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Friday 8th of July Golling and Salzburg

When in Rome do as the Romans do and when in Austria do as the Austrians do; today we are going to feast and hate Germans. Not hard, considering not only is it Austria’s feast festival weekend but France has just beaten Germany convincingly in the European cup. The Austrians are delighted that Germany has lost, but also feel they should support their big brother during their period of loss; they’ll have a beer for them later.

We commenced our day by getting up early for our tour to see Hitler’s Eagles Nest by catching the train into Salzburg and starting our feast celebrations with a drink and a chocolate croissant. They did get the coffee right for Roger and the freshly squeezed orange juice for me, but unfortunately they are unaware that a breakfast croissant should be served slightly warm, not cold, and shouldn’t be filled with Nutella.

We piled into the bus for the trip to Germany (I'm not sure why they run these trips from Austria) to see Hitler’s former retreat up on a 6000 foot mountain ridge. Hitler's Eagles NestApparently he didn’t request it, some guy commissioned it and built it with Nazi Party funds and then gave it to Hitler as a 50th birthday present; gosh I know somebody having a 50th! The road to get there is very narrow, steep and goes through a few tunnels, cost millions to build, took a lot of time and cost twelve lives, but then again he had a lot of expendable working souls available to him at the time. Because you can’t build a road to the very top, there is a tunnel and an elevator in the middle of the mountain, just like Durie Hill in Wanganui, NZ, but way flasher. According to our guide, Hitler suffered from claustrophobia and had secrecy and control issues, so he actually made all his decisions up here with a few trusted men, not down in the Nazi headquarters. As our tour guide said "his biggest problem was that he was born".

There is still a lot not said about this place, and it is closed off to the public excepting those that come in a tour group. This tour was recommended to us and does have spectacular views and history, but I am still more amused by the tourists who paid 55 Euros just to come up here and sit down at the café and eat and smoke, oh and they brought their dogs.

Because our tour is in Germany and because we had to change buses and herd tourists the trip takes up to five hours. Therefore the tour company takes you to a small town for lunch, yes more eating by us and kick-backs for the guide. While the guide was doing the slating of the Germans, we carried on doing the feasting to keep our Austrian festival spirit going. Lunch at Berchtesgaden was three random items from the bakery and some red/white/chocolate striped coconut ice. We were expected to tip our hosts yet again and thank the driver for getting us down the mountain alive. This is the same driver who committed road rage several times, tried to kill a motor cyclist and made a bus and several cars back down a steep mountain because he couldn’t get around a corner.

Once back in Salzburg we headed off to a 900 year old fortress, called Hohensalzburg Castle, up a hill (by funicular) which used to store salt. Basically, in the old days, salt was a preciousHohensalzburg Castle commodity and this area had lots of it, hence the name Salz (Salt) burg (Town). The weather was extremely hot so we came down for refreshments and arrived at the old town square at the same time as the Austrian bands were going to have a play-off. Unfortunately, they were so disorganised we had to move on and check out the padlock bridge and the Mirabell gardens again. This time we arrived in time to find two English school groups from Dover giving a free concert in the shade of the trees, with park benches. We stopped, sat and listened, cringed, clapped respectfully and thanked them. They were only young and apparently had jet lag from their trip being delayed eight hours.

It was time to get back to feasting again, so after getting off the train, we stopped in Golling and dined at one of their fine establishments that was serving cold beer and XXL Wiener Schnitzel at a bargain special price of 11.50 Euros. Two orders of that and we finally staggered home suffering from heat exhaustion, having feasted our way around Salzburg and without abusing too many Germans.



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Fireplace at Eagle's NestFireplace "1938" at Eagles Nest
Eagle's NestEagles Nest
Approaching Eagle's NestApproach road to Eagles Nest
Dinner in Golling Schnitzel & beer in Golling