Sunday, October 07, 2012

So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Night

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Cover of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
It is almost time for this fairy tale to end. We will leave today on the 4:01pm train back to Budapest. Last night, Ron had thought about a Mozart concert for 20 Euros, but knowing he would go alone, he nixed the idea. The compromise was going to mass this morning where there would be music. I intended to sit on the steps with a book I wanted to finish, but the weather turned nasty. I finally had to sit in one of the back side pews to read. However, before this, we went looking for a breakfast spot. It would have been easier finding someone who had never heard of The Sound of Music. Every eatery we came across was closed until we had almost given up the search. 

We finally came across a bakery we had passed a number of times before, but dismissed as the sign only advertised strudels. Desperation made us investigate. They were more than just tasty pastry, but every table was reserved. 

The pallor in our skin tone must have made the waiter feel for us; he offered us a table that was being held for 11am. We had 1 1/2 hours to order, eat, and get out. We could work with this. Twenty-seven Euros later, we wiped the crumbs of Ron's strudel and my open faced sandwich of ham and cheese, plus one latte and one cappuccino off of our lips. Since I am a multi-tasker, while wiping my lips I was also blowing goodbye kisses to the 30 Euros we had saved with the Salzburg Card.

Ron's religious fix was just 20 pages short of me finishing my book. I wanted him to go say a rosary or something so I could toss the thing, but he wanted to go to the Modern Art Museum. Entrance fee was 8 Euros. Actually, there are more than one, but the closest one we found due to the now pouring rain, (umbrellas nicely packed in the suitcase at the hotel) had a photo exhibit of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. It was engaging and took us up to the time we needed to buy our boat tickets for the river cruise included in our card to save us another 13 Euro.

Now this is where it got tricky. The 'cruise' was at 2pm and lasted for 40 minutes. We still had to return to the hotel for our bags, walk the 10 minutes to the train station, and stop at SPAR grocery store for train food, and get to our train by 4pm. It sounded doable. 

The river naturally runs low, so the cruise boats are especially constructed of aluminum and do not penetrate the water more than 38 centimeters, regardless of how many overweight tourists are on it. We took off and again the German commentary went on forever. The English was shorter than Reader's Digest. I really could care less as the rain was so heavy at this point, you could barely see out the window. I finished my book intending to leave it on the boat. We were 20 minutes out and still have not reached the point of dropping off Tour Group 2 at Hellbrunn Palace. Ron and I are both clock watchers at this point. 

Finally, we dump them, turn the boat around and head back. We see the port in sight. Then the captain announces that since the boat is docked in winter time, they have taught it a trick for other times. Crap, what now? He presses a button setting the boat to go in circles or what he called the boat dancing. It is what we called nerve wracking. Forty minutes went by, forty-five minutes, and we see trains passing by our eyes as the conductor is waving good bye to us. 

Finally, we got off the boat, waited for a bus, but ended at the train station. The bus that is closest to the hotel did not stop at our stop on Sundays. Ron went for the luggage, I went to SPAR. We made our train, but it is packed as it started in Munich. Until Linz, we sat separately, but then we were able to move across from each other. Finally by Vienna, we could sit and eat our train food together. 

In conclusion, with the Salzburg Card, we went to many venues we most likely would not have otherwise due to the expense. In the long run, we filled our 72 hours at a leisurely pace, had a great time and saved a bucket of money. 

To Salzburg, I say,

So long, farewell
Auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu
To you and you and you

So long, farewell
Auf Weidersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave
A sigh and say goodbye

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