Day 21

      September  22, Thursday 


    Today is our last day.  The past three weeks sure have gone fast.

     We slept later than usual as we had a slow day planned. We ran into our friends from Miami that we sat next to at the concert last night. There were here in our hotel. We had a nice visit with them.  They were leaving today.  After breakfast in the hotel café at a much lower price than the breakfast buffet (40 euros each) in the dining room, we went back over to the old town to do shopping for gifts.  We hadn't bought any gifts along the way because we didn't want to carry them from town to town as our luggage was heavy enough with all the books we bought about the churches and castles that we had visited.  We had to lift our suitcases on the train and then onto the over head rack, although often someone had pity on us old folks and helped us. 

    The streets were very crowed as this was the second day of Salzburger Ruperti-Kirtag (see yesterday for more information on this festival). I think we went into every store trying to find gifts that would fit our family and into our suitcases.   Most of the stores displayed attractive good quality merchandise. While we were shopping, we passed Mozart’s Birthplace. Mozart lived on the fourth floor of this tall house until he was 17.   We did not go in the house but it is now a museum about the life of Mozart.

    We had seen several Nordsee Seafood restaurants in our travels so decided to try this restaurant for lunch.  It is a chain in Central Europe with over 450 stores.  The display for lunch choices was very appetizing.  We had a nice lunch with two types of shrimp salad. 


    At the end of the street was a beautiful little church, St. Blasius Hospice Church, which had a simple external appearance.  It had a steep saddleback roof and  several little turrets shaped towers. On the front was some statuary. At the peak of the façade was a clock.  Around on the side on the roof was a small dormer with another clock. 

     This church was built in the 12th century on the grounds belonging to the Admont Monastery.  It was dedicated to St. Blasius, the patron saint of the monastery.  In 1428 a spacious gallery was added and it stretched over four of the seven bays.  The upper part was reserved for the actual hospice inhabitants, while the lower area served as a short-term hostelry. What appears today as a triple-bayed, enclosed flat chancel, was probably the actual church interior, which was made accessible to the citizenry by its own entrance on the east side. We went in and took several photos.  There were two chapels, one much larger than the other.

    We came back out, turned to the right and went up to the next main street.  We soon came to another church which was wrapped for restoration – The Collegiate Church.  Not only was the front fully covered, it its location on a narrow court did not allow for full frontal photography.


    This church dates back to 1707 and was consecrated in honor of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the patron saint of Salzburg as well as for the local Benedictine University which was founded in 1622. The university was disbanded in 1810 but reopened in 1962 as part of the University of Salzburg. The Collegiate Church is also one of the most celebrated Baroque churches in all of Austria.

     Even though we could not see the actual façade, photos and descriptions indicate two towers rising freely from the ground and only loosely connected to the main part of the front.  The central part of the front is convex.  The church is built on a modified Greek cross plan. We entered through the construction area. 

    The interior, being a Greek cross plan, had four equal arms with an open dome.  There were four chapels dedicated to the four faculty saints- St. Luke (medicine), St. Catharine (philosophy), St. Thomas Aquinas (theology) and St. Ivo (law).  The sculptured wall behind the altar rose to the ceiling and contained a number of angels surrounding the figure of Mary.  There were two clear glass windows in the middle of the sculpturing.  The light from these windows was very bright and almost obscured the sculptures and prevented the taking good photos.

    My wife’s knee was hurting so we came back to the hotel about 4:00.  Standing at the window in our hotel room, I noticed an old monastery/fort/church up on a hill across from the hotel.  I read that you could go up for a good view so while my wife rested, I climbed the 257 steps to the top - what a view!

    Two thirds of the way up the hill was a small beautiful church, ST. JOHNS on the Imberg (the name of the staircase). The church is first mentioned in 1319 with the present building dating from 1618.  There are several beautiful painting on the wall and over the altar.  The ceiling was especially beautiful - very Baroque with many angels on a light green background.  


     At the top of the climb was the CAPUCHIN CHURCH which dates to the founding of the order in Salzburg in 1681.   The interior is rather somber with the reredos behind the altar occupying the whole area of the small sanctuary.  An extension of the paintings flanking either side of the altar area on the chancel wall.   Preparations were being made for a mass, but I didn’t stay.  

    The view from the top was breathtaking.  I was on eye level with the Hohensalzburg and was able to take some wonderful phtos.  Going back down the 257 steps was much easier than climbing up!


    We decided that we didn't want to walk back to the old town for dinner so we went down to the hotel bar for drinks.  The Sacher Hotel has a formal dining room, a café where we ate last night and had breakfast this morning, and a grill.  The dining room menu really didn't appeal to us and there was only one couple occupying the dining room so we went back to the café.  We had a very nice young waiter.  He said that we could order from any of the menus.  We had noted scallops on the dining room menu.  He said we could order that that for a starter. We ordered a lobster soup and salmon to split.  We had noted that the dining room price of the scallops was 16.50 euros - about $23.00.  When the order came there was one lonely scallop about the size of a quarter on a large platter.  We couldn’t believe it.  We commented to our waiter about the ridiculous price for one scallop.  He brought the food manager out who was apologetic and said he would bring another free...he brought out four more and didn't charge us.  We are still talking about our $23.00 scallop.  They were good but not that good.

      Not only was the cost of the scallop excessive so was the use of the internet in our room.  It cost $27.00 a day.  In all of our apartments and other hotel room (Dresden) the internet was free except for our apartment in Budapest which changed a token fee. The Sacher Hotel is a luxury hotel and very expensive.  The décor is very tasteful, the service personnel very attentive, but our room was the smallest of any place that we stayed.  Five of these rooms would have fit into the Palace Apartment in Prague for a lot less cost- and they didn’t serve $23.00 scallops.

    This morning we noticed two men in the hotel, and one had on a Rehoboth Beach shirt, we spoke but didn't hear us.  They walked through the café and my wife spoke and asked about the shirt.  They lived in Baltimore and went to Rehoboth several times a year...such a small world. 

    We have had a wonderful three plus weeks.  My wife planned extremely well on the transportation, apartments/hotels, restaurants, concert tickets and other events. We were not disappointed in any place that we went or anything that we saw. We saw almost all of the churches on our list.  There were places that we didn’t have time to visit, so maybe this is a trip that we might take again.  I don’t know that I could pick a favorite city, although Budapest is right at the top.  Our apartment in Vienna was a little further from the center of activity than the others apartments, so we would stay closer to the historic area in Vienna and ask for better weather!  We had beautiful weather the entire trip except for some rain in Dresden and Vienna.

    Our plane leaves here a 2:30 tomorrow and we change planes in Frankfort and arrive home about 8 pm  ...that is 2:00 A.M. on the time that we have been on for the past 3 weeks.  

    Day 1 - Berlin

    Day 2 - Berlin

    Day 3 - Berlin

    Day 4 - Berlin

    Day 5 - Berlin - Potsdam

    Day 6 - Dresden

    Day 7 - Dresden

    Day 8 - Prague

    Day 9 - Prague - Kutna Hora

    Day 10 - Prague

    Day 11 - Brno

    Day 12 - Budapest

    Day 13 - Budapest

    Day 14 - Budapest

    Day 15 - Vienna

    Day 16 - Vienna

    Day 17 - Vienna - Melk Abbey

    Day 18 - Vienna

    Day 19 - Salzburg

    Day 20 - Salzburg

    Day 21 - Salzburg