Springtime in Vienna Tablescape

It was pretty wet and chilly, that March spring break in Austria eleven years ago — my first trip to Europe. That doesn’t keep me from thinking about Vienna and Salzburg when I think spring. The pansies were profusely blooming and there were flowers and trees making their homage to spring everywhere, despite the weather. Nature is like that.

GotMyReservations Mirabell Gardens

Mirabell Palace and Gardens in Salzburg was one of the shooting locations for the Sound of Music.

Those pansies kept coming back to tantalize me when I started planning this week’s tablescape. I knew I wanted to incorporate the beautiful faux pansies I had seen at Joann’s, since it has still been too cold to have plants outside. I remembered the intricate embroidered cloths that I bought in Austria and voila! I had my inspiration for the week. Continue reading

The View from Salzburg’s Hohensalzburg Castle

Today’s Photo of the Day takes us to Salzburg, Austria, for a view from the ramparts of the Hohensalzburg Castle, a medieval fortress dating from 1077.

GotMyReservations -- Salzberg, Austria

The view over Salzburg, Austria, from the Hohensalzburg Castle

For more Austria photos, check out my Austrian Pork Schnitzel and Cabbage Pasta Bake recipes, our visit to the Do-Re-Mi garden from Sound of Musicmy thoughts on visiting Vienna, our visit to The House of Music in Vienna, and Christmas in Austria.

I’m linking up with The Tablescaper for “Oh, The Places I’ve Been”, Travel Photo Monday” at Travel Photo Discovery, and “Travel Photo Thursday” at Budget Travelers Sandbox,  and Our World Tuesday so stop by and get some more inspiration for your travel bucket list!

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford. 
Like a child in wild anticipation, 
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)


Our World Tuesday: Salzburg’s Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Travel plus movies. Fun and funner.

As soon as we planned our trip to Austria, I knew I wanted to take the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg. Yes, I was the subject of ridicule among my friends, and Music Man barely tolerated the idea. But how could I go to Austria without seeing where Julie Andrews made cinematic history?

Today’s photo tour takes us to the Mirabell Palace and Gardens where some of the Do Re Mi sequences were filmed.

Remember these steps? I was there, too.

Remember when the children run around the garden and mimic the attitudes of the dwarves? You can do that too!

The Dwarf Garden has a bunch of interesting creatures made of white marble and they date back to the time of Archbishop Franz Anton Harrach in the early 1700s. I think I took photos of every darn dwarf — I knew I would use them someday and here we are.

We also went to Schloss Hellbrunn where the gazebo in which Liesl and Rolf sing “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” has been moved to protect it from trespassers. The interior shots were actually done on a set in Hollywood, but you can get your picture taken from the outside, as I did on a rainy day.

I enjoy seeing the movie locations when I am touring; it makes the fake world of movies seem a little bit more real. If you’re going to Salzburg, don’t let anyone talk you out of the Sound of Music tour. You’ll love it!

I’m linked up today with Our World Tuesday. Please stop by to see the travel stories of other bloggers and share the comment love!


Travel Diary: Vienna 2003

I just sent in my passport for renewal. I can’t believe it’s been ten years.

I got a new passport photo taken, of course. My contact lenses are long gone, replaced by my sassy hipster frames or my sparkly dress-up glasses. My hair’s still brown, albeit a little redder and a lot shorter because it’s easier to care for. I’m working on getting my weight down, but let’s just say my sturdy German girl frame fit right in among the Austrians — and I had a lot of layers on under that coat because it was March and it was cold in Austria.

We visited a family friend who was studying in Vienna while we were there.

The world was a lot different in 2003.

The United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland had joined with the United States to invade Iraq just before we were scheduled to visit in March 2003 during my spring break. The rest of the world was not as supportive and we were warned not to take any clothing displaying American flags or blatant patriotic sayings. We were supposed to blend in. Apparently the Viennese were not happy with our choice, as we found out with this display on a museum plaza. I think we were successful at blending in, as we were sometimes asked for directions by other tourists…

Both of my children had been to Europe three times by the time I actually got there myself.

For a woman who had visited almost every state in the Union, as well as Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Canada, I was woefully under-traveled when it came to Europe. As a small-town girl from Ohio with a modest upbringing by my educator parents, I didn’t get to take the school trip with the band. There wasn’t one. I didn’t do junior year abroad, although some people at Miami University were able to study abroad at the University Center in Luxembourg. Not me. I needed to get my degree finished so that I could get on with life and my parents could not have afforded it anyway.

That first trip through Heathrow was a revelation. The center lounge with rows and rows of armchairs where travelers of every persuasion melded together in a huge melting pot was amazing to me. Going from shop to shop, comparing magazines, books, travel items, and even candy, took the sting out of our long layover. I was actually waiting to change planes in London, England!

Our visit to Vienna was the beginning of a travel odyssey that I hope we will continue for many years.

As I walked up to the post office today, I was thinking that in another ten years, I’ll be ten years older, too. We’ll still be traveling, unless something dreadful happens to us, but we will be different travelers by then. We probably won’t stride into the Vienna train station, confident that we can drag our own bags onto public transportation and get to the airport. We’ll probably take more cruises and do less driving.

But we’ll still be traveling.

A Viking River Cruise will someday take us back to Vienna; there are five cruises for us to choose from. We could even go during the Christmas markets in December.

The charming Hotel Beethoven is still alive and well and helping tourists to learn about Vienna. They still offer a comprehensive breakfast buffet and small-hotel ambiance and service.

Some things change and some things don’t.

I’m sure Vienna isn’t the city that we visited ten years ago; most likely, it is a better city. Globalization has changed the way we eat — I’m sure there are even more interesting restaurants to try. The fabulous museums are probably even more fabulous, as curatorial processes and styles have grown along with the advancement of digital imaging and modern historical preservation techniques.

Yet, I imagine that much about Vienna is the same. I’m sure that people still honor crosswalks and are polite. The Viennese probably still speak enough English to be helpful to tourists (unlike us who only know how to use cognates to read signs). The vitality of this centuries-old city is most likely still there, waiting to be discovered by another visitor.

When are you going to Vienna?

Contact me at jennie@gotmyreservations dot com if you would like me to help you plan a trip to this marvelous city!


Food Cult: Thai Food in Vienna!

It was a nasty rainy night in March, and the restaurant was close to our hotel and close to the Opera house. Unfortunately, I can’t remember its name, but this is probably the restaurant. Whether it’s the right one or not, there’s nothing like a spicy satay and some Thai egg rolls to warm the cockles of my heart.

I’ve never actually been to Thailand, but in my somewhat limited experience, Thai food is pretty much Thai food, no matter where you go. If you’d like to try to make these luscious little morsels, here’s a recipe from Temple of Thai where you can also buy the makings if you can’t get the Thai ingredients where you live. Actually, I imagine you could probably live without the dried tree ear mushrooms and sub them out with some other kind of fungi. 🙂

I could barely type up this post without ordering out — we have a favorite Thai restaurant nearby and thankfully I don’t have to go to Vienna or Thailand to satisfy my egg rolls and satay cravings. Do you have a favorite Thai restaurant to share?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Food Cult: Zum Huth – Im Haus der Musik, Vienna

For this week’s photo story, we’ll travel around Europe to visit some fabulous restaurants and revisit some extraordinary food.

Our first stop is in Vienna, where we spent a romantic dinner overlooking the rooftops from the restaurant-cafe Huth in the Haus der Musik. The Sound Museum is an often overlooked but wonderful museum that is centrally located near St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Vienna Opera.

If you are traveling with me, don’t be surprised if I order the cheese plate at every meal. This one was extraordinary.

These photos were taken in 2003 with our brand new Olympus digital camera. It has since gone to digital camera heaven.

HAUS DER MUSIK is an interactive discovery museum located in the heart of Vienna’s first district nestled between St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Vienna State Opera. A host of interactive installations playfully communicate openness to new things, understanding and enthusiasm in approaching music HAUS DER MUSIK was awarded the Austrian Museum Prize for its innovative design and is located in the formerPalais of Archduke Charles. You will find all 67 of its new inventions here. A total of 5,000 square meters has been set aside exclusively for areas dedicated to a wide array of approaches to music, and most of all, to the experience of music.

At one time the former Palais of Archduke Charles, today’s HAUS DER MUSIK was also the residence ofOtto Nicolai (1810 – 1849), who composed the opera “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and founded the Vienna Philharmonic concerts here. This connection provided the impetus for the Vienna Philharmonic, with itsHistorical Archive, to make HAUS DER MUSIK its new home. Here, the scientific documentation of this world-famous orchestra continues and is made available to the public. On the “Beletage” first floor, the only historically preserved rooms in the house, the Vienna Philharmonic present original documents from their history.  Source

22 Days of Christmas 2011: Christmas in Austria

Does your cable channel carry Anthony Bourdain? If not, you should picket your cable headquarters until you get it. Bourdain is the most irreverent-while-being-fascinating host on television today (I LOVE hyphenated adjectives!).

I blogged about Anthony Bourdain earlier this year when he visited El Bulli, but his Vienna show really hit home with me. It’s a long story– are you ready for it?

I had never been to Europe prior to our Spring Break trip in 2003. Our family friend Lara spent her junior semester abroad in Vienna and it seemed the perfect place to initiate the Europe virgin (that would be me) into European culture. I mean, really, how many books had I read about Marie Antoinette at that point? I was pretty sure I could handle Vienna. I don’t speak German, but my mom did. Isn’t that enough? I speak some passable Spanish and NRB speaks some passable French. Between our passable Romance book-languages and Lara, we figured we could probably get by.

Fast forward to nine years later. I’m looking for something fun to watch on the tube on the eve of my Veterans’ Day holiday off from school. Usually we don’t get Veterans’ Day; we trade it for an extra day before Thanksgiving or something. This year, we got both. It was a rare gift. I scrolled through my DVR’d programs, not finding Glee. What happened? I watched a bit of Hung on HBO. Really? I’m going to have to come back to that one. So I settle for Anthony Bourdain in Vienna which I know doesn’t require me to remember any backstory.

Yet I had my own personal backstory.

Tony visited Schloss Schoenbrunn, the childhood home of Marie Antoinette and so did I.

Tony toured Vienna, and so did I.

Tony didn’t go to Salzburg, but it wasn’t a trip to Austria for me without paying homage to Maria Von Trapp and Mozart. This is kind of a cheesy video, but does give some interesting information. If you keep clicking through the videos, you’ll get the whole Salzburg story.

We also took pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. We bought our first digital camera right before this trip and were still learning how to use it. As I looked through these photos, I realized that in my rose-colored view of our vacation, I had forgotten how cold and often rainy it was in Austria in March.

The Austrians love Christmas, and there were Christmas stores everywhere. Of course we bought an ornament at this store and I’m getting ready to hang it on my tree this year along with all of my other vacation memory ornaments.

For your Austrian music companions to today’s post, I chose The Best of Christmas in Vienna and Christmas in Vienna. Both feature Placido Domingo with friends.

As I look at this 22 Days of Christmas post from last year, it’s hard to believe that we were anticipating snow. Today was a balmy and sometimes rainy day in the upper 40s. If it’s not global warming (as some of my students and their families believe), Mother Nature sure is playing tricks on us. See you tomorrow, and be sure to comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...