The Hills Are Alive…

We’re back near Salzburg, staying in the small village of Grödig,  just 10 miles from Salzburg. It’s quiet and quaint – away from the crowds of Salzburg.  But if you want to go into Salzburg, there is a bus stop nearby with frequent service that will have you in the heart of the city in about 20 minutes.

We’re staying in a traditional but modern Austrian style hotel called Hotel Sallerhoff. It is small, quaint, surrounded by gardens filled with flowers and sculpture. It’s a very comfortable hotel with gracious staff and an excellent self-serve espresso machine in the lobby. Our room had a seating area and small balcony overlooking the grounds.

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We had excellent sandwiches from a small cafe in the village and enjoyed Austria’s favorite beverage…

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And then had a quiet evening listening to a thunderstorm echo in the mountains and watching …

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That’s right Sound of Music, which plays on a continuous loop in our room, in either German or English.

A perfect last evening in Austria.

A Key to the Castle – Staying In Schloss Haunsperg

We are staying at Schloss Haunsperg, a castle in the town of Hallein just 15 minutes outside of Salzburg. Built in the 14th century, the castle was originally owned by Count Haunsperg, and has been in the current owner’s family since the 1800’s. the castle is not only beautiful, but tranquil in its garden setting.

At breakfast this morning, the owner was telling me that the tower, while modified, was originally built during Roman times as a watch tower, and was also used as a resting point for travelers on a Roman road that went by here. There is also a small Baroque chapel, that seats about 25, and is used for weddings, baptisms, and family masses, one of which was held last night to celebrate a saint’s birthday. Another interesting bit of history is that the text to the “Blue Danube” waltz was written here.

When we arrived we were given a room key, which is also a key to the front door of the castle. The walls are ivy covered, with beautiful roses climbing up to the windows.

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Our room is on the 4th floor and is partially located in the tower. We have a huge bedroom and large sitting area. Beautiful antiques are used throughout the castle, and as Matt has mentioned, it looks like a museum. But it feels like anything but a museum. The owners are warm, welcoming and fun, making you feel at home immediately and urge you to explore the castle. These are our rooms.

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And details from around the castle.

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Annecy at Dusk.

We arrived in Annecy early in the evening. It’s a town in the French Alps on a peaceful sparkling lake with the mountains as a backdrop. Little canals and the river Thiou wind through the old town.

The Isle Palace in Annecy is located in the center of the river and has a long history. First a residence for the Lord of Annecy from the 12th century on, it then served as administrative centre for the Counts of Geneva and finally a prison until 1865. It is one of the most photographed buildings in town, but in France.

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The warm glow of Annecy is particularly beautiful at dusk. Here are a few photos from a walk we took through the old town before dinner at an outdoor cafe next to the river

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Annecy