Hanging at Hellbrunn and Dinner with Friends.

I honestly tried to sum up Salzburg in my last post- but Hellbrunn is SO special it deserves it’s own page. Let’s review…after visiting Vienna, my hubby took a train back to Salzburg to fly to Montana for work duties.  My parents and I of course traveled to Croatia, and then a day or so to play in Salzburg before they flew home.  A perfect place to play is Hellbrunn Palace!  Yes, another palace- this time a summer palace only a couple of miles from inner-Salzburg.  It was the archibishop, Markus Sittikus’s summer palace he decided to throw together in 1613 to entertain guests during the summer days.  It’s special charm are the trick fountains that are run without electricity and could just spout off unexpectedly at any moment.  It was SO.MUCH.FUN.

Hellbrunn Place, & my lil prince approaching...

Hellbrunn Place, & my lil prince approaching…

I have, of course, blogged about this palace prior, but it was covered in snow and also hosts a 2K cross-country ski loop! See here  and here.

Grandma and G-pa in the gardens near the palace.

Grandma and G-pa in the gardens near the palace.

First stop, near this pool and we all congregate for an explanation of how dinner might commence 17th century style.

First stop, near this pool and we all congregate for an explanation of how dinner might commence 17th century style.

Then, as guest congregate, Markus would turn on the fountains and spray everyone seated.

Then, as guests congregate, Markus would turn on the fountains and spray everyone!? That is one way to win friends and influence people.

Please click on the first picture for a fun slide-show…

Afterwards, we went out for dinner and for dessert, Salzburg Knockerl.

Afterwards, we went out for dinner and for dessert, Salzburg Knockerl.

Salzburg Knockerl is a traditional dessert made of a lot of meringue and apricot filling on the bottom.

Servers in Dirndl's- typical of  Bavaria and Austria.

Servers in Dirndl’s- typical of Bavaria and Austria.

Guten Appetit!

Guten Appetit!

Yours in trick fountains, Kim

Yours in trick fountains, Kim

Salzburg Sights Before We Depart…

If you take a week or two vacation to a far off place, you take the chance of experiencing rainy weather to spoil your sightseeing.  For awhile, I thought perhaps staying in Salzburg 4 months wasn’t enough to miss the poor weather!  Apparently we had the worst March weather in 30 years (lucky us).  Don’t quote me on that, since I can’t understand German newspaper, but that is what we heard.  Although spring seemed to be skipped, we managed to hit major sights, especially Kim and Eliot while Reed was away at work. Today,  I thought I would condense down to one post some of the major sights tourists hit when they come to Salzburg.  Frequently they are only here a day or two, so we feel pretty darn lucky to have lived here for 4 months!

One of the most beautiful sights is Mirabellgarten (1606), and also a major Sound of Music icon.

One of the most famous fountains seen during the 'Do-Re-Mi' scene.

One of the most famous fountains seen during the ‘Do-Re-Mi’ scene.

Because everyone knows you can learn to sing by singing Do-Re-Mi (!?) but here are the rest of the Mirabell photos, if you are reading this via the email, you may want to click on the link to the actual blog,  otherwise I find the pictures  slow to load or quite so large.

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Salzburg has the most incredible Old Town with gorgeous architecture.  A handful of times the weather was nice enough for Eliot and I to bike downtown, so here is a small summary of different Old Town sites.

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There is so much more to see in Salzburg.  I didn’t feature Mozartplatz, where you can find the birthplace of Mozart and it’s museum.    Another, more peaceful cemetery at St. Sebastian’s Church (Sebastianskirche & Friedhof), and of course there are my previous posts on St. Peter’s Cemetery, Museum der Moderne (includes Salzburg at night), Toy MuseumGetreidegasse for shopping,  or Hellbrunn Palace (coming up next!).

There are so many incredible sculptures, most are quite old.  However, contemporary sculptures are abundant as well, like this almost sensual Mozart tribute.

Markus Lupertz

Markus Lupertz’s tribute to Mozart

Kim and Eliot usually spent Thursday mornings buying produce and meats at the large market near Mirabell.  We indulged in our weekly sausages every Thursday at noon!

Schranne, or Market around St. Andrew's Church, a Thursday tradition.

Schranne, or Market around St. Andrew’s Church, a Thursday tradition.

One particular Thursday, we biked over the river to meet Reed for lunch instead.

A view of the lovely Salzach River along our bike route.

A view of the lovely Salzach River along our bike route.

Along our route, a view of this incredible hotel up on Monchberg hill.

Along our route, a view of this incredible hotel up on Monchberg hill.

River Salzach and view of Kapunzinerberg Hill.

River Salzach and view of Kapuzinerberg Hill.

Kapuzinerberg is another incredible sight, see here.

And finally, lunch on the river as a family! Please note, Reed drinking water, and I just had to order a small ‘Radler.’  Radler is a traditional beer where they mix lemonade with beer.  I was firmly opposed to such things in beer, until I tried it and found it to be extremely refreshing!  Can’t knock it til you try it, as they say…

Finally, warm enough to sit outside before Reed head's back to work.

Finally, warm enough to sit outside before Reed heads back to work.

Lastly, a whirlwind post about Salzburg wouldn’t be complete without mention of our wonderful landlords whom Eliot adored. Here. they are in traditional garb (Lederhosen and the dress is called a Dirndl).

Josef and Elisabeth, incredible sincere and kind people made our 4 months just lovely!

Josef and Elisabeth, incredible sincere and kind people made our 4 months just lovely!

Unfortunately, this post is ridiculously delayed, in actuality, we have returned to the states!  But, we have so many fun photos, I will continue to blog on the remaining adventures with and without a toddler.  Up next, Hellbrunn Palace in the summer…quite a treat.

Yours in Salzburg Sights, Kim

Yours in Salzburg Sights, Kim

Moving on to Motovun

After spending four days in Croatia with my parents and toddler, I have done my best to condense this down to three posts.  This, my last on Croatia, is about the incredible old village of Motovun on the penisula of Istria, Croatia.   Nestled in the vineyards and mountains of western Croatia, Motovun sits upon a small peak.  Let’s begin with the fine view of Motovun from afar…

As we drove near, this is the view of Motovun...

As you drive near,  Motovun emerges out of the hills before you!

I love the vineyards in the foreground.  This whole area is wine country.

THIS JUST IN- turns out, Mario Andretti was born here!  His parents were Italian, as were many of the residents of Motovun back then.

The whole area is wine country, you see the vineyards in the foreground.

Note the large city wall, and the buildings on the far right.  See the last buildings on the right? We parked there and walked up the old cobblestone to the church at the top.

Parked here (beautiful cemetary!) see the church at the top?

Parked here (beautiful cemetery!) Note the church at the top, pics below….

The church is the Parish Church of St. Stephen (Sveti Stjepan) circa early 17th century.

Walked around here- gorgeous views from the top!

Walked around here- gorgeous views from the top!

AND NOW THE VIEWS FROM THE TOP……

So to make a long story short, Eliot collapsed in the stroller on the bumpy road down to the car. So as he slept, we decided to drive to another town, Novigrad for shopping and dinner!  Life is SO good when your child naps.

Novigrad is another coastal town.  Apparently speedo-optional.

Novigrad is another coastal town. Apparently speedo-optional.

Sorry, couldn’t resist…I will say they have a lot of shopping here.  The kind of clothes shopping you might see in TJ Max or Ross…but the good thing is, you can barter the down to the price you care to pay.  I love that.

Anyhow, life with a toddler means you have to ride the tourist train….the PINK tourist train. Well, whatever.

Kill me now.

Kill me now, but he is SO happy!

we had GREAT food, but the problem is, you have to ask a local where to go, because some of it can be mediocre tourist food.

We had GREAT food, but the problem is, you have to ask a local where to go, because some of it can be mediocre tourist food.

A lovely part of Istria, is it has Italian influences, so you get a Croatian/Italian blend.

Yours in Croatian wines from atop medieval towns...

Yours in Croatian wines from atop medieval towns…Kim

Croatia continued: Trekking in Rovinj

Forgive me if I am using the term ‘trekking’ loosely…this was simply a day hike around the lovely city of Rovinj, Croatia.    Our hotel was in Rovinj and we were able to do our day-trips from there- so if you are ever considering a visit to Croatia, I hope this can give you an idea of what it is like to stay near Rovinj.  It is a small historic town that is very popular with the British and German tourists.  Our hotel was an old Eastern-Bloc hotel remodeled with superb service and breakfast included and FULL of German-speaking and British tourists!  They treated our toddler like royalty which  made for a great experience.  Check out the Park Hotel Rovinj if you are interested, here.

I have neglected to provide a quick review of the Country, so allow me to use wikipedia to do just that. Rovinj is located on the most western part of the landmass on the coast, only a 4,5 hour drive from Salzburg.

Croatia, previously part of Yugoslavia, now a horse-shoe shaped country.

Croatia, previously part of Yugoslavia, now a horse-shoe shaped country.  See all those islands?  They are supposed to be spectacular.

Our hotel is perfectly adjacent to the start of town, so the Mize’s began their day along the shore…

Grandpa and Eliot starting out the day!

Grandpa and Eliot starting out the day!

In an attempt to shorten the blogs, here is my newest attempt at a slideshow for those interested in Rovinj…CLICK ON A PIC FOR A FULL SLIDESHOW….

Now, onto the climb towards the church.

Dad left early to meet some of his work buddies, so Mom, Eliot and I continued our day scouting out the town.

When Dad returned, we went for a bike ride along this HUGE park in Rovinj, with absolutely incredible coast line.    This IS one of the main reasons tourists choose Croatia…

Yours in Croatian Coastlines,  Kim

Yours in Croatian Coastlines,
Kim

Who needs Rome when you have Rescued Sea Turtles?

Reed may have made it to Rome without me, but I still found a coliseum!

Reed may have made it to Rome without me, but I still found a coliseum!

This caption is only the least bit clever, if you caught a previous (very short) post a couple of months ago.  Please, by all means, you must click here.

Rovinj is a great place for a Croatian vacation because there are so many cool towns within driving distance.  On our first day, Dad took us to Porec, where they have an old Roman coliseum and an aquarium housed in an 1815 Austrian fort.  The following is a recount of our day in the beautiful sea-side town of  Porec…

mom and Eliot in this Roman Colliseum

Mom and Eliot in this Roman Coliseum

Eliot growling like the lion of the coliseum

Eliot growling with G-pa like the lion of the coliseum

Can't quite get enough of my only coliseum, Eliot digged it too...

Can’t quite get enough of my only coliseum, Eliot digged it too…

After our Roman experience, we headed to the aquarium which is a two-for-one deal, since it is housed in an old fort.  The Austrian’s occupied this territory in the 19th century…(they seem like such NICE people to be taking over a whole territory like that, eh?!!)

This octopus put on a great show...

This octopus put on a great show…

But, Eliot's favorite where these high-energy eels.

But, Eliot’s favorite were these high-energy eels.

But, the highlight of the aquarium is the rescued sea turtles.  They bring them here for rehabilitation when they are found in fisherman’s nets…

Nola, the rescued sea turtle.

Nola, the rescued sea turtle with such wise and ancient  eyes…

Levisons, I am not lying… that was her name 🙂

Outside of aquarium looks more like a prison. The inside is sparse, but fun knowing it is an old fort.

Outside of aquarium looks more like a prison. The inside is sparse, but fun knowing it is an old fort.

From the top of the fort, cool views of the mediterranean and Porec.

From the top of the fort, cool views of the Mediterranean and Porec.

But, let’s squeeze in ONE more historical sight,  and that is….a prehistoric town which houses a CROATIAN CASTLE!  The abandoned town of  Dvigrad houses old ruins of a castle from the 14th century.

Perhaps we should have named this blog 'Da Castles in Europe...'

Perhaps we should have named this blog ‘Da Castles in Europe…’

Grandparents and castles, could he be happier?

Grandparents and castles, could he be happier?

One more pic of this old relic, cuz it is just that cool.  The castle is pretty good too, eh Dad?

One more pic of this old relic, cuz it is just that cool. The castle is pretty good too, eh Dad?

Further on down the endless mountainous drive, we pass the "Montana Bar."  Um, really???

Further on down the endless mountainous drive, we pass the “Montana Bar.” Um, really???

It is a “Night Bar!”  (?????)

Yours in Croatian castles and coliseums, Kim

Yours in Croatian castles and coliseums, Kim

The Mize’s Invade Croatia

Its true.  My hubby flew back to the states for graduation and my parents took me and my nearly-three-year-old to Rovinj, Croatia (or Hrvatska in Croatian.)  Let’s sum it up.  Gorgeous blue ocean, fantastic seafood and friendly people who welcome tourists and make you feel like coming back….IT WAS SPECTACULAR!

This was our view from the hotel, of the town of Rovinj.

This was our view from the hotel, of the town of Rovinj.  I climbed the tower of that church in the distance, for spectacular views…

Croatia is on the magnificent Mediterranean coast, but is known for having hard rocky beaches, rather than long sandy ones.  I think this adds to the beauty.

The hotel's option for swimming, if the ocean is not for you...

The hotel’s option for swimming, if the ocean is not for you…

Vast sandy beaches they may not be, but gorgeous coastline for lounging there are...here I am, lounging with my pop.

Vast sandy beaches they may not be, but gorgeous coastline for lounging there are…here I am, lounging with my Pop and a beer.

And, here is my Pop.

And, here is my Pop.

Since much of the shore is hard rock, they build some oasis for kiddos to swim.

Since much of the shore is hard rock, they build some oasis for kiddos to swim.

Typical Croatian beach, I did leave out the pics of the topless sunbathers and I neglected to visit the numerous nudist camps. Not kidding.

Typical Croatian beach, I did leave out the pics of the topless sunbathers and I neglected to visit the numerous nudist camps. Not kidding.

However, being that we were there in May, it was a tad cold for the Mize’s…

This was our idea of swimming in Croatia.  Indoor style for our little guy.

This was our idea of swimming in Croatia. Indoor style for our little guy. Let’s be clear, he was the only child wearing trunks as shorts. Every other man and boy were in speedo-style.

In the evening, we feasted on amazing seafood cooked to order.  Here, local fish, swiss chard and

In the evening, we feasted on amazing seafood cooked to order. Here, local fish, swiss chard and potatoes.

Mom ordered a typical Croatian dish, made of ground beef, pork and veal.

Mom ordered a typical Croatian dish, Cevapcici, made of ground beef, pork and veal.

Here is the view of Rovinj in the evening from our hotel room.  Gorgeous.

Yours in Croatian evenings, Kim.

The Danube River Valley

One has to choose their route when traveling between Vienna and Salzburg.  I recommend the longer route, cruising the Danube’s Wachau Valley.  Lovely little towns are spread out along this wine country and our first stop was Krems.

First stop, !?!? town

First stop, Krems, on yet another May holiday(church in session, all stores closed)

Another sculpture. honestly....

Another sculpture. Honestly….see the 3 generations of Mize-Humphrey’s bottom right.

At least there was plenty of gelato and baked goods to be found.

Stores may be closed, but at least there was plenty of Gelato and baked goods to be found.

Dolphins in Austria, of course.

Dolphins in Austria, of course.

But, we continue on to Durnstein. INCREDIBLE town.

But, we continue on to Durnstein.

This is an incredibly lovely, traffic free town with one claim to fame.   Richard the Lion-Hearted was imprisoned here in 1193…

Check out the vineyard below, with the castle ruins above.

Vineyard below, with the castle ruins above that imprisoned Richard the LionHearted

Now, it is full of lovely shops, restaurants, and Heurigen (wine taverns where the vintners sell their newest wine).  We managed to push a 15 kg toddler in a stroller around the narrow cobble-stoned lined streets to find a lovely spot for lunch.

Great weather for an outdoor meal.

Great weather for an outdoor meal.

the entire town was full of the most quaint architecture.

The entire town was full of the most quaint architecture.

Doncha just want to stop and order a Bier in the garden from this gal in the dirndl?

Doncha just want to stop and order a Bier in the garden from this gal in the dirndl?

The view of the Danube river from above, the end of the main road in town.

The view of the Danube river from above, the end of the main road in town.

The Danube River along the Wachau

The Danube River along the Wachau, a region known for superb white wine, Riesling and Gruner Veltliner

(Actually spelled  Grüner Veltliner…)

So, as Eliot fell asleep in the stroller being bumped along cobblestones, we make our way back to the car and drive further along the valley to stop at another site. Willendorf, is a tiny town where the oldest piece of European art was found.  She is the Venus of Willendorf, a well-endowed little sculpture that was discovered and thought to be 30,000 years old.  The actual fist-sized sculpture symbolizing fertility is safely in the Natural History Museum, here I am pictured with the Monument commemorating the find.

The actual 30,000 yr old sculpture is safely in the Natrual History Museum, here I am picutured  with the Monument

Does this monument make me look fat?

Lovely route home, of course clouds roll in as we approach Salzburg (the story of our life)

Lovely route home, of course clouds roll in as we approach Salzburg (the story of our life)

Austria and Germany have the best rast-stations EVER! This one is situated picturesquelyh in the mountains.

Austria and Germany have the best rast-stations EVER! This one is situated picturesquely in the mountains.

Yours in flowing wine valleys and voluptuous sculptures, Kim

Yours in flowing wine valleys and voluptuous sculptures, Kim