After taking in the view overlooking Hallstatt Lake in Austria one last time, Mom and I hopped in the rental car. We hit the road and made the short drive to Bad Ischl, another cake stopping point, this time visiting the famed Café Zauner. We both grabbed a slice of cake and a coffee but had to rush a bit as the parking was only paid for one hour.
We got back on the road and made the final 1.5 hour push for Salzburg, arriving at Villa Verde BnB. We were really happy to find we had been given the mother-in-law suite above the garage which was very spacious. A great spot to be spending the next two nights. We firstly hit up the honesty bar and then walked into the old town centre for dinner at Gasthof Goldgasse. Mom went for their specialty fried chicken and I selected the beet torte. Back in our flat, we rented Mamma Mia 2 and watched it on the couch before heading to bed.
We found out that Friday, October 26th was Austria National Day and most shops were closed for the holiday. It was a really nice morning so we decided we would take the funicular up to Salzburg Fortress. Afterwards, we walked the streets of the old town and along the river, but most shops were closed. Though we did find a Billa grocery store open and we grabbed a bottle of Austrian wine and some coffee capsules for the apartment. We looped back upon Mozartplatz where everyone seemed to be gathered enjoying the sunshine. We finally snagged a seat and ordered two Aperol spritz’s – a perfect cocktail on this sunny day.
We then headed back to the apartment for a relax before dinner and a glass of the Austrian wine we had purchased. We decided to try going to one of the local restaurants in the neighbourhood that evening. We walked down the street to Osteria Cavalli, an Italian joint that was very busy but we managed to get a table and both ordered a pasta dish. We retired back at the flat with a couple games of crib.
On Saturday morning, we said goodbye to Salzburg and hit the road for Germany. We had an afternoon tour booked for Neuschwanstein Castle. Unfortunately, the beautiful sunshine of the day before was no more and only seemed to get worse as we made the 3 hour journey. We arrived just past 1:00pm at Hotel Helmer in the small town of Schwangau. We had to be there early to pick up our tickets so we drove up the hill, parked, and grabbed our tickets from the ticket centre. We still had a couple of hours to kill though so we grabbed a soup at Josy’s (I had remembered this place from when Dan and I were there). We then grabbed the bus up the hill and walked over to the castle. It was cold, rainy, and visibility was poor. We grabbed a gluhwein to share to warm up and then went towards to the castle main entrance, waiting for our 15:50 tour to open. We rushed inside with the other tourists and listened to the audio guide while taking the short tour through the castle. Upon exiting I noticed a sign saying the last bus down was in 15 minutes so we made a beeline for it. After all of that, we deserved a glass of wine so we headed to Josy’s Wine Bar. They had some nice German wines on selection and it would have been a great view of the castle if it wasn’t so socked in. That evening, we had dinner at our hotel – we struggled with the daily specials in German, but, in the end, Mom got liver and onions and I the wild boar and spätzle. We rented another movie on the iPad that night in the room and then had a good sleep after our long day.
Sunday was our last day and we hit the road in the morning, stopping along the way at Wieskirche, a nearby church. Being Sunday, we arrived when mass was just about to start, evidenced by the people parking and heading into the church. We were tempted to join, but had to get back on the road to Munich. We luckily found parking in Munich’s old centre and made our way to Hofbrauhaus for lunch. It was packed so we joined a table near the back as some people were leaving. The band was playing so we enjoyed the atmosphere – Mom ordered the bratwurst and I went for the weisswurst along with a couple of beers. We eventually ventured out back into the cold (the coldest yet at 4 degrees) and walked to Marienplatz and decided to have one last coffee and cake.
We then made our way back to the car and onwards to our airport hotel. We dropped the car off and enjoyed one last glass of wine before heading to bed as Mom had a 7:00am flight from Munich to Amsterdam and then home to Calgary. We both woke up at 4:00am, got Mom checked in, bags dropped, and said goodbye at security. Unfortunately, I was in a different terminal so couldn’t join her to the gate. My flight flew out a few hours later at 10:35am back to AUH. It was a really fun week traveling together and driving across Europe. Lot of amazing sights were visited, delicious food and drinks were had, and we made some great memories together.