International TravelThings I Love

 Continuing on our journey, we left Vienna for Salzburg after picking up our rental car, a very fuel efficient VW Golf – important considering gas prices here are somewhere north of $8 per gallon (and we Americans complain …).   I have now driven in a total of 14 foreign countries (both left- and right-hand driving) and navigation systems make it a breeze since street signs are in the native language and mostly on the second story of buildings making them hard to see! No, Bruce does not drive on these trips (I barely tolerate his driving at home), but he’s an excellent navigator when not buried in a book.

 

 

View from Salzberg hotel

The hardest part about driving is not getting distracted by the scenery, in this case snow-covered Alps, which will only get more beautiful as we progress into Switzerland.   As much advance planning as I do (immense), there’s always surprises — in this case the utter beauty of Salzburg.  We enjoyed some Beethoven and Schubert at the Mozarteum here where lots of folks were dressed in traditional garb (dirndls and collarless felt jackets) — easy to expect Maria and the Captain to appear at any minute. 

 

Pavilion from Sound of Music!

And while it is our preference to hire our own guide, experiencing the Sound of Music bus tour here– complete with sing-along on the bus and stops at many locations used, was definitely a trip highlight.  The tour guide has been doing this 10 times per week since 1996, and he’s broken many a heart with the real story of the von Trapp Family vs. what was portrayed in the film.  I’m choosing to stick with the Hollywood version.   Also visited the Mozart Museum, where he spent many years and composed a number of his greatest “hits.”

Lake Wolfgang near Salzberg

So since writing the portion above, I am changing my stats to 15 foreign countries where I’ve driven —  we left Salzburg, had a lovely lunch in Innsbruck and then drove through Lichtenstein, which additional “country” lasted about 20 minutes total.  But the one person we encountered there during our brief stop seemed very nice.   

Now in Zurich, it is a bit of nostalgia as this was the first city I experienced outside the U.S (in the late 70’s).  In hindsight, that was pretty brazen as I ventured to St. Moritz alone for two weeks of glorious skiing … so my takeaway is grab all the opportunities you can to experience the world!   

We spent Sunday here walking around the old city, visiting churches and taking photos, with Bruce being thankful the only shopping was of the “window” variety — not that ANYTHING is the least bit affordable as the Swiss economy is apparently quite fine.  Tomorrow we continue on to Lake Como, a few hours south.

 

Warmly,

Teri B.