was pretty excited to see the sun :)

Here we are just minding our own business in the park when we see this rather unattractive, mostly naked old man hanging out in the fountain.

We figured he was fishing for coins... but it was weird all the same.

They filmed more of the movie in this park. Actually, in the first picture with the mostly naked guy, on the right-hand side, you will see the covered walkway where Maria and the children biked.

These ladies seemed so content on this bench chatting away I couldn't help taking a picture of it.

The old town of Salzburg.

I took Meryl to the Christmas in Salzburg shop

It's kinda amazing- they have a million eggs painted and decorated.

Each one is cleaned out and individually painted

I love the ones with the gold

and Meryl loved these :)

Next we were off to the graveyard

You might recognize this from the movie as well. The family hides from the Nazis in here.... technically they built a replica for the movie for filming purposes, but it looks just like this.

The graveyard is beautiful is it not?

On our way out of the graveyard we stopped by the oldest restaurant in the world... well, they claim to be the oldest restaurant in the world and no one can argue- they've been open since 803 AD. 
The oldest salt mine and the oldest restaurant in the world all in one day- we were on a roll!

Walking about town:

Meryl loved this modern statue 

I know you all wanted to see me in traditional Austrian clothing, but this is as close as you are going to get- sorry!

We grabbed a quick bite to eat and I had Meryl try Almdudler.
It's a traditional Austrian soda that is kinda like ginger ale and lemonade and apple beer all mixed into one- I think she liked it though!

On the way back we stopped on one of the main bridges to see the locks.
Lovers seal their love by locking it here and throwing away the key- sometimes I'm a romantic and I can't help but love that :)

Here we are back in the garden to do a little exploring

And then we spent the next few hours in McDonald's by the train station because our train didn't leave until 1:30 am and McDonald's had free internet. I kinda feel bad for not ordering anything yet still occupying a seat for hours...but I really hate their food so I hope they understand. 
Our train ride to Venice was better than our bus ride to Amsterdam, but it still wasn't great.
We couldn't get comfortable and didn't end up sleeping like at all.
It was raining when we got here. 
Dragging our bags through the wat after getting no sleep wasn't fun, but seeing Venice in the rain is amazing.
We took our bags to our hostel, which is very conveniently located, and started out to see the sights of Venice :)

My name is Italian and this is the first time I've even seen anything with my name on it- people also pronounce it correctly which is kinda cool :)

Out first stop was the Rialto bridge
The clouds went away and the skys were blue for the rest of the day.

Had to make a stop here- it's kind of a family tradition to go the the Hard Rock on vacation (my last experience gave me food poisoning, but normally it's pretty good) I got the boys in my family some souvenirs even though we didn't sit down to eat.

St. Marco Square

St. Marco Basilica

We went to the top of this tower (they didn't let us climb dang it!) to see the city from above. 
I've never done this before so it was pretty cool.

I just wanted you to get a feel for how many people are in Venice right now.
I think there is a boating celebration this weekend so that isn't helping the numbers...

There are SO MANY people EVERYWHERE!

Please forgive how we look- we had been up most of the night and we had been walking around in these clothes for almost 24 hours straight :)

We stopped to rest and Meryl sacked out 

Seriously she was asleep within minutes...

I stayed up to watch our stuff and then got bored and started taking pictures of my shoes instead.

Meryl got up eventually and we got lost on the streets of Venice.
Just the idea of that sounds so romantic doesn't it?

We went back to our hostel to check in and clean up- we are off to find dinner later :)
Two World Heritage Site cities and one Sound of Music extravaganza in two days! 
We are exhausted, but so happy!


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