Europe Week 2

Tuesday September 27

Another beautiful day! We are blessed

Our day started with a real workout. Climbed to the top of the Hohensalzburg fortress above Salzburg.

Steep cobblestone and gravel trails lead to the top!
We didn't take the modern funicular railway
Salzach River
Walking bridge over Salzach River. Couples attach a lock on the bridge and throw the key in the river to make their love last forever ❤️️

Off to the farmlands of Austria. Really enjoyed getting out of the city

🎶The Hills Are Alive🎶 the Sound Of Music was mostly filmed in Salzburg. Our drive today goes through the hills where a lot of the movie was shot. About 6.5 million tourists arrive in Salzburg, Austria, every year, with hundreds of thousands of them looking to retrace the story of “The Sound of Music.” Fans come to re-enact their favorite scenes, but one setting is off-limits to outsiders: the meadow from the film’s opening. We drive by it, but all the hills are beautiful and could've been in the scenes

Beautiful countryside. These goats are 2 days old. See his dried up umbilical cord!

Wednesday September 28

Leaving Salzburg for the Alps and Dolomites. It's beautiful again so we can go over the Grossglockner pass. Yeah! This High Alpine Road, also the highest surfaced mountain pass road in Austria, is one of the most scenic drives you can find in Europe.

There is no way to show you the beauty we saw today. Pictures do not do it justice. A lot were taken from the bus. The greenest green valleys spotted with alpine homes and farms all with their flower boxes on the front. Cattle spotted on the hillside. Occasional sheep herds. The background is magestic mountains sometimes with snow on top. We are so high we can see entire villages always with one church steeple at in the center. A storybook day!

We stopped for this picture!
Love the cow bells!

For lunch we stopped at a 400 year old farm that now grows all kind of fruit. And with that fruit they make schnapps! We had lunch, tour of farm and then a schnapps tasting. Schnapps, a German word, "is the generic term for all white (clear) brandies distilled from fermented fruits. True Schnapps has no sugar added and is definitely an aquired taste!

This is the way they grow apples here! Amazing harvest

After lunch we headed to our home for the next two nights. Cortina, Italy in the heart of the Dolomites. An area of the Alps known for jagged mountain peaks. Really unbelievable beauty.

Our hotel is elegant. The smell inside is tantalizing. Hard to describe. Greeted with a drink and refreshments

Thursday September 29

The Dolomites

Our view at breakfast!

Today we drove up into the mountains to a WW1 fort, which has been turned into a museum created by one man's passion. It was really unbelievable what he did and collected alone. The collection was truly amazing. The most I've ever seen in any museum. His passion came from family being in World War 1

We then picked up 3 jeeps that took us high into the hills to an alpine hut where we were fed a delicious lunch. After lunch we were entertained by a mountain climber who has climbed Everest!!!!!!! How neat was that. We even shook his hand. Another type of passion! What drives men to risk their lives to climb mountains.

Food was GREAT

Mario Dibona a mountain climber from Cortina, Italy gave a wonderful talk on the sport

He Climbed Everest in May of 2002!

What a privilege to shake his hand!

Free afternoon to explore Cortina, Italy. We walked down the hill to town, nice workout.

What scenery in town
Walk back to Hotel! WHAT A DAY in the Dolomites

Friday September 30

Off to Switzerland! A foggy morning so not much sight seeing.

First "comfort stop" included cappuccino and Apple Strudel

Just about the entire autobahn was a bridge beside the mountain. Amazing to see.

Stopped at Bolzano, Italy. Saw the ice man mummy. It's really interesting check it out here http://iceman.it/en/the-iceman/

Street Market

Lunch sidewalk cafe

Typical water no plastic here in Europe

For an hour we drove through an area laden with Apple groves all over the hillsides. A huge production of apples.

South Tyrol is home to more than 7,000 family farms. The average size of an apple farm is between 6 and 7.5 acres. The total average apple harvest is one million tons. The South Tyrol region produces 12 percent of the total apple crop in the European Union and 25 percent of the EU’s organic apples.

Different technique seems to work better

On way to Damos, Switzerland, to save a couple of hours, Our bus loaded a train to travel 12 miles through a mountain. Kinda like a ferry, Our bus drove onto the train into a rail car with about 6 inches on each side AMAZING

That's the wall and my window
WOW,

https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/davos/zdvda/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=GoogleMaps-_-IC-_-CHE-_-ZDVDA

Our view

Saturday October 1

Good Morning Davos!!!!

Morning Walk before days events

Loved hearing the cow bells all night! They like to be petted to!

At 10 we loaded the bus for another high alpine farm to learn how they make cheese. It was just an adventure getting up there!

Narrow steep road

Then we had to share the road with the cows!

Out the window!

Wow that was close!

Up at the top a Swiss was greeting us playing an Alp Horn!

Fed us a great lunch Barley Soup, cheese bread and Dessert all made at the farm. We ate in a barn built in 1800's
Had to share road with bikers on way down

Then off to Swiss chocolate place to learn how it's done!

Starts with cocoa beans

Cocoa fruit

Beans inside

Cocoa butter extracted

All different kinds from 100% pure chocolate to white chocolate which is only cocoa butter and sugar

And we got to make our own!

And package it!

Then we headed back up the mountain to the town of Monstein. Population 168. But it has a local brewery that supplies the entire region

Only one street, bus could only go so far!

Drinking water

Beer tasting

Back to town then had afternoon to explore Davos

Another fun filled day!

Sunday October 21

4 Countries today!

Rain 46 degrees first day weather not so good

Switzerland 🇨🇭 , Lichtenstein 🇱🇮, Austria 🇦🇹 and Germany 🇩🇪 today!!

First Stop Lichtenstein Lichtenstein 4th smallest country 62 square miles, 37,000 population. Very expensive 4x cost of goods as Italy. High Salaries and Low Taxes. So if you are lucky you can work here and live across the border.

Prince and his family lives in the castle above city. The Parliament is below the castle. There are elected members of parliament. They make and change laws but the prince can refuse to sign them. We are sitting around the parliament table! The building and grounds are made out of these tan bricks, everything the walls, steps and ceiling are made of the bricks over a million of them!

Had wine tasting in the museum beside the Parliament, of the Kings Wine. Nice Lunch in a cafe in town, it's Sunday so most of stores were closed.

Store front reflection

Tonight's Hotel in Bad Wörishofen, Germany. Bad means Spa or Bath. It's a health resort. Very Plush! 4 different pools and spas.

Bad Wörishofen is a spa town in the district Unterallgäu, Bavaria, Germany, known for the water-cure (hydrotherapy) developed by Sebastian Kneipp (* 1821, † 1897), a Catholic priest, who lived there for 42 years. Many of the resort hotels and boarding-houses in Bad Wörishofen offer their guests treatment using Kneipp's methods. Steigenberger Hotel Der Sonnenhof http://www.spahotel-sonnenhof.de/

Dinner with new friends
Walt and Sherry from Florida
Ray from Australia fun guy travels everywhere. Japan next. 85 years young!
Good nite! What do we do with all these pillows😳

Monday October 3

National German Holiday Reunification Day

It is said that, in 1738, tears were seen on a dilapidated wooden figure of the Scourged Saviour. This miracle resulted in a pilgrimage rush to see the sculpture. In 1740, a small chapel was built to house the statue but it was soon realized that the building would be too small for the number of pilgrims it attracted, and so Steingaden Abbey decided to commission a separate shrine. Many who have prayed in front of the statue of Jesus on the altar have claimed that people have been miraculously cured of their diseases, which has made this church even more of a pilgrimage site.

The church, Wieskirche is located in a very rural area and we went there today. Didn't get to take pics cause there were having a service inside got some off the Internet. Really amazing. It was built in late 1740's

Beautiful!

Mass in progress. Unable to get close

Crying Christ

Ceiling is unbelievable, it looks like it goes to heaven but the painting creates a 3D effect

The countryside here is so pretty

View at lunch

Neuschwanstein Castle "New Swanstone Castle" is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds.

The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Great Escape and serves as the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Picture from a poster in town

Only 13 of the planned 200 rooms were finished.

This castle is literally across the street!
Feather in my cap!

14 days, 4 countries, wonderful hotels, strange new food, new friends, splendid weather, amazing scenery was the perfect recipe for a wonderful trip.

Fun times Great folks

We traveled with a great group. Strangers 2 weeks ago now new friends. Thank you Janene and Bora for a wonderful trip. And of course Tauck Travel for making it possible.

Observations

Loved the Dairy butter was too good, milk sweet, egg yolks are orange. My skin seems more healthy after 2 weeks, wonder if it's all the butter I ate?😂😂😂

Europe very conscious of waste, no plastic, glass bottles which have deposit, even plastic bottles have a deposit. The toilets have 2 buttons for flushing, smaller amt of water for liquid waste.

Gas expensive, lots of bicycles, population does exercise because it's a way of life, people seem very healthy, not obese, even though the diet is high in fat.

Sweets all look delicious, the ones I tried were not overly sweet, didn't make me feel bad after eating, learned I LOVE apple strudel!!!!!!!

Lots of people have dogs, they are accepted at restaurants, even have water for them at table and food on the menu.

Coffee is strong, miss Dunkin Donuts!!!

Just about everyone speaks some English, didn't run into anyone who was rude to us, everyone was very helpful with these Americans!

There are different models of cars here even different ford models we haven't seen. Saw a VW truck going to airport.

Infrastructure we saw seems so superior to ours in America.

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