December 17, 2017

A Bit of Home while in Europe

Many of you know I live in the San Francisco Bay area and if there is one thing San Francisco is known for it is the abundance of street performers.

Whether they are playing a musical instrument, dressed up in foil waiting for someone to place money in their cup before they start dancing or hiding behind a tree branch to scare passers by (at Fisherman’s Wharf, it is hilarious!) you can find it all in good ole San Francisco.

Imagine my surprise when I ran into the same thing this summer in Europe!

First I ran across this Pharoah of Bamberg Germany who would only perform by placing a few Euros in his cup.Bamberg Pharoah Bamberg Germany

In Innsbruck this trio had staked out their territory and were here every day performing to the delight of the passers by.  They always drew a large crowd and were actually pretty good but would only play for Euros!Innsbruck Austria Jazz Statues

These are just 2 of the street performers that reminded me of home!

Have you run into these types of street performers during your travels?


For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Every Thursday they post new photos from their travels and invite others to join in!

Maybe I’ll see you there.

Salzburg Beer Experience

So you didn’t think I’d leave Salzburg without some Beer Experiences did you?

Nope I didn’t!  In fact, I visited 2 breweries during my stay.

My first beer adventure was at the Stiegl Brauwelt (Stiegl Brewing World).Entrance to Stiegl Brauwelt Salzburg Austria

The Stiegl Brewery has been brewing beer in Salzburg since 1492 (and you thought that date was only important because of Christopher Columbus!) and is the largest private brewery in Austria today.

At the Brauwelt you can enjoy the beer museum, one of the 3 restaurants and visit the gift shop!

During your trip to the museum you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about beer and maybe more.  The largest beer “experience” in Austria will help you understand how beer is made.

I learned that beer is about 90% water and, therefore, extremely important for brewing the best beer.  Stiegl’s water comes from a spring on the Untersberg Mountain, so you know it is pure.Malt used in Beer making at Stiegl Brauwelt Salzburg Austria

Barley malt is what gives beer its body and color.  At Stiegl they use barley grown in Austria picked green from germinating barley before being roasted to obtain the desired color, taste and aroma.

The oil, acid and bitters from the Hops add a tangy taste to the finished product.Hops used in Beer making at Stiegl Brauwelt Salzburg Austria

It is the yeast that converts sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide (making it bubbly!).

See I told you, you would learn more about beer than you ever thought!

Finishing the museum tour you will see antique beer equipment, the largest beer tower in Europe, a display of beer steins and more.Beer Tower Stiegl Brauwelt Salzburg Austria

The best part is your entrance fee of 9 € includes a free gift and 3 beer tastings!!  Let me tell you, the beer tastings are only slightly smaller than an actual glass of beer, so there is plenty of beer tasting to be had.

I needed to find my way back to the bus stop, so I only had 2 tastings while enjoying a great bowl of Goulash soup and a wonderful potato/cabbage salad!Goulash Soup Stiegl Brewery Salzburg Austria

All in all, it was a great few hours spent at the Stiegl Brauwelt!  Oh, and the beer was Sehr Gut 🙂


Have you been to a Beer Museum?  Tell me about your beer experiences?

Salzburg and My First Opera

While I was in Salzburg I attended my very first opera!

Opera is not something I have been too interested in but I thought while in Salzburg . . .So off I went to the opera . . .  at the Salzburger Marionettentheater!Auditorium Marionette Theater Salzburg Austria

The elegant theater is near Mirabell gardens a very short walk from the Altstadt.  Although the current theater has only been in use since 1971 the Salzburg Marionettes have been entertaining audiences worldwide since 1913.  This is truly a Salzburg & Austrian institution!

Even though this production uses marionettes don’t make the mistake thinking it is only for children. I did attend the 1 hour afternoon showing and there were children in attendance but the majority of the audience were adults.  If you prefer to enjoy your opera at night, there is a performance at 8 pm which is 2 hours long.Figaro Marionette Theater Salzburg Austria

Arrive a little early so you can enjoy the historic marionette puppets lining the walls as you enter.  You will be amazed by the beautiful and detailed costumes these marionettes are wearing!

Upon entering the theater you will notice the beautiful crystal chandeliers and that the theater seems a little smaller than normal.  This theater was designed so the puppets look larger than they really are.

Now it’s time for the opera to begin!

Menagerie Marionette Salzburg Austria

Today’s performance is the Magic Flute by none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  This opera is actually the last opera Mozart wrote as he died a few months after its first performance.  The Magic Flute is also said to be the most frequently performed opera in the world.Magic Flute Marionette Theater Salzburg Austria

It really doesn’t take long before you stop seeing the strings moving the marionettes and get totally involved with the production. The prerecorded music is nice although nothing beats a live orchestra.  The performance was very entertaining and I was able to follow the story thanks to the English interpretation provided on the side walls.  I only wish they could have been in front of me or that we were given the story to read prior to the show beginning.

I really enjoyed my first opera!

One of the highlights (for me) was at the end.  The puppeteers need to take their bows and this is accomplished via a large mirror, held at an angle, so we could all see who was holding the strings! The mirror made them look really large but it was pretty amazing to see who (only 4) actually controlled the puppets.Nutcracker Marionette Theater Salzburg Austria

The theater performs other operas and also a production of The Sound of Music.  I would like to see this as it would be easier to follow along but then it’s not an opera and that was what I was looking for!

All photographs are from the Salzburg Marionette Theater


Have you attended a Marionette Theater performance?

Would you attend an opera while in a city known for its opera?

Salzburg Randomness

Wandering the streets of Salzburg offers surprises at every turn. Whether it it music along the street, a local market, a beautiful street or a game of chess, it is all magical and adds to the allure that is Salzburg.

These acts of randomness are here for your enjoyment!

The chess board is always active.Friendly Game of Chess in Salzburg Austria

Local markets can be found along the pedestrian streets of Salzburg every day!Local Markets in Salzburg Austria

Beautiful street scenes are yours and one reason to wander and, hopefully, getting lost.Beautiful flower market in Salzburg Austria

Beautiful guilded signs adorn the way! Did you know these signs were used to depict the store during Medieval times when most people couldn’t read?Medieval streets with gilded signs Salzburg Austria

For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Every Thursday they post new photos from their travels and invite others to join in!

Maybe I’ll see you there.

Salzburg: Hanging at Hanger-7

Do you enjoy historic airplanes, helicopters and Formula-1 racers? If so, then Hanger-7 at the Salzburg airport may be the place for you!

During my recent trip, I decided to visit Hanger-7 for my husband who couldn’t be with me.  He is a private pilot and airplane fanatic, so I knew he would definitely love this place but would have to settle for a few pictures this time 🙁

Needless to say, I’m not the biggest airplane fan but have gone to many air museums and air shows during my marriage and have learned to really appreciate these beautiful beasts and am in awe of the physics it takes to make them do what they do.  The planes at Hanger-7 did not disappoint.

Hanger-7 is the brainchild of Dietrich Mateschitz founder of “Red Bull”.  He has amassed quite a collection of cars and planes, many of which still race.  Needing a larger hanger to display these treasures, he had the current hanger built.

Red Bull Hanger-7 Salzburg Austria

Red Bull Hanger-7 by Herbert Ruhdorfer

To say it is architecturally interesting is an understatement.  I don’t usually like modern architecture but found this marvel to be very unique and quite beautiful.

Throughout the building you will find a collection of the vintage planes, helicopters and cars but also a unique and rotating display of art.  On this trip, the collection on display didn’t really hold my attention but you may have better luck on your visit plus I don’t think most people visit Hanger-7 for the art!

Here are a few pictures of what people do visit Hanger-7 for!

Hanger-7 Stearman Salzburg Austria


Hanger-7 Alpha Jet Salzburg Austria

Alpha Jet

Hanger-7 North American B25 Mitchell Salzburg Austria

North American B25 Mitchell

Hanger-7 F4U Corsair Salzburg Austria

F4U Corsair


Hanger-7 Formula 1 Racer Salzburg Austria

Token Formula 1 Racer

After your visit you might want to enjoy the restaurant, one of the 2 bars or the lounge on site.  The restaurant, Icarus, is Michelin rated.

Hanger-7 is open from 9 am – 10 pm every day.  During my stay, I was using public buses to get around outside the main walkable parts of Salzburg.  I had seen on the website to take the #2 bus and get off at the Karolingerstrasse stop and “you’ll see the Hanger right in front of you”.  So I pulled out my handy map of the bus system and started my journey.

When I got off at Karolingerstrasse, the hanger was not right in front of me and there were no signs saying “Hanger-7 this way”! Luckily someone else got off the bus with me and knew the way.  So if you take the bus, cross the street and continue down Karolingerstrasse until you do see the hanger on your right.  It was probably another 5 minutes or so down the street.

My other suggestion would be timing your visit.  Since I had many other things I wanted to do this day, some of which included beer, I decided to visit early.  I arrived about 9:45 am and was at first a little disappointed with the number of planes and cars on display.  As I wandered around they started bringing more planes and helicopters into the hanger.  So my suggestion would be to visit later in the day so all of the displays are complete.

All in all I had an enjoyable time at Hanger-7 and can recommend it to all you airplane and car fans.  I know the next time I’m in Salzburg (with my husband) I will be going again!

Oh yea, I forgot to mention that entrance is Free!!!


Is Hanger-7 someplace you would like to visit?

Salzburg’s Altstadt-Music and History

Salzburg Austria is probably best known for music.  It is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and you can find music everywhere from street performers, parks, churches, opera houses, at one of the many festivals held throughout the year or on the Sound of Music tour!

This is a short video of some street performers I ran into within the first few hours of arriving in Salzburg.  Looking at YouTube, it seems this quartet has been around awhile!

What I found recently was a city that is also a visual display of its history.

Salzburg is a city of approximately 150,000 people that is divided by the Salzach River and bordered on the other side by a small mountain rising sharply from the city, the Monchberg.

Old Town Salzburg across Salzach river Austria

Old Town Salzburg by Jiuguang Wang

The Altstadt is the core of the city. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, the Altstadt has an enchanting feel to it with all the alluring old houses, charming platz’s complete with fountains celebrating Salzburg’s heroes, churches, cafes and tempting shops.Fountain Salzburg Austria

This part of Salzburg is a walker’s delight.  Car free, it is easy and fun getting lost just by wandering the streets.  You will always find yourself in familiar territory very shortly and you never know what discovery you will make at each turn.  Hidden alleyways or great local markets are just some of the gems you may run into!Wandering the streets of Salburg Austria

Mixed in among the narrow streets and grand platz’s are sites not to be missed including St. Peter’s Abbey and Cemetery, Salzburg Cathedral, the Residenze and Mozart’s birthplace.Salzburg Cathedral Interior Austria

The Salzburg Cathedral is considered to be one of the finest Baroque buildings north of the Alps.  There has been a cathedral on this spot since the 8th century.  As you walk into the cathedral you will notice 3 dates above the doors notating the date of major renovations to the cathedral.  Also as you enter, you will notice 4 statues depicting 2 apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, and the 2 patron saints of the cathedral, St. Rupert and St. Virgil.  Mozart was baptized in this cathedral.  He was also the organist and many of his compositions were played for the first time in Salzburg cathedral.St. Peter statue at Salzburg Cathedral Austria

The Residenze and its famous horse fountain were built between 1600 and 1619 and was the home of the prince-archbishops.  A tour through the State rooms and Imperial Halls offer views into life at this time – at least if you were a prince bishop that is!  Mozart was invited to play for the bishops guests many times in the Residenze.

The Altstadt of Salzburg is a wonderful mélange showcasing the history of this town that was so important to the region in years past.  Besides touring the sights make sure to leave time relishing the ambiance at one of the many cafes or brew pubs!Cake and Coffee Salzburg Austria


What is your favorite thing to do in Salzburg’s altstadt?

Travel Photo Thursday: Salzburg Teasers

Next week I’ll start detailing my recent trip to Salzburg.

To kick this off I thought I’d share a few images of beautiful photogenic Salzburg!Salzburg City View Austria

Isn’t this a beautiful city?!?

I wandered up to Nonnberg Abbey, yes the monastery where Maria von Trapp spent time at, and saw these doors. They reminded me of the scene in The Sound of Music when the children went to get Maria so I snapped this picture!

Nonnberg Abbey Salzburg Austria

We need to speak with Fraulein Maria!

Salzburg Austria View

A wonderful view of a magical city.

For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Every Thursday they post new photos from their travels and invite others to join in!

Maybe I’ll see you there.





Gulaschsuppe, Gulyasleves or Goulash Soup

While traveling I am not a “foodie” per se. That doesn’t mean I don’t look forward to meals when traveling, I just don’t travel to locations to visit a certain chef’s restaurant nor do I even visit the “it” restaurant in town.

I do, however, love local traditional cuisine and that is what I search out.

On my first ever trip to Germany, I absolutely fell in love with Gulaschsuppe (Goulash soup) and it is something I look forward to any time I am in Germany or Austria.

On my latest trip I had Gulaschsuppe in Innsbruck . . . three times,Goulash Soup Innsbruck Austria

This one I had it with a wonderful nice green salad.More Goulash Soup Innsbruck Austria

Salzburg once. Goulash Soup Stiegl Brewery Salzburg Austria

I added an absolutely amazing potato/cabbage salad.  Oh my god, this salad was so good!  But then so was the soup and beer 🙂

And when in Budapest I just had to try the local version for a comparison.  The broth of this soup was wonderful and was extremely good for dunking the bread that came with it 🙂Goulash Soup Budapest Hungary

Goulash soup is a beef based soup with tomatoes, caraway and paprika!  In Germany and Austria the broth is a little thicker and usually contains small chunks of beef and potato in equal portions.

Gulyasleves in Budapest has a thinner broth with a little beef and TONS of potatoes and carrots!  Yah, vegetables.

I still love Gulaschsuppe, Gulyasleves or Goulash Soup even after 5 servings in 2 weeks.  They were all so good and I can’t say one was better than the other.

All I can say is the German version just holds a very special spot in my heart!


What type of food do you look for when traveling?  Any specialties that stick out?

Bamberg Beer Failure

Bamberg is a beautiful city famously known around the globe for beer.

Hopfen und Malz, Mai Gott erhalt’s! (Hops and Malt, May God preserve them!) is a common saying in this city which is home to 9 breweries.

Located in the northern Bavaria, Bamberg is home to 70,000 people and was the first stop on a recent trip to Europe.  In Bamberg plus Beer equals Dilemma I discussed the 9 breweries in Bamberg and mused about which ones I should visit.

Departing San Francisco I really had hopes of reaching all 9 breweries in Bamberg!  Lofty goal, I know, but I was still optimistic.

Alas that was not to be 🙁

By the time I arrived in Bamberg, I actually only had 1 ½ days to see the sights and drink at 9 breweries!  I hadn’t given up hope but the 95° temperature definitely played a roll in slowing me down.  Besides not really wanting to move quickly, I didn’t want food or beer.

Despite the adversity, I did make it to 3 – Ambrausianum, Schlenkerla and Klosterbrau!

Ambrausianum Beer Bamberg Bavaria Germany

Ambrausianum Beer

At Ambrausianum, I enjoyed a very nice Hell beer!  I enjoyed this wonderful nectar of the gods while sitting under an umbrella waiting for the brief rain storm to pass.  This is also the location that made me realize “I’m in Germany!”

Schlenkerla Beer Bamberg Bavaria Germany

Schlenkerla Rauchbier

Schlenkerla is home to a famous smoked beer called Rauchbier.  I had heard this beer tasted like bacon and wasn’t really very excited to try it but thought I had to do it!  My verdict, it didn’t taste like bacon and I actually really liked it!  I thought the smoky flavor complemented the other beer qualities.

Klosterbrau Beer Bamberg Bavaria Germany

Klosterbrau Beer

Klosterbrau is the oldest functioning brewery left in Bamberg and sits next to the Regnitz river.  After a morning of wandering the city I decided I needed to sit and have something to eat and drink.  Founded in 1533, Klosterbrau’s Pil’s was just what was needed!

I was disappointed that I didn’t make it to more breweries but this leaves the door open for my return!

There is so much beer in Bamberg and the breweries just touch the surface.

Next time I won’t neglect the Beer Kellers most of which sit high above the city and offer awesome views.  Fassla, Spezial, Mahrs and Wilde Rose are just a few of the Kellers that may make on my list the next time I visit Bamberg.


Have you set a travel goal that didn’t get met?

European Soccer Fans in Budapest

Today is the start of the NFL season, so on the Travel Photo Thursday I thought I’d share some images of the pre-game celebration I witnessed in Budapest.

I was sitting outside enjoying my final meal in Budapest when I heard a loud commotion coming from down the square a bit.  I figured it was the football fans because all day I had been noticing the city was swimming in yellow and blue jerseys.Swedens Football Fans in Budapest Hungary

Since my food was on the table I couldn’t get up and see what was going on but I could hear the chanting.  As I continued eating the chanting and rallying got louder and louder.  It was clear they were coming my way!Football Fans in Budapest Hungary

Grabbing my camera, I was able to snap a few pictures as the sea of yellow and blue swarmed all around me! These fans were in town to support their team in the Euro Cup Qualification round.  Despite their best efforts, Sweden lost the match to Hungary 2-1.More Football Fans Budapest Hungary

Of course, they had their escorts too 🙂Football Fans Budapest Hungary

Have you witnessed sports fanaticism in action?


For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Every Thursday they post new photos from their travels and invite others to join in!

Maybe I’ll see you there.