Stewart Goes Walkies continues with Allen’s adventures in Europe. In this section he visits:
Salzburg, Konigsee, Hallstaff
After a delicious lunch, we continued our way to Salzburg, a four-hour drive away. The midway stop is both modern and efficient. Two things that made Salzburg famous. I would say first, it’s the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who started composing at the age of 4, and died at the age of 35. It was here that he composed many of his symphonies, sonatas, string quartets, masses, serenades, and a few minor operas.
But most tourists will come here to make the pilgrimage to the von Trapp family. Mozart became an added bonus. As it is the movie “Sound of Music” shooting locations. From Mirabell Gardens to the Felsenreitschule and Schloss Leopoldskron: Salzburg is practically teeming with “Sound of Music” locations.
One just has to love Germany and Austria. The cities we visited are tidy and orderly. People drive with care and respect for other road users. And all that finally came down to, the quality of people. Nice people that lived under rigid self-imposed conduct.
First, we visited Konigsee. This area has been used for outdoor recreation for centuries; Bavarian royalty and the local rulers of Berchtesgaden and Salzburg hunted here, Hitler went boating on the lake, and Eva Braun liked to sunbathe on the shore. The Königsee is a wonderful example of a crystal-clear alpine lake.
Taking the electric boat. There are only two stops: St. Bartholomä and Salet. The mountain walls are so sheer, there is no path around the lake, so the boat is the only way to explore the Königsee. Gliding through crystal clear water, passing vertical mountain walls to the much-photographed baroque church of Sankt Bartholomä, which was built in the 12th century. It’s a hiker’s heaven as it has many world-class trails with breathtaking scenery. Along the way, the boatman blows a blast on his trumpet and the echoes bounce back from the mountain walls. Being there, I can understand why this place is ranked as the third most visited tourist spot by the Germans.
Continuing our journey, an hour and a half drive away, we visited Hallstatt. The town is perched on the shores of Lake Hallstatt, well known for its salt mines that date back to prehistoric times. Taking our time, we explored the labyrinthine alleyways and cobblestone streets, lined with 16th-century Alpine buildings painted pastel pink, yellow, and blue flower boxes decorate their balconies.
For some reason, the Chinese from mainland China love to have their honeymoon here. As a matter of fact, they love it so much that, they built an exact replica city in the town of Luoyang located in Boluo County within the city of Huizhou, Guangdong, China.
As the town is very small, it cannot deal with the vast amount of tourists, especially those who just stop for a few hours stop, not spending any money to support the local economy, with the possible exception of the pay toilet. They requested that all tour buses can only park there with a booking with the local businesses, be it a hotel or restaurant. We had lunch there, and the trout was excellent. The town lives up to its reputation. A beautiful quiet retreat for all. Especially now that there is practically no mainland China tourist.
St. Peter’s Benedictine Monastery and the Mozart Dinner Concert
We cannot leave Salzburg without attending a Mozart Dinner concert. It took place at St. Peter’s Baroque Hall which is part of the famous Benedictine monastery of St. Peter in the heart of Salzburg. It is one of the last concert halls in Salzburg illuminated by only candlelight. This evening, we were taken back to Mozart’s time, enjoying an evening likely to have taken place in 1790 – in the Baroque Hall lit by candles, having a dinner based on historical recipes, sipping Austria fine wine and listening to a concert with musicians in authentic costumes and the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Stewart Goes Walkies is very grateful to our old friend, and rock-climbing mentor, Allen Lai. His pictures and descriptions are wonderful. We are looking forward to the next installment.
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Happily married man to a wonderful lady. Living in Hong Kong. In my younger days I enjoyed hiking, camping and rock climbing. I've trekked in the Himalayas and climbed Mt. Kinabalu in East Malaysia.
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