Photos from our two weeks in St. Gilgen are posted here. When you see the photos you will know why we love this area so much.
After 11 weeks in six different parts of Italy, we drove 500 miles north to very familiar territory in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. This is a very lush Alpine region of mountains and lakes, about 30 minutes from the beautiful city of Salzburg. Our family has visited Salzburg three times before, including Christmas trips in 1999 and 2003. This time we shifted our base out of the city to the village of St. Gilgen on the Wolfgangsee, one of many lakes in this region. We also traveled back across the border to Germany and spend some time in the area near Berchtesgaden.
After a slow start due to bad weather, our first week was filled with outdoor activities. We were so busy and had such a great time that we managed not to think too much about going home in just a month.
Saturday, July 9
Today was one of the longest drives of our trip—just over 500 miles. We left our old stone house in Umbria in central Italy about 8:30 am and got to our apartment in St. Gilgen, Austria just after 7:00 pm. We made one major stop at a rest area just north of Venice… very crowded with holiday travelers this time of year. We ate in a self-service cafeteria with great looking food, but Kelly wanted a pizza that was made to order and the whole process took a long time. This stop chewed up about an hour.
The trip was mostly on really good freeways, though we ran into slow traffic when we had a stretch of non-highway driving north of Ravenna. We passed right along the coast of the Adriatic Sea; unfortunately, it wasn’t as scenic as I had expected. It was an interesting drive, and I enjoyed watching the scenery as we traveled up into Northern Italy, then into the Alps, and finally crossing the border into Austria. We stopped just across the border to buy a sticker for the Austrian highways. The traffic slowed down again as we merged into one lane to travel through a long tunnel at Katschberg, north of Villach. This was all new territory for us, and we enjoyed seeing another part of the Alps.
The change in the landscape during our 500 mile trip was astonishing. Yesterday we were living in a rugged environment of scrubby mountains covered with olive trees, looking out over fields of sunflowers, living outside a village of crumbling stone houses. Today we are living in a lush and green land of mountains and lakes, in a village of wooden chalets with flower boxes overflowing with bright red geraniums. Yesterday we were eating pasta, drinking red wine, and saying “Buona sera”. Today we are eating sausages, drinking beer, and saying “Guten abend”. I love both environments, but I find myself shaking my head in astonishment at how quickly the culture changes: architecture, food, language, style. The mountains really did once provide a strong barricade that enabled totally different cultures to develop just miles apart. And the nature of the physical surroundings provided building materials and food that have also created such distinct cultures within the various European regions. Even the dramatically different weather patterns make things different. It was hot summer in Umbria… in the 90’s. Here in the Salzkammergut, it’s cool again and I need my sweater.
When we left America over a year ago, I left the last five weeks of our trip unplanned. The rental of Roccia Viva in Umbria was the last arrangement I made. We knew we wanted to spend some time in or near Salzburg, but I had a terrible time finding a place to rent. This area doesn’t really market rental places to English-speaking tourists, so there weren’t lots of listings to look at or places to choose from. I don’t think there are many rental properties at all in the city of Salzburg. Finally, I just gave up. I had too many things to do to get ready for our trip to spend any more time fussing over arrangements more than a year in the future. I decided to work out the last few weeks while we were living in Provence.
Salzburg, Austria is one of our very favorite places, a city we’ve come back to several times on our European travels. I first visited Salzburg in 1991, on my first-ever European trip with two girlfriends. I brought Charley and Kelly to Salzburg for three days in October 1997, and then we came back for Christmas 1999. Salzburg is an absolutely wonderful place to spend Christmas. We were back again for Christmas 2003—just a year and a half ago. In the past we’ve always stayed in the city of Salzburg, though we’ve done some day-trips out into the countryside to the lake district outside Salzburg called the Salzkammergut. When I couldn’t seem to find a rental right in the city, Charley and I talked about the possibility of staying in the Salzkammergut instead… or maybe in Berchtesgaden, Germany, just 30 minutes from Salzburg in the other direction.
I finally realized that most of the rental properties around Salzburg were marketed to German-speaking people, and I learned how to find German websites for “ferienwohnungen” (holiday apartments) and then which keywords in German would help me identify possible properties. I focused on properties where there was some English information or where the owner spoke some English. That just made communication so much easier.
Eventually I found an apartment in the village of St. Gilgen, a village on the Wolfgangsee, about 30 minutes from Salzburg. We had visited St. Gilgen briefly a couple of times and thought it would be an ideal location. The owner was British and good to work with through e-mail. She gave me a discount for a two week rental, and I was even able to send a check in US dollars. And so now, here we are.
The apartment is just across the main road from the village, in group of modern chalet buildings. Our apartment is on the ground floor with a terrace looking out toward the lake. We have a nice view of the lake and the mountains on the opposite side of the lake, and can watch the cable car go past us to the top of the mountain behind us.
The apartment is smaller than I thought from the pictures on the website, really the only “modern” place we’ve stayed our entire trip. We have a small entrance foyer; the bathroom is off the foyer. Then there’s a living/dining room with glass doors opening out to the terrace, and a very small kitchen. At first we didn’t know what happened to the bedrooms, since the door is built into a big wall unit. Charley and I have a double bedroom on the other side of the wall unit, and Kelly’s room is adjacent to ours. Her room is very, very small with two bunk beds. There is just room for the door to open without hitting the beds. But the apartment is clean and bright and a great location. Kelly is excited that there is a VCR and a couple of movies. There are even a few books that Charley and I want to read.
Laundry equipment in Europe is very different than what we are used to in America, and we’ve got a machine here that is the most unique we’ve seen this past year. When I first communicated with Catherine, the owner, she told me there wasn’t a washing machine in the apartment. Later she wrote me that they had purchased a unit. Well, there is a washing machine, but it is the smallest washing machine I’ve ever seen—actually a portable washing machine! Fortunately the owner’s manual is in English, so Charley can try to figure this out.
The keys were left in the mailbox for us. We carried our bags in and did just a little unpacking, then walked down to the village for dinner. We decided to eat at a big new place right on the waterfront called the Fischer Wirt, painted a pretty yellow. We sat on the outdoor terrace looking out over the Wolfgansee and the mountains. Charley loves the environment of the German/Austrian Alps… well, we all do. This was a great spot to begin our two-week stay. Our meal was very good. We all had our favorite goulash soup, then I had fish (trout from the lake), Charley had wiener schnitzel, and Kelly had pasta. We immediately switched from our Italian beverage of choice (red wine) to our Austrian beverage of choice (beer), though I’m having a much harder time switching to my limited German vocabulary. The restaurant had a live band tonight, and we enjoyed listening to the music and watching people dance. There were some very good dancers.
After dinner we took a late-night stroll around the village. We found a bakery where Charley can go in the morning to get our breakfast. We’re excited about the prospect of Austrian breads for breakfast.
Sunday, July 10
We awoke to a rainy day. We got here too late to grocery-shop last night; the two supermarkets on the end of the village had just closed. Now they’re closed again today because it’s Sunday—this is a fact of life we’ve come to accept during our time in Europe. Fortunately, we carried a lot of groceries with us from Umbria, so we do have food for tonight. In fact, we have a lot of food to use up during the next few weeks, since this is the last place where we’ll cook our own meals on our long trip.
Charley walked down to the village and found a bakery to get some breakfast breads. We are glad to be back in a country where they know how to make great bread! He found some really good pastries this morning.
Later we walked down the main road a few blocks to the Tourist Information center, which fortunately was open on Sunday. We got maps and brochures to help us plan our week. We also bought an inexpensive Salzkammergut card for local discounts. The woman at the Tourist Office said that the rain should clear by Tuesday. When we came back to the apartment we met the caretaker Theo outside in the parking lot. He speaks a little English and was very pleasant.
We stayed at home most of the day today because of the weather. (How quickly each new place has become “home”!) We read through all the brochures and made a list of the things we want to do during our two weeks in the Salzkammergut. We all have good books to read, and Kelly was excited to have a couple of movies to watch. So we weren’t too bored today.
In the afternoon we walked down to the main village. St. Gilgen is a very attractive place, even in the drizzle. We had coffee and dessert at a café on a square with a statue of Mozart. Yum—apple streudel again! Next door there was a café with internet access, but it was 10 euro an hour, so we definitely won’t be going there!
St. Gilgen is a village of about 3000 people and a summer and winter vacation destination. The village has strong ties to Mozart. His mother was born here on Christmas Day in 1720, and his sister Nannerl married a local government official and lived in St. Gilgen from 1784 until 1801. There is even a Mozart museum in the village, in the house where Mozart’s mother and sister both lived.
We spent the rest of the day back at our little apartment. Kelly watched movies and we all read. I fixed pasta for dinner.
Monday, July 11
Today was another rainy day, and we had another “home” day. The grocery stores were open, and that was our big event for the morning. There are two large supermarkets on the main road, just before the entrance into St. Gilgen: a Billa and a Spar. We checked them both out and bought provisions for the next couple of days. Food shopping is not as interesting in Austria and Germany as it was in France and Italy.
Charley went into the village twice today (once with Kelly), but other than the grocery trip, I didn’t leave the apartment. We had a quiet day of reading and movies. We’ve about exhausted the movies that we’re interested in watching.
Charley also experimented with our little washing machine. It’s almost like a toy. You have to manually move the clothes from the chamber where they are washed to the chamber where they spin. He has decided to sit the little machine in the bathtub when he does laundry. I’ll handle the cooking, and I’m happy to let him handle the laundry—especially this unique machine. (But we are happy to have the ability to wash clothes at the apartment. We would otherwise have had to go to another village to find a laundromat.)
I fixed chicken and risotto for dinner—Kelly’s new favorite meal. We’re back in a small galley kitchen with very little counter space, so cooking is a challenge. After two days in the apartment, we’re definitely anxious for the weather to clear. We need to go somewhere tomorrow, regardless of the weather!
Tuesday, July 12
It was still a bit overcast and rainy today, but we were determined to go on an excursion. We decided that a rainy day would be a good day to visit a salt mine, which was one of the activities on our list. We’ve been to the salt mine at Berchtesgaden twice, so we decided we would visit a different mine this time. Our Salzkammergut card gave us a discount to the mines at Bad Dürrnberg, which is near Hallein and not far from Berchtesgaden.
We took the pretty road from St. Gilgen to Mondsee, a nearby village on another beautiful lake. We’ve visited this village a couple of times on the Sound of Music tour. They filmed the wedding of Maria and the Captain at the church… such a large church for a relatively small village. We spotted a big modern EuroSpar supermarket just outside of Mondsee and decided we would come back to shop later in the week.
We accessed the big highway on the other side of Mondsee. We bypassed Salzburg, then drove to Hallein, right on the German border. Then we followed the signs to the salt mine, a pretty busy place on this drizzly day. There were a couple groups of teenage schoolchildren, but fortunately they were leaving as we were getting in line.
We had a long wait to go on the salt mine tour—at least an hour. Finally we were issued our “miners clothing”—white pants and a jacket that we pulled on over our clothes in the big open changing room. I think the suit is primarily to protect your clothing from salt (or something else in the mine), but it also helps you pretend that you’re an old-fashioned miner. Then we joined another line and finally boarded the little train that carried us deep into the mine. The open train has one cushioned seat that runs down the middle of each car. You swing your leg over and sit astride the seat, your knees on either side of the person in front of you. They ask you to sit right up against the person in front of you. (This is really quite strange when you’re sitting behind someone you don’t know. Kelly made sure that she was behind one of us.) The tunnel is so narrow that if you put your arms out on either side, I think you would touch the sides of the tunnel. And if you stood up, your head might touch the roof. I tried hard not to think about being claustrophobic!
This salt mine is very similar to the one we visited in Berchtesgaden, except that at various places they showed segments of a somewhat hokey movie about the Archbishop Wolf Dietrich of Salzburg, who once owned the mine. They believe that salt has been mined in the area around Salzburg for over 4500 years, and it was very important economically in the era of Wolf Dietrich (late 16th/early 17th century). After the train carried us into the mine, we walked through a tunnel (actually crossing the Germany/Austria border inside the mine), and then rode a wooden slide down some 40 feet to a lower level of the mine. We slid down as a family, legs around the person in front. Whoosh! We really went fast! We really enjoyed the slide (especially Kelly) and were glad there was a second slide later in our mine tour. We also rode a boat across a dark salt lake and finally took an escalator to get us up to the main level again.
After the salt mine tour, we drove down to Berchtesgaden, a town we’ve visited briefly once before. We got some information at the Tourist Information Office, had an okay lunch at a hotel dining room, and walked around looking in shops. Kelly and I would both like to get some cropped hiking pants for our Swiss walk. We’ve also decided that we need two walking sticks each; unfortunately, we bought only one each when we were in Umbria. There were quite a few outdoor shops in Berchtesgaden, but the cropped hiking pants and walking sticks all seemed too expensive today.
We took a different route back to St. Gilgen through the countryside, then on a twisty road through a deep river gorge, and finally to a pretty little reservoir called the Wiestal Stausee. We stopped at the Elizabethstollen, a waterfall at the junction of the river and the reservoir that generates hydroelectric power. Because of all the recent rain, the waterfall was very impressive today—and terribly noisy. Charley and I got out of the car and walked across the bridge to get the full view of the gushing river (such a contrast to the peaceful reservoir), but we couldn’t get Kelly to budge. She was more interested in her book than the water. I was quite surprised that Charley was willing to walk across the bridge.
Since we had a big lunch fairly late, we didn’t do a big dinner back at the apartment. We got out the Scrabble board we found in one of the cabinets and played a couple of games. It was actually a lot of fun.
Wednesday, July 13
Finally we awoke to a good weather day! We consulted our list and decided that our big activity for the day would be a trip to the top of the Schafberg mountain, the mountain that dominates the Wolfgangsee. We can see the distinctive jagged peak of the mountain from our apartment.
Although we could have hiked to the top (and it would definitely have been good training for our upcoming Swiss walk), we decided to take the little train. We drove around the far end of the lake to the village of St. Wolfgang, parked, and went to buy our tickets. Our Salzkammergut card gave us a discount. Unfortunately, the electric train was pulling away just as we walked up, and rather than wait more than an hour, we decided to pay extra to take the next departure on a slower old coal train, which was built in the late 1800’s. The railway line is 5.85 kilometers (about 3-1/2 miles) with an altitude gain of 1190 meters (3900 feet), so a very steep ascent. We enjoyed the views as we traveled up the mountain; the trip took almost an hour. We passed several hikers on their way up on foot.
The peak of the Schafberg is 1,783 meters or 5,850ft. At the top there’s a hotel and a couple of eating places. The views were absolutely fabulous in all directions. We could see seven lakes in the Salzkammergut: Fulchlsee, Wolfgangsee, Mondsee, Attersee, Traunsee, Halstätter See, and Altauseer See. We could even see our house!
We spent about two hours at the top. We walked to a couple of the viewpoints and took pictures. Then we had lunch on the outdoor terrace of the hotel. Our young waitress spoke good English and said that the hotel/restaurant staff lives on the mountain during their season.
We booked our seats for the ride down when we arrived and decided to take the electric train down. It was a faster ride, though the train was absolutely packed. Every single place was taken, and we were jammed in thigh to thigh on the padded benches. Kelly and I sat together, but Charley was in the section just behind us. The ride down was extremely jerky.
On the way back around the lake we stopped in Strobl where there is a summer toboggan ride. We rode a similar toboggan near Fuschl on the Sound of Music tour in 1997, but Kelly was small and doesn’t remember it. Our family has special memories of Strobl because we spent several hours in a car dealership there in 1999 while our rental car was being repaired. This is one of our “stupid travel moments”—we put regular gas in what we didn’t realize was a diesel car. An expensive lesson to learn!
Our Salzkammergut card gave us a discount on the toboggan ride, and we each rode a couple of times. This location has two runs, both about 1000 meters long. You get your little sled at the bottom, then the sled is attached to a tow rope and you’re pulled backwards up the hill. (The view across the lake to St. Wolfgang was just beautiful.) Then you lift your heavy sled over to one of the two tracks and sled down on the twisting track, using the brake to moderate the speed. Kelly absolutely loved this ride. We got a family ticket so we each could ride twice, but then we bought Kelly a ticket for two more rides.
Tonight there was a big band concert in St. Gilgen at the Mozartplatz (main square with a statue of Mozart). We decided to eat dinner out again and chose an Italian restaurant/pizzeria called Papageno (after the character in Mozart’s The Magic Flute), located right on the waterfront. We sat on the second floor on a small outdoor terrace looking out over the lake. It was a good Italian meal, but not the same ambiance that we enjoyed so much in Italy. Then we walked around to the big square near the old church. All the cafes and restaurants on the square had special tables set out around the square, and we got a good table in front of one of the hotels. The place was absolutely packed with people, and the band was large (about twenty musicians) with three girl singers. They sang some big band music but also American pop music.
There were two American couples at the table next two us—maybe retirees. One of the men (wearing a Hawaiian type shirt and long shorts) was extremely loud. He goaded his table into singing along to many of the songs, and finally ended up asking a young Austrian girl to dance with him, even though there were very few people dancing. All her friends were laughing, but she did accept. I think the man had way too much to drink. I tried to pretend I was French or German and cringed when I heard Charley ask his favorite question: “Where are you folks from?” Some villagers sitting at the other end of our table actually thought we were with those people. “Oh no, no,” I said, anxious to distance myself from these other Americans. I feel badly to have that reaction, but why weren’t they more sensitive to their behavior and dress??
Thursday, July 14
Hooray, another beautiful day! Today we took the cable car up to the top of the Zwölferhorn, the mountain that rises up behind our house. We actually made this same trip not too long ago in December 2003. There was snow on the top of the mountain then, and Kelly for some reason was terrified of the cable car ride. She looked down at her lap the entire time and practically trembled. For some reason, on the trip down, she snapped out of this fear and really enjoyed the trip. This is a hiking mountain in the summer and a skiing mountain in the winter.
The cable car station is just five minutes from our house, on the main road in the village. We got another discount with our Salzkammergut card. We shared a car with a very nice man from the Netherlands who is camping for a week with his family.
The mountain station on the top is at 1476 meters (4842 feet), a 16 minute ride. Like the Schafberg, there are several mountain huts (cafes) on the top. We did a circular walk on the top on the “Pillstein Panorama,” a mostly-flat circular route that took about an hour. A couple of women were hiking this path with their baby strollers, so it definitely wasn’t too challenging. There were cows on the trail—with big noisy bells—which was kind of fun. After this walk we ate on the outdoor terrace of a little place called the Berghof… we enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere and our meal.
This mountain is a very big center for paragliding, and we sat up at the top for about 30 minutes and watched the paragliders take off. They have to carry big backpacks of equipment up the cable car and then spend about 30 minutes getting ready. Finally they stand up, watch the windsock, and start running down the hill. And then they are flying. The sails are so colorful. Some of the people seem to take an hour or more to get down, flying in graceful circles through the sky. Kelly inquired about doing a tandem paraglide ride for her birthday, but we quickly dismissed that idea—too expensive and dangerous for a 12 year old.
Today we decided to get some more serious exercise, and we hiked down via the Efferstein (ski run), a two-hour walk. The trails on this mountain are very well marked, and we had a good map and directions (in English) that we got from the Tourist Office. The path was extremely steep and it really bothered my knees. We decided we definitely need the two hiking poles. We stopped at hut called the Sausteigalm for a drink about half-way down. We ended up just down the street from our house, but there are several other routes down to different destinations.
When we got back to the house, Kelly and Charley went into the village and bought three more hiking poles. Now we are ready for more serous alpine hiking.
I still had one taco kit and a can of refried beans left from the “care package” Scott brought us in Umbria, so we had tacos for dinner. Not at all Austrian, but good! After dinner we played a couple games of Scrabble.
Friday, July 15
We have been blessed with a third straight nice day. Today we left early to go into Salzburg, less than thirty minutes away. Salzburg is one of our favorite cities, and we’ve been here three times as a family and I came once before Charley and I were married. We found our way easily to the big parking garage built into the mountain just off the Linzergasse. This is where we parked when we stayed nearby at the Wolf Dietrich Hotel in December 2003. We’ve stayed at the Wolf Dietrich on all three of our previous Salzburg trips. It seems kind of strange to be in Salzburg and not staying there.
We had a good and inexpensive breakfast at a little coffee shop on the Linzergasse. The bread is so wonderful here and there are so many choices of pastries… a nice change after the unusual saltless bread in Tuscany. We walked down the pedestrian Linzergasse that we like so much, then walked across the river to the tourist office at the Mozartplatz. We know our way around this city very well… we really don’t need the map.
We decided to come back to Salzburg tomorrow also, so we invested in a two-day Salzburg card. They are expensive, but then we’ll do many things for free. We also bought discounted tickets to a Sound of Music show tonight—our big splurge for our stay here. We are Sound of Music junkies, I guess.
I have never gotten to visit Mozart’s Birthplace (Geburthaus), and finally today we did! Other years we felt it was too crowded or too expensive, but today it was “free” because of our Salzburg cards. Mozart is everywhere in Salzburg… there is even a famous candy and a related liquor named for him. He was born in this house on the Getreidegasse in 1756 and lived here with his family until 1773. The house was larger than I had expected and very interesting—lots of family papers, portraits, musical instruments.
We walked down the Getriedegasse—so strange to be here in the summertime after four visits in the winter—and stopped to take photos at the beautiful royal horse trough. The horse trough has always been covered up in the wintertime, so I was thrilled to see it in the summer. Then we took the lift (free with our card) up to the top of the Mönchsberg and the Winkler café… though the café somehow had disappeared since our last visit! The fantastic view of the city is still there, but the formerly-famous café has been replaced by a museum of modern art.
We decided to eat Austrian/German casual-dining food today and had lunch at a WienerWald. The grilled chicken is a popular choice for Kelly. The food is always good and not too expensive. We’ll save a “special” meal in Salzburg for later.
After lunch we did a boat cruise on the Salzach River—another freebee with our Salzburg card. This is something we would never do because of the cost. It was an interesting way to see a bit of the city (really, just a bit) and relax in the sunshine. At the end of the boat trip the captain turned the boat in rapid circles in the river, actually “dancing” to Strauss waltz music. Interesting and pretty funny really!
We walked back across the river to visit the other Mozart House—called the Residence—where Mozart lived with his family from 1773 until 1780. The original house was destroyed by a bomb during World War II, but it has been restored and is now a Mozart museum. I thought this was actually a more interesting museum than the more popular birthhouse.
Since we were on the Right Bank of the Salzach, we walked over to the gardens at the beautiful Mirabell Palace. I loved seeing the gardens with the flowers in bloom. Kelly walked with me up to the Dwarf Garden with the life-size stone dwarf statues, and we had fun taking pictures. Charley had a good time sitting on a bench, doing his “watching the world go by” thing.
We wandered back over to the Old Town to the Cathedral, arriving just before closing time. We had almost two hours to fill before our Sound of Music dinner show. There was a lot of activity in the big square by the Dom, and we drifted around listening to some musicians and watching a big outdoor chess game. Then we were lucky to find a good and reasonably-priced internet café where we hung out for about an hour. It had been almost a week since we last checked our e-mail.
Finally we made our way back over to the Getriedegasse to find the Sternbräu restaurant where the Sound of Music dinner show is held. The Sternbräu is a very large complex with all kinds of indoor and outdoor dining areas. The dinner theater is a relatively just a small part of the restaurant.
There was a problem with our reservation. Apparently the Tourist Office had never called to confirm our reservation (fortunately we did have tickets), so at first we were put at a table in the very back next to the sound booth. I was pretty upset about this. Even though we got a discount, the tickets were quite expensive. Charley used his skills of persuasion, and the woman finally found a way to move us up a few tables.
Kelly had been pretty excited about the dinner, because it seemed like something she would like: bread, clear soup with dumplings, a chicken breast with noodles and vegetables, and finally “crisp apple streudel.”
The show was fun, but obviously extremely touristy. There must have been people there from fifteen different countries—even a film crew from Japan! The “Maria” character had us all shout out where we were from. There were six performers in simple costumes (one a pianist) who did all the Sound of Music songs with a bit of choreography. They also sang a few other Austrian folk songs. The singer who played the “role” of Captain Von Trapp was Asian, which seemed a little strange. At the end they pulled all the kids up on stage, including Kelly, singing the Do-Re-Mi song. Kelly seemed so big compared to some of the other kids, and she really didn’t know what to do…. she seemed unusually self-conscious.
Our family loves the Sound of Music movie. I remember seeing it when I was young—younger than Kelly—and have watched it… I don’t know—maybe 20 times?? We’ve even seen the musical on Broadway and of course know all the songs. The movie means even more to me now because I’ve been to Salzburg. The city is almost another “star” of the film, since it was all filmed on location. So I guess we are really Sound of Music groupies, though we love Mozart too. We went to classical concerts the last two trips to Salzburg, so something a little lighter was fun tonight.
The show finished about 10 pm. We walked back across the river and up the Linzergasse humming our favorite Sound of Music songs. We were a little concerned that it might not be open this late, but fortunately it had an automated pay/access/exit system. We retrieved our car and drove back into the countryside. It was a long but very good day.
Click here to read about our second week in St. Gilgen.