Saturday, June 28, 2014
After a pleasurable stay in Salzburg, it is time, once again to move along. Before we leave Villa Trapp, a couple of final thoughts about the residence and the experience:
1) Himmler’s bunker from WWII is very evident on the property – about 50 feet from the house. Sobering. This is not just a ‘story’ starring Julie Andrews. The family lived here – although they didn’t have to climb a mountain to leave – the truth is they left because of Nazi oppression.
2) They try hard not to appear to be too cheesy but….Sound of Music on autoloop during breakfast? We get it. A change up of some Mozart would have been very nice. The actual breakfast food was the worst too date. It was food – not complaining – but more humble places have done far better.
And we’re off – our small ride through the Alps will take us to a ‘castle’ in the middle of nowhere halfway between Salzburg and Vienna. My beloved wanted ‘do the Alps’ before reaching the end of Vienna. We did execute the plan, but…through the Alps is a series of very long tunnels – some as long as 6 kilometres – the most amazing system we have ever seen. More tolls. Evidently to pay for the roads, tunnels and bridges through the Alps – incredible engineering. It is here that man and moto – bike and bus converge harmoniously. Have representatives from Toronto ever visited this part of the world? Toronto is so far BEHIND!
LED’s light the roadway. Eight million people visit tiny Salzburg annually and it works! Bus stations are high in the Alps, literally everywhere. Conservation is evident. Effortless. Efficient. These are my thoughts as we weave on roads that grow smaller with each passing town.
The GPS began showing ‘OFF ROAD’ and I felt my anxiety heighten to meet the stone mountains surrounding us. What will this mean? I’m not exactly the most patient person. The roads are narrow, the mountains are massive marble slabs. Where are we going? more driving until ‘off road’ lead us to a small road higher on a hill – the castle is looking – Schloss Kassegg. It’s a wonder to behold considering this place is so remote even Heidi wouldn’t live here.
We got off the bike as my beloved announces ‘a place of character’ which I responded ‘in order to get here, you need character, patience and trust’ The friendly front desk staff got us settled in for a pleasant afternoon of rest and relaxation. We will look forward to an exclusive dinner looking up to the highest of highs. Only one other couple will dine with us in the Wintergarten Room this evening.
Writing this entry I perched on a small hill watching some people come for a wedding dinner. It’s no joke, but some Austrian males wear leiderhosen as a serious outfit – not as a costume! Surrounded by the beauty of the Austrian Alps – this is my final day to read and relax before our city tour of Vienna.
As a footnote to this day…no controlled access toilets 🙂
During our time of reading and relaxing, and breathing in the heavenly scent of the forests – we heard cars honking their horns – strange – for such a remote area. We wouldn’t hear that in the heart of Salzburg. a little excitement ensured and behold a bride and groom with 2 wedding party dogs (chocolate labs) followed by 30 or 40 celebrants. Grandma was dressed in traditional dirndl – pink dress, purple apron. There were a few guys in wedding leiderhosen as well. It’s going to be a fun party as we heard the accordion warming up with the band.
While we continued to peer over the ledge to watch the wedding progress, they came nearer to our location for more photos. We were under an awning when a cloud burst and forced some guests closer. As they chattered to us in German, we laughed and said ‘Canada’. Some young guests stepped up and shyly provided some translation.
My beloved, typical friendly guy, offered to bring the big black beast (AKA Harley) into the courtyard for some memorable photo ops. Great excitement all around! We now had front row seats to the afternoon entertainment. Once finished they meandered back to the reception bar and we waited for our meal served in a rustic room surrounded by majestic trees – with the wedding music and laughter as the background. We luxuriated in the peaceful setting, feeling reluctant to leave – even though it means we will be driving to the culture capital – Vienna. For now, we will enjoy the Austrian music and be in the moment. My trepidation with the off road tunnel vision at rest.
We purchased the Euro breakfast at Villa Trapp (if you can avoid it, do so, it’s very poor). It was E24.00. With tolls (no surprise) and the delicious hotel dinner at E40.00 – our total spend for the day (apart from lodging, remember) was E69.00.