|The Baroque Marble Room at Stift Melk|
Our last morning in Vienna began with an earlier start – cramming breakfast in the body and clothing/stuff in the bags to be on the road by 8:30 a.m. After three nights in one hotel, one can easily make quite a mess to clean up – but it does feel good to not be in a different bed every night. One of our jokes is to line up for the inevitable question each morning: “Room number, please?” You stand and look at the person and for the life of you can’t remember….207? No, that was yesterday….313? No, I’m on the fourth floor – hey wait, that IS the fourth floor (Europeans count the ground floor as G or O, NOT as 1.) Anyway, it can get confusing!
A gentle snow of great big old flakes was falling upon the city as we departed, and so it continued for most of the day. This did not, however, stop us from visiting both of our scheduled stops on the way to Salzburg, Stift Melk and Mondsee Abbey.
|Dome of Abbey Church|
|From the Abbey looking at the Danube|
|At Mondsee Abbey|
The basic Gothic structure of the cathedral was "modernized" in the 17th century. The baroque sculptures and altars were made by the famous sculptor Meinrad Guggenbichler. The monastery was dissolved in 1792. The properties belonging to it were given later to Napoleon I.
The wedding scene in the Sound of Music was filmed here. Maria, led by Liesl, walked down the aisle to meet the Baron on front of the stairs of the main altar. The cathedral organ could be seen and heard during the wedding ceremony.
And yes, the Choir got to sing here too for about 30 minutes. It was kind of one of those “pinch me” moments for some of our gang – we have several “Sound of Music” fans, and whether some of it was filmed in Hollywood or here, it just “is” still the “Sound of Music” country!
Our arrival in Salzburg about 4:30 this afternoon allowed time for an hours worth of “wrap up” with the class and then transportation to our group dinner at St. Peter Stiftskeller – the oldest restaurant in central Europe, founded in 600 something. We were told that Charlemagne himself dined here. It was GREAT. Perhaps the biggest news of the day – it was 6 degrees C this afternoon. We’ve not seen a 6 on anything since we got here! Hooray! And tonight, high over Salzburg, a beautiful full moon. Let’s hope we have a clear day tomorrow as we have a guided tour around this magnificent city and our final concert in Berchtesgarden –just down the road.