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The Rick Steves Walking Tour

Today we caught the train from Munich to Salzburg, which was really only interesting when an undercover cop blatantly racially profiled a guy next to us.

Rather than hit every museum in town, we opted to spend the pleasant afternoon strolling through the Old Town. Luckily my old steady Rick Steves has a walking tour for the city. Here are the highlights.

We started at a statue of Mozart that was completely unremarkable. Thanks, Rick. We went on to discover this Italian fountain right in the middle of an Austrian square. I wonder if Bernini knows he got ripped off?

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We moved on to the first of many churches, Salzburg Cathedral. Catchy name, eh? There’s a neat sculpture of Mary in the square right in front of it, and if you stand in a certain spot, the angels on the church facade appear to be crowning her.

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Inside, the church is about what you expect: dreary paintings of the suffering of Christ, swirling Rococo stone work, confessionals that look more like playhouses, and a dome that could be heaven itself.

But this church had a dark underbelly– a secluded crypt area featuring some strange modern art. Jenny and I walked into a cave-like room and recoiled when we noticed a strange shadow moving across the wall.

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Turns out it was a projection in an art installation. Maybe depicting the journey to hell? I don’t know, but we got outta there fast.

Outside the church, we were some what surprised to find a Ringwraith in an alcove. (It’s from Lord of the Rings, Mom. Kind of like a dementor in Harry Potter.)

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The Ringwraith seemed to be looking on in judgement of this courtyard in which a guy is standing on top of a golden ball. No picture here because the sculpture was lame.

Also in the courtyard, another statue of Triton looking really pissed off about not being in Rome. He was accompanied by this creature with questionable genitals and a hamburger.

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Hiding behind the courtyard, we found this ridiculously lovely cemetery in which each plot is a sweet little garden.

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We also noticed this odd door in the middle of a rock face. We decided this is where Sirius Black was hiding. Okay, I decided that. Jenny just said she wandered about the rent there.

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And then we ate an enormous chocolate covered pretzel on the street and we did not regret it.

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My arms look enormous. Nothing but ex lax and water until prom. (Don’t worry– that’s just a quote from Never Been Kissed. I completely ate an apple strudel today and my arms look nice enough,)

Rick’s tour concluded on a busy shopping street, but we decided to ditch his schedule and find a Biergarten. You can only see so many churches and birthplaces of famous composers before you’re like, “Whatver, Europe is old, we get it.”

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We did find something curious on our way to dinner: this bridge covered in locks. Our best guess is that married couples write their names on the locks and then leave on the bridge for good luck. No reason given for why this bridge.

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Dinner was from a food truck. I know– how hipster of us. Jenny went for weinerschnitzel, and I got dangerous with a mystery meat sandwich.

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Jenny knows the name of this sandwich, but she’s asleep right now. Let’s just assume it starts with an “L” and has too many consonants.

It actually wasn’t bad. Kind of like a strange ham sandwich bathed in mustard.

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With solid food in our stomachs, we scurried into a street wine festival that popped up outside the concert venue for our evening’s entertainment. Random wine is preferable to planned wine any day.

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Check it- fizzy strawberry wine! We are like a country song!

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The drinks led to our play date in the Mirabell gardens which you can see here.

We ended our night with a string quarter concert in Mirabell Palace, the former Salzburg home of some drooling Hapsburgs. We didn’t take pictures there, but we met a pack of older women traveling together who called themselves “The Traveling Grannies.” They were quite posh and seemed utterly shocked by our Americanness. I couldn’t tell you much about the music except that I knew two of the songs because my employer uses them as hold music.

Tomorrow it will supposedly storm, so we’re cooking up some alternate plans. Stay tuned!

My Plane Did Not Crash!

Guten Tag! Apologies for weird formatting and spelling errors. Blogging from the iPad is proving a challenge because it keeps autocorrecting me.

I am here and quite jet lagged! The flight was unremarkable. Watched Batman, ate pasta, goggled at drunk ladies next to me who had a Bridesmaids moment when the flight attendant wouldn’t let them use the first class bathroom… the usual.

I’m a bit too brain dead to provide much commentary today, so here are some snapshots from our afternoon of sightseeing. Jenny took me for a stroll around downtown Munich, also known as Altstadt, to help familiarize me with the area.

We started at Viktualienmarkt. This is German for open air market stuffed with local cheese, produce, and food stands. If I lived here, I might be more likely to eat veggies all the time. They all look delectable.

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Jenny then directed me toward the sausage stand. This town is a sausage fest in a good way. We had bratwurst semmel, which is essentially pork sausage in a bun. This is a great way to eat hot dogs for lunch and feel fancy.

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After fortification, we set off for typical tourist stuff: old buildings, clock towers, manicured gardens that used to be the king’s backyard and so on. I was most impressed by this church, Theatiner Kirche. My travel boyfriend Rick Steves doesn’t even mention it, but I thought it striking. I might be breaking up with Rick over this. And would you look at that sky?

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After walking forever and ever until I felt like I might just walk back to the US and crawl into my soft bed, we made it to the English Gardens, which is like Central Park but with more nude sunbathers and patches of daisies. You know what you don’t think you will find in an English Garden in Germany?

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A Chinese pagoda. Jenny says the Chinese gifted it to the Germans. No one does this anymore, and it’s a shame. World Peace might be easier if we were all still donating buildings and oversized statues. Anyway, the pagoda stands over the Chinese Biergarten, and this is where Jenny made me drink a beverage the size of my head. I suppose I didn’t exactly fight her on that point. We drank Radler, light beers with lemon soda. This is an excellent way to make your jet lag seem funny.

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This is Jenny with our empty mugs. She’s quite small, so you can assume she did not drink both.

We also saw these lions that are allegedly good luck if you rub them as you walk past. I’ll let you know if I meet a modest German heir with a killer smile and a reading habit who falls in love with my awkward post-airplane hair and whisks me off to his chateau in Bavaria.

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We are now cooking dinner. To be fair, Jenny is cooking dinner and I am helpfully choosing songs on my iPod that fit the mood while drinking white wine and snacking on bits of real German Gouda. We will be trying Spargel, white asparagus that make the Germans crazy this time of year.

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They look like fingers in that picture. Hopefully, they don’t taste like fingers.

Tomorrow we head to Salzburg where I will hopefully be better rested and more interesting in my prose. Now excuse me, I need to choose a broody song to match the feeling of the chard pasta Jenny is sautéing.