Today was a magical day, and Salzburg is definitely a magical place.   You’ll never see anything greener or colors any deeper than all the colors around it that compliment it so perfectly.   The deep blue water, and even the sky …. when it’s clouded ….. has a peaceful and color-filled haze around it that just mesmerizes you.   We couldn’t believe we were really there in the midst of such majesty.    There is so much more to Salzburg though, than the mountains, lakes and rivers.

 Here are some places we visited that are perfect examples:

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The first place we went to was Motzart’s birthplace …. a tall multi-story yellow house with a large arched entryway.   It had steps going up that were wood and so old, they were curved in the middle.  No doubt Motzart had walked those steps many times in his lifetime.  


The next place we went was to Mirabel Gardens, again, one of the places that had a big part in the Sound of Music.  It’s where those statues are that are facing each other with their fists pointing outward are as you enter the gardens.

Minkey Mama was in Garden Paradise.   She’s a major gardener and does landscapes as well, so she always has to go to gardens everywhere we go.  



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After that, we went to Old Town Salzburg, and that turned out to be one of the most enjoyable places we went just for hanging out.  There were street muscians that were extremely talented, simple street food markets, a church and abbey where the nun scenes were filmed in the Sound of Music, and a beautiful old courtyard with a really large fountain.


There were  several horse-drawn carriages and unusual breeds of dogs you see in Europe that are so cute.  Minkey started shrieking with laughter when he saw one that looked like it had dread-locks!  It sort of looked like a giant black lamb.  The Minkster wanted to ride it, but Minkey Mama refused to ask permission for Minkey to do that.   Grrrrrrrrr.


Tucked away in the back part of the courtyard, was one of those charming little niches you’re constantly surprised by in Europe that had huge wrought iron gates and a little columned walkway with some very old and unique shops and the coolest restaurants imaginable.


We saw one that we HAD to go to.   It’s thought to be the oldest restaurant in Europe, and had the date above the door reading 803.    When you walked in on the stone floors, you felt like it actually WAS 803.   Low ceilings and tiny doors, and arched windows with wrought-iron left no doubt about its age.    Minkey Mama is 5’3, so she said it was custom made for her.


We actually saw two other groups from our boat, and sat next to one of them, so we had a great time.   Me and Minkey Mama had a veal stew and wine, and my Auntie Dawn had a chicken vegetable and noodle lasagna-type dish.   There was also creamed spinach, a delicious sparkling fruit drink, and sour dough bread with some unique spreads.   It was an incredible afternoon.


Right outside the windows of the restaurant was a little church (St. Peters) and a tiny, charming little cemetery similar to the one we saw in Durnstein.  We walked around there and Minkey had his picture taken on the gates and on a few of the graves.   There were some unusual open ‘tombs’ tucked into the stones of the courtyard that were like little private family burial places and they would have flowers, vases, beautiful carved headstones, etc.    It was a captivating place.


Above and below  are a video and pictures of this restaurant (called Stiftskeller St. Peter’s).   It’s  within the walls of St. Peter’s Archabbey and dates  back to the year 803 (no typo!). 

It is especially magical at Christmas and during the Mozart concerts and dinners they hold here in the beautiful formal dining room.

Celebrities and notables from all over the world frequent it often when they’re in Salzburg.   Bill Clinton has also been here as well.

Obviously, we didn’t take all of the stills as we couldn’t  wander around the restaurant taking pictures!   Minkey tried to, so he had to go in the dreaded purse for a while.   He kept the waiter entertained by constantly nipping into the wines and climbing all over everything.

St. Peters  has 5 dining rooms – one is in a vaulted cellar, another where we ate has low vaulted ceilings and deer antlers on the walls with checked tablecloths and rustic wooden tables and chairs and overlooks the picturesque graveyard outside in the courtyard.

Here we all are at the entry and inside the restaurant.   The Minkster was incorrigible.  LOL  Here he’s telling the waiter he needs some wine in this glass!!

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…………………………………………………………………..Here’s Minkey in the Graveyard

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Before we went back to the bus for a ride into the Austrian mountains and lake district, we went across a little walking bridge where we got a fantastic view of some of the city of Salzburg from the river.   And on the gated railings across the bridge were hundreds of colored locks. 

We found out they were “love locks” and you could buy one and put your name and the love of your life on them before locking them onto the gated railings for all time.   What a charming culture Austria has!  I put me and Miss Piggy up there.  Minkey Mama’s is a secret.  lol



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To top off that full and wonderful day, we went to our bus for a long and beautiful ride into the mountains of Salzburg.  Minkey thought he had died and gone to Heaven when, at the end of the ride, the roads and the scenery began to get more beautiful and green than anything we’d ever seen.


As we climbed to the top of one of the mountains, we suddenly came on a very pretty restaurant built right on the side of the mountain.  It looked like a huge white atrium or  conservatory (sort of like you might see in England) with all glass windows and views of the countryside and the river below that literally took our breath away.


It had a large, wrap-around balcony with telescopes so you could see the little towns, the steeples of little white churches, the river, and the other mountain peaks surrounding us. 


It was every bit as gorgeous as the mountain top where Julie Andrews and the ‘Von Trapp’ children played and sang in the Sound of Music.    It was hard to believe we were really there ….. right in the middle of it all.


After getting over being  so stunned by the view, the Minkster came out and started climbing all over the railings and telescope and sides of the restaurant.   Minkey Mama was afraid he would fall off the sides and end up living in Salzburg the rest of his life!


Even the ride there was beautiful.  All over that part of Austria and the mountains,  are huge fields of the bright yellow flowers used to make Canola oil like we see in our stores.   With all the trees and gorgeous deep green and plush grass, the flowers made a sort of brilliant checkerboard all over the mountains and roads.   UNBELIEVABLE.


It was all we could do to not stop the driver and get out so we could live there forever!


I hope all of you get to go here or somewhere like this in your lifetime.   If you’ve ever considered a trip to Austria or Switzerland,  don’t let time pass you by.  GO THERE.   You’ll never, ever  regret it!

xxxoooo  Minkey

And here’s the slideshow!_____________________________________________________________________________

Here are the countries in this blog in order just to make sure you don’t miss any.  You have to go ‘back’ one page at the bottom of the posts to see Germany.

  • AUSTRIA……………Salzburg and Vienna, Melk and Durnstein

  • HUNGARY………….Budapest, Hungary

  • SLOVAKIA………….Bratislav and to Visit a Slovakian Family

  • GERMANY………….Passau – Frankfort (Arrival) – Munich (Departure)

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This was the COOLEST town you could ever imagine.  It was called Durnstein and  Minkey Mama and her sister, Dawn, loved it so much that if they get the chance they’re coming back.  They said it was like time never touched it.  It’s about 50 miles out of Vienna in Austria and at the top of  a very, very high incline you have to walk up to get to it.

It was raining when we first arrived, but slowed down after a while.  The town square, right at the top of the hill, was where they were going to hold May Fest later that day.  There was a huge pole in the middle of it, and they said they hang sausages all over it at the top and the children climb to the top to get them.  LOL   Only in Austria and Germany! 

At the top of the mountain are the remains of a castle built in 1192 and where KING RICHARD THE LION HEARTED was held captive.   Just google him if you want more of the historic details.  But it’s the town’s major historical  “claim to fame”.

Minkey liked the little blue and white church the best.  The town people didn’t like it at all when it was built because it stood out from everything else in town too much.   Now it’s the most beloved structure in the town.  It’s in its hallways that Monks walked centuries ago, and some of their tombs are inside with plaster replicas of skeletons at the sides of the huge wooden doors that guard them. 

The hallways were stone and were so old, it was like you could feel your footsteps inside those that had made the little hollowed out areas in the stone all those years ago.  Very cool. 

There were also these tiny little wrought iron windows and a few larger ones throughout the hallways where the sun shone in on the brick floors like a mist of ancient light.  They looked out on the Danube and the pretty walkway outside the church built over the river.   A big part of the church kind of hangs over the river, so I guess that’s why the outside walkway was built.

We got to go outside and walk around on the balcony over the Danube and take pictures and enjoy the view.  It was amazing, and Minkey went crazy because there were so many fun places to climb on.    He got so wild, Minkey Mama was afraid he would fall into the Danube.  So she finally had to put him in the dreaded PURSE to calm him down.  BLAH!!! 

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 The town had little hidden surprises everywhere.  Like the cemetery above and below this post …. it was up a very old set of wooden stairs near the edge of town that looked like nothing much would be up there.  WRONG.   It was the most beautiful, peaceful place you could imagine and was high on the side of the mountain overlooking the town and the Danube River.

Then you might go up a very steep brick or cobblestone incline and there would be a narrower street of tiny cottages and fun little shops in bright pretty colors with flowers and plants decorating the outsides of the structures as well as those cool little signs that hang on the buildings sideways.  Very European and charming.

It’s in the heart of the Wachau Valley where there lots of vineyards that are major suppliers of Reisling Wine.   Germany and all of Eastern Europe has some incredible wines. 

We got to sample a lot, so the Minkster was in Wine Heaven.   Minkey Mama doesn’t let him drink at home because she says she’d have to send him to Monkey AA if she did, but she let him have wine while we were over there because it’s part of the culture.

In this area is also a town called MELK which is known for the most beautiful cathedral Minkey Mama had ever seen , and she’s been to 7 countries, so she’s seen quite a few.    This cathedral was originally built for the monarchy under Maria Theresa and later became a monastery for the Benedictine Monks.   Pretty fancy by Monk standards ….. or anybody’s standards for that matter!   You can see it below in the next post.   It’s not far from Durnstein and is officially in the country of Austria very near Vienna.


This is one of the shops we loved with window flower boxes, shutters, and the charming lanterns and sideways signs, and below is that beautiful cemetery overlooking the town and the Danube River.



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This cathedral will take your breath away from the moment you walk in the doorway.  The word spectacular doesn’t even come close to the feeling you get when you enter it.  It’s truly “awe-inspiring” to describe one of Minkey Mama’s fancy long phrases.  Sometimes she gets so excited over things,  she makes me gag.   Geeeeez, Louise.   CALM DOWN, Minkey Mama!!!   HeeeeeHeeeeeee!   If Minkey had a purse, he’d put HER in it for a change to shut her up.

Well, guys, this it is it for Durnstein.   This whole post is a tiny, tiny part of everything we saw and did, but we had to cut it off somewhere.  Otherwise, we’d have to get one of those fancy numbers from the Library of Congress in Washington, DC and publish it as a book!

Hope this wasn’t too boring for my fun-loving peeps and fans.   But you can’t really talk about places like this without telling what the pictures are all about.   So it couldn’t be quite as crazy as some of the Minkster’s posts are.    Trust me, he got in plenty of trouble (especially at churches), and kept all the other passengers and crew stirred up all the time.  As this one British lady onboard said,  “EVERYBODY KNOWS WHO MINKEY IS!”.  LOL

Ok.  That’s really it for now.  

Check you peeps out later.   After the $$$ we spent, our next trip will be to Ft. Worth, Texas, about 2 miles from where we live.   Hahaha!    Well, it is a  COW TOWN, so it’s at least TEXAS history.    

Hope y’all enjoyed this!


Minkey AND Minkey Mama

OH, AND HERE IS THE SLIDESHOW.  Hope it works for you.  Flickr keeps changing their data base and messing them up.




As always, slideshows are below the posts.

 Mirabell Gardens - Sound of MusicSmall Chapel in Viennastreet in Vienna Statue of Strauss Schonbrun Lippanzzer Horses - Spanish Riding SchoolCarriages everywhere in ViennaMinkey at Shonbrun Palace

Stephensdom Saint Stephens

 Bikers EverywhereAlleyway Shops Bohemian area of Vienna Minkey drinking a coke       

Vienna, or Wien (Veen) as it is referred to by the locals, is one of the most elegant and beautiful cities in the world, and it’s known as one of the best places to live in the world as well.  It’s also called the Paris of Eastern Europe, and we could see why.

Minkey Mama loves architecture, so she was in Heaven here.  The Minkster loved it because the city streets were filled with trees on the wide boulevards, and there were a lot of beautiful parks and fountains for Minkey to play in.  

There are also tons of world famous shops there like Cartier and Dior.   They had a showing of the world-reknown Faberge Eggs while we were there.   These priceless works of art were custom made for Czar Nicholas of Russia for his family, and are gold and silver and encrusted with jewels, pearls and beautiful brilliant glazed colors.    Minkey Mama has always adored these.

As you can see above, a common sight is tons and tons of bikes.  They sometimes made the Mink cry, because they zipped by in a blur, going about 40+ mph, and he thought he was going to end up as a little furry red pile on the streets of Vienna.   The tour guides even told us to watch out, because they DO NOT STOP on the pedestrian crossings.   YIKES!!   You’d just see a flash before your eyes before you even realized they were there.

  All the parks, palaces, and government buildings have the most beautiful statues and fountains.   The most famous palace everyone has heard of is the Schonbrun, where some of the Sound of Music was filmed, and where there is a HUGE famous garden.    The garden is SO huge, a lot of people see it by horse-drawn carriage.    We went inside this palace, and it was so elegant and covered with gold and crystal chandeliers and things, you needed to put on your shades!  

It was designed by Empress Maria Therese, the only female ‘Emperor’ ever to reign in Vienna.   She also had a lot to do with the design of the gardens.  She was known as Sisi (sissy), and Minkey thought that was a very funny and common name for royalty.   Minkey kept saying how FAT Sisi was, but it was that she wore these HUGE gowns with skirts that covered half the room!   lol

There’s also a smaller garden in Vienna near the Palace that made stars come out of Minkey Mama’s eyes.  It was called the Mirabell and was a charming ivy-covered walled garden with beautiful wrought iron gates.  This had the most scenes from the Sound of Music like the fountains, and the statues at the entrance that face each other with their fists pointing inward.  Very cool place.

 The Minkster kept spashing around in the fountains and climbing on the statues and ivy covered walls until he got Minkey Mama in trouble and we had to stop and put the Mink away in that dreaded purse of hers.   Minkey HATES it in there.   It’s all dark, and he gets all bumped around when she walks.

There’s also a very famous Gothic Cathedral called Stephensdom, that is one of the most famous Gothic churches in all of Europe.    

Also, in the area of town where the palaces and public buildings are, is the famous Spanish Riding School where they train the world-reknown Lippazan stallions.   We wanted to go to the show where they perform, but we ran out of time.  At least we got a few pics of them.

The Mink sniffled when the trainers wouldn’t let him pet them.     Minkey is NO LESS important than royal horses, surely!   Hmmpph.   They’re still horses, and they still poop and fart in public just like the Mink does.  Oh, opps!!!  hehe   I didn’t mean to admit that to the world.   YIKES!



There are several other EXTREMELY COOL parts of the trip to go. We’ll tell you more about Salzburg, Austria (slideshow below), and a few more places before we sign off.  We’ll have slideshows on those, too, so STAY TUNED.

Nighty Night and don’t let the bedbugs bite!

xxxooo Minkey