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Austria 1999

Sally, Samantha, and Jim went to Salzburg, Austria in the summer of 1999 to see the total solar eclipse. For a change, it wasn't in a third world country, hundreds of miles from civilization. Nicole stayed with Nanny, since she wasn't up to the 10 hour plane flight and the rigors of travel (or, more properly, her parents weren't up to the rigors of extended travel with a 3 year old).


This was Samantha's first long distance flight and she had a great time.



We flew to Munich and spent a few days there, staying at the Altmunchen, a small hotel with a beer garden out in back. Why Munich? To visit Jim's favorite museum: The Deutsches Museum.

Here's a picture of the back of the Altmunchen. It had a really terrific restaurant with tables in the courtyard. We ate the best desserts here - the apple strudel was to die for, and the weissbeer was wonderful too!


Why is the Deutsches Museum Jim's favorite?

The high voltage display, of course.



After satisfying Jim's High Voltage addiction, we drove to Salzburg, where the eclipse viewing should be better.

In Salzburg, we stayed at the Schoene Aussicht, a family run hotel on the outskirts of town with a spectacular view.


The driveway up to the Schoene Aussicht is through a wood.


The view from the Schoene Aussicht was quite spectacular

during the day,

and at night.

Salzburg is full of all sorts of activities

Chess with giant chessmen in the Platz. I'm sure Harry Potter would much prefer playing with these, as they don't chop your head off when you lose.
Horsedrawn carriages. The driver didn't know any English, but he asked in German if Samantha would like to sit up front. His horses names were "Hans" and ... Two roller bladers hung onto the back of the carriage for the first part of the tour, until Sally turned around and said "Boo", scaring them away.


The Castle on the hill above Salzburg.


The castle on Moenchsberg is almost unapproachable except by tram (those afraid of heights need not visit), but the view from the top is exceptional. It's been white washed (I guess that's what they do here to keep buildings looking clean and new), so it's hard to see exactly how old it is.

Here's the view of the Altstadt (old city) from the fortress. The river Salzach flows through the middle of town.
Sami's in a side entrance way of the fortress, just to give some perspective.
That's a pile of cannon balls under Samantha.


We met a family from Wisconson, staying in the Schoene Aussicht to watch the eclipse as well. We went to dinner one night in old town, and it was pretty late (11:30 pm) by the time we got done.


All throughout Austria the houses had flower boxes hanging from every window, and their flower boxes were filled with flowers of all colors. It was like there was a national contest going on, and the family with the most flowers got free beer or something.


We rested in our room one afternoon, and Jim got some great pictures of Samantha sitting by the window sill.


Salt Mine

Salzburg (the city: Burg=City,Castle) is called that because of the money they got from mining salt nearby (from prehistoric times). The salt is mined in a Salzberg (Berg = Mountain) and we toured the mine in Hallstatt (Jim had toured the mine in Hallein when he was 9).
Touring the mine, you have to put on coveralls. This protects your clothing from the dripping and dirt. There is also reinforcing in the seat, because the way you go down levels is on a slide!


After touring the mine, we had lunch at the cafe overlooking the Hallstaetter See.
The view was incredible, because the restaurant was built near the top of the hill overlooking the town and lake. While we were eating we watched a group of paragliders sail over the mountain tops.



On our last day in Salzburg, we decided to go up the Untersberg, a large mountain overlooking the city. Incidently, this is the mountain Maria is twirling on at the beginning of "The Sound of Music".


You get to the top on a Seilbahn (rope train) (like a gondola lift). Again, if you are afraid of heights, you may want to plan a nice day shopping in town.
It was pretty cloudy and damp at the top, but Sam did a bit of alpine mountain climbing



, Revised 9 June 2002

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