Wrapped in a frothy wave of contentment, we were on the road once again. We were also better prepared to be on the autostrade thanks to Peter Demmel, who had advised us that we needed a “vignette” for our windshield to permit access to the roads in Austria. If stopped and found without, the fine is 300 Euro, about 425 dollars. Who knew?
I’d made it clear to my intrepid navigator that things would be much smoother if we searched for a place to lodge for the night before we had dinner. A plus to that approach is that many inns have a restaurant attached or nearby.
Such is the case with Aldranser Hof, run by the Schwemberger family.The lovely inn in the mountains not only has its own restaurant with a magnificent view of the city of Innsbruck below, but has added charm by virtue of residing compatibly next to a working farm. A quaint church on the corner of the street tolled the hour as we approached.
I expected Heidi, all grown up, to appear as our waitress. Instead we met Christina, “Tini” for short, who was as knowledgeable about world politics as she was the menu. The sun was setting and the kitchen closing, so we quickly ordered drinks, soup and a main course. Then we had time to chat, our conversation a mix of fractured German and English, about the mountain mist settling on the sparkling city below. We all communicated quite well, perhaps Carson best of all.
Too much cannot be said about the room. It was like an apartment, and one of the biggest bargains so far on our journey, at about seventy Euro per night, breakfast included.
The following morning we bid farewell to our bovine neighbors and left for Salzburg, city of Wolgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace and, since 1920, site of the annual Salzburg Music Festival, where the world’s finest and most renowned artists, from tenors and sopranos to composers, conductors and musicians gather to produce unparalleled performances.
This was the first city on the trip where I thought I might get run over, not by a car, but a bicycle, as it’s a popular mode of
transportation in a city crowded with cars and people. We chose a busy bistro
with outdoor seating, Fingerlos, at Franz-Josef-Strasse 9 for a quick salad, but lacking Internet access, set up shop two doors down at Herzenfreude for espresso and dessert. Next Keith wanted to see the house where Mozart grew up. Afterwards we strolled back to the car through the world-famous Mirabell Gardens, featured in the The Sound of Music, before pointing our trusty Skoda in the direction of Vienna.