The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
When I look around and see the beauty of God’s creation and the reflection of His glory, I am in awe. Austria is such a beautiful place. It takes my breath away.
(I apologize in advance for all the times I will use the word ‘beautiful’ in this post. I can’t help it. Also, the video’s will look fuzzy if you watch them in full screen because they are compressed. Haven’t figured out how to fix that yet.)
Today, we had breakfast in the hotel’s “coffee shop”. It is so quaint I felt like I had stepped back in time. If these walls could talk I bet they could tell some fascinating stories of times past.
Hotel Sacher Cafe
After breakfast we walked across the Salzach river into “Old Town”. The streets are narrow, the buildings are baroque architecture, there is a beautiful cathedral in the center, and shops and restaurants throughout. It has the feeling of an alpine village only more sophisticated. Old Town is situated directly below the Hohensalzburg Castle which is a prominent landmark in “The Sound of Music”.
See the castle on the hill?
I love these narrow streets.
I’m always interested in the local fashion.
Stan being patient while I window shop.
We were privileged to see the Salzburg Cathedral which is magnificent and has quite a history. In 1598 the original church was severely damaged and was ordered to be demolished. At that time a patron who loved Italian baroque architecture hired an Italian architect to build the new cathedral and in 1614 the first cornerstone was laid. The project took 15 years to complete (which is amazing for back-then and the detail that went into it). It is also the site of Mozart’s baptism.
Ceiling leading to side alter.
Front alter closer view.
Ceiling above the alter.
One of the domes.
Staircase leading to one of the pipe organs.
There are four pipe organs at each of the four columns.
Mozart gets a lot of press in Salzburg since it is his birthplace but unfortunately we did not have enough time to explore the historical places of the famous composer. Next time!
After our walking tour of Old Town, we hopped in Max and drove out to the country. And what a country it is! Our first stop was that infamous spot in the opening scene of “The Sound of Music” where the aerial shots of St. Gilgen and Lake Wolfgangsee were taken. It is beautiful!
St. Gilgen, Austria
Opening scene of The Sound of Music
See the church steeple?
Very happy girl.
For years I have noticed the steeple of the church in those scenes and wondered what the actual church looked like. Well today, I got to find out! We took a spontaneous detour and drove into town and discovered a charming little town very similar to Old Town in Salzburg . . . and I finally got to see the whole church. I did not get a picture of the front because Stan was double-parked and I was trying to hurry, but I was able to get the side view.
Church in St. Gilgen
Church side view.
Cute hotel & restaurant across from the church.
Back on the road we came across a beautiful golf course. We had to investigate. We pulled in to the parking lot and found out there is a Sheraton property with a golf course overlooking the lake. Stan is thinking the next “boys only weekend” should be planned at this location.
Boys only weekend destination.
Golf course overlooking the lake. Nice!
Driving on, we ended up in a town called Bad Ischl. It has a weird name but it is another beautiful place in Austria ~ actually, it is a spa town. Gotta love that! I did not know, but Stan had a specific reason for taking me there. Most of my friends know that my absolute favorite dessert is lemon cake. So . . . as it turns out there is a well-known pastry shop called Cafe Zauner which boosts the best lemon sponge cake. In fact, it is said that Emperor Franz Josef used to visit every day for a slice. So, we drove all the way to Bad Ischl for lemon cake. And it was well worth it! Thanks, Stan! The cafe was really cute – right on the water, outdoor seating and a piano player outside entertaining the guests.
Cafe Zauner – piano player.
Lemon cake at Cafe Zauner
On the way home I saw a patch of open field and asked Stan to pull over. I just had to run over the hill ala Julie Andrews and sing, “the hills are alive” at the top of my lungs. Thankfully, no one heard me. I hope. It was hard to run in sandals. They kept slipping off my feet. LOL.