Germany Trip- Day 7, Austria Visit

Joe and I had two ideas for today- head up the hill and get to the castle (which we were hoping would be a good workout!) and go to a couple of the Sound of Music locations.  We decided against the official tour- while it would be nice to let someone else drive for a little, it would be a 4-hour commitment, on a bus, with a bunch of other tourists, and probably singalongs.  I wasn't totally against the singalongs, but figured saving 39 euro would be worth it :-)

As promised, Joe and I headed back to Mirabell Gardens so that I could take some pictures in daylight when I actually knew where I was.  These are the steps!  The famous steps!
This is the not-as-scary-as-at-night hedge tunnel!
It's actually quite sweet in the light of day.
Here is a little theater we found hiding behind some hedgerows- it had an orchestra pit, and all those openings in the hedges allowed for many wing entrances and exits.  Pretty darn cool actually.
The fountain again.  I still maintain my favorite picture was this fountain at night.  Also, I got this picture between tour groups of people coming through.  Huge groups of people walking around together.  I was already happy we made the decision to forgo the official tour.
Recognize this?
We walked back across the river, towards the castle.
That's where we're headed!  Castle at the top!
Let's go!
Then we were told the footpath tp the castle was closed for construction.  Which makes no sense since it was a road, not a footpath, and even if there was one road closed, people live up there- there had to be another way to get there!  So we disregarded this, and started walking anyways :-)
 We got higher above the city with each turn.
Higher and able to see more!
 Getting closer to the castle!
 Don't you want one of those apartments with a ton of flowers on the balcony?  I'm moving.
And right before we got to the castle, we crested a hill and were finally able to see behind it, to the Alps!  I took a gazillion pictures just from this spot, because I knew I had found it, the view.  The view.
I finally tore myself away long enough to look to my right, and see the castle right there.  The footpath was apparently closed right before you get to the castle, so we still had the fun walk up.  But why stop there?  We decided to explore more and keep walking.
 More walking.
 We walked past the castle to another part of the hill.
We found some pretty cool views from the other side of the castle too!
We got closer to the Alps this way, but it was still kind of cloudy from the rain yesterday- still not a clear shot of the whole range.  Of course, it was so much better than yesterday!  Another beautiful day on my trip :-)
Not a sundial, but it shows the direction of lots of European cities.
As we went on down the hill, we went into this church.  As opposed to a lot of painted and colorful ornamentation, everything was in relief, but painted white.  It was so subtle, but so gorgeous.
Looking up.
Chandeliers in the church.  This was a really awesome space.
Went back to our hotel through Mirabell Gardens again, the only way we knew how :-)
Obligatory fountain picture.  See how many more people there were during the day than during our night exploration?  Salzburg at night, I highly recommend it!
We grabbed lunch before going on our Sound of Music tour.  I had pumpkin risotto, again, soooo good.  To give the soft texture some crunch, they added pumpkin seeds to the whole thing, and it again made me want to eat this for the rest of my trip.  I had some really good food on this trip!  Pumpkin themed, lol.
 So then our driving tour for the Sound of Music began.  Do you recognize this lake?  Haha, maybe not.
The tree-lined shore behind them is where we stood and took pictures of the front of the house.  I couldn't find any views from the movie online, but I'm positive if you rewatch it, you'll see this house and lake!

You can see the castle way behind the house, to the left on a hill.  And the reflection was to die for, so I took another huge group of pictures here!
Then I took these as we walked back to the car.  That little guard tower is where we walked over to and got those cool Alps pictures and views of the castle!
Joe pulled over so I could take these pictures, lol.  Thanks Joe!
 Snow snow snow!
 Our next stop on the tour, was another garden affiliated with a palace. 
This one I'm sure you recognize :-)
Then we just headed to what was described as a cute lake town that may have had some scenes filmed there.  I figured it would just be cute to see, regardless of Sound of Music stuff.  And I was right!  Along the way I took some pictures from the car.
Like, let's more here right now.  It's so picturesque.  I don't think my pictures do it justice at all.
And another parting shot now, as we head back to Stuttgart to regale Jess with stories from our travels!
She was a good sport each time we came back and had stories.  Then we tried to rent The Sound of Music, but it was like 10.99, which is silly if you're just renting it.  So that's on my list!  To watch the movie again now that I've been to some of the places featured!  Also I haven't seen it in forever, so it'll definitely be entertaining.

The following day ended up getting a little crazy- Joe had to go in to work for what he thought would be around an hour, just to catch up with some people, but that of course turned into a couple hours, and by the time he figured out he wasn't going to be free any time soon, it was a bit late for us 3 to head to Heidelberg, our planned destination for the day.  So instead Jess and I went shopping!  Not a loss in the least, and I'll just have to see Heidelberg next time I head to Germany :-)

We had a wonderful send off dinner sitting outside in Stuttgart, drinking wine, and enjoying the (once again) perfect weather!  My flight was at 10am the next morning, so I got all situated, and introduced them to Arrested Development before I left.  That and Gangnam Style.  Bringin some Psy to Germany, one person at a time, hahaha.

My flight back was a lot less eventful, with both my flights on time and as scheduled.  Except a kid kicked my seat the entire way back, except the 2 hours he was napping.  There was no reasoning with a 5 year old, and yes, his mom was aware and did what she could, but again, there was no reasoning with him.  Agony.  But what can ya do!

Thank you thank you to Joe and Jess for hosting me, driving me, feeding me, and just overall making me feel very welcome in Germany.  And thank you to everyone who has read this!  Hope it wasn't too boring for ya!

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