I got us this morning quite early and decided pretty quickly that I would rather bicycle to the cable car than take a bus. The bike Dietmar provided is not the greatest, but it did the trick. In fact, it improved with the kilometers. LOL! I left around 8:30 thinking I would be there around 9 when it opens, but as usual the best thinking doesn’t always translate as clearly as hoped for. Even though it took me 1 1/2 hr rather than 30 minutes, they were peaceful riding in the country side. I finally made it to St-Leonhard where the cable car brings us up to the top of the mountain.
Let’s be honest hear and I’ll fess up to the fact that I really do not like heights. Every time I take one of those cable cars, chair lifts etc., my heart pounds like crazy and I hold unto something trying hard to avoid thinking about the gazillion feet of air under me and what if it fails. But every time the inner voice says, “You know you don’t have to put yourself through that,” I simply rebel. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t let my fear control my behavior. I understand being smart and listening to warnings, but I don’t cater to fear. So, here I was going up and up for about 30 min. That is quite long when you feel uncomfortable.
Notwithstanding my fear, it was so worth it. The view from up there is simply breathtaking. I laughed (inwardly) as I watched a family getting off the car ready to do some serious hiking. It got my attenuation when the mom uttered quite an expletive as she looked down at one of her boys and noticed that he had only his crocs sandals on rather than the sturdy shoes he needed for such an activity. Oh the joys of parenthood! We have all been there, right?
I came down with the same feeling in the pit of my stomach, but it was alleviated by the conversation I carried on with a French woman during the descent. I hopped on the bike and now, that I really knew where I was going stopped at Hellbrunn’s Palace with its trick fountains. While waiting for the tour to begin, I quickly walked over where the famous “Sound Of Music” pavilion stands. It wasn’t filmed at this location, but it is the real structure used during filming of “I am sixteen going on seventeen.”
The fountains were a riot and the tour guide got in the spirit of it. Markus Sittikus, prince archbishop of Salzburg from 1612 to 1619, wanted something to entertain his guests, but I think he got one on them. The first one, you see a picture of people sitting at a table. Wine was placed in the middle where it keeps cool in the water. The guests were sitting around the table with Markus at the head. After turning a certain key off the side, he would sit back and wait. After a minute or so, jets of water would come out of the holes in the benches and around the table soaking everyone, except him of course. The guide asked for unsuspecting volunteers who just got it all. A few of the smaller ones didn’t enjoy it so much which surprised me a bit. It continued on this vein. I quickly figure out where the wet spots were on the ground and around me and knew where to stand to avoid the jets, but some never figured it out and quite a few were really wet by the end of the tour. The whole system functions with water pressure and it was quite a feet of engineering considering that this was built in the early 17th century. Furthermore, it works perfectly well today So he would invite his guests to see this or that and would get a kick out of watering them. What a trickster!
I then visited the palace where a few more idiosyncrasies come up. It was never his home, but rather just a summer retreat. The park brings peace and quiet and I enjoyed just sitting there watching the duck and fish go around. Finally, I hopped on the bike to get back to my room where I had lunch before heading into town for more sightseeing.
I went to the train station first to get a ticket for my travels to Munich tomorrow. That done, I went back to the center to visit the Domquartier, the official residence of the prince archbishops of Salzburg. They were a combination of religious and secular rulers. They were appointed by the Pope to rule this portion of the Roman Catholic Empire. They did that for about three centuries then had to give it up to the Habsburg Empire after the Napoleonic wars. They conducted the affairs of the states from these apartments. Various rulers contributed to the overall palace done in the Baroque style mostly. I figured out eventually that I wasn’t supposed to take pictures. Oh well, you get what I got. The whole tour takes you through several floors and buildings into the cathedral and St-Peter’s Monastery, back to the palace. Amazing collection! I bought postcards of my favorite paintings. The most prominent and illustrious because of its unusual painting process used by Rembrandt. In 1629, he used a copper plate with several steps to produce the “Old Woman Praying.” They had a special exhibit explaining the steps and I did take a pic of that. The others are: The Young Postillon, 1846 by Reiter, Gentleman and Lady by Graat, Portrait of the sculptor Nicolas Le Brun, 1635 by Charles Le Brun. In the painting “Children at the window” by Waldmuller (1853), the children literally appeared to be hanging out the window when I entered the room where it hanged.
When I exited the museum a couple asked me to take their picture and wouldn’t you know it, they were from Denver. We chatted for a bit about their travel in the area. After that, I sat on a bench eating an ice cream and watching a ongoing chess game in front of me when an older couple in their 80s from Cape Cod, sat beside me and stroked a conversation about their travels first, then Trump, then religion followed. I thought it funny that two out of the three are considered ‘not mentioning’ with company. LOL
And then to top it all, two of the chess players were a father and son from Utah. I saw The Smith Family Reunion shirt the man wore and I thought they most be LDS. Sure enough, he is a Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics BYU professor on sabbatical in Germany. The world is small!
I made my way back to pack, write etc. You know the nightly ritual. 😉