Our last day we went back to Salzburg, stopping first at the Schloss Hellbrunn that we read about on the internet. It is a beautiful little palace that was built in the 1600s by the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Markus Sittikus. He used it as a summer residence, and had a series of fountains and also "water games" all around the grounds. The water games are little practical jokes that he used to play on his guests...
This is an outdoor courtyard with a stone table and chairs that the Arch Bishop would have guests sit at on nice evenings. After everyone had eaten and had some drinks, he would have the fountain turned on (the water comes directly out of the seats). The only seat that doesn't get wet is the one where the Arch Bishop would sit. And it was courtesy that no one stand up until the Arch Bishop did. This guy had a wicked sense of humor.
Elora loved sticking her hand in all the fountains, and started putting her feet in too... I tried to remind her that she didn't have spare shoes and wet feet wouldn't be fun, but somehow that doesn't seem to deter her all that much.
Another of the fountains. It is called the star fountain because when you are inside the palace, if you look out the window, you can see that the upper pool is shaped like a star.
The deer head sprays water. Notice all the other tourists huddling in the corner so they wouldn't get wet, while Chris holds a happy Oliver right in the spray!
Oliver by one of the fountains. This was just after he tried to jump in the fountain, feet first. Luckily I caught him before he got more than his toes wet.
Elora found a nice curved stick, and called it her fishing pole. We spent the rest of the time trying to make sure she didn't fall in a lake or a fountain as she kept sitting on the edge to "fish".
Here's a happy Oliver. He loves sitting in trees, and this tree had nice roots that were shaped like a little chair in one spot. And I loved the nice view of the schloss in the background!
We hiked up to a viewpoint on the grounds of the schloss. If you look way out, you can see the back of the Salzburg fortress and some of Salzburg! The grounds of this place were HUGE with lots of trails to hike on and explore. We started hiking one of them in search of a stone theater that was supposed to be nearby, but after 20 minutes, we gave up and turned around...
There was a little museum on top of the hills on the grounds that held cultural items from the surrounding area. Here the kids listened to some folk music that they really enjoyed.
This is a collage made with actual dried petals, stems, leaves, and thorns from roses... there was a whole series of these with different flowers. So cool.
And here is a mannequin diving toward the flower Edelweiss, which was accompanied by some folk music. I didn't find a sign that mentioned the artistic interpretation of this particular exhibit. Any thoughts?
Inside the palace, there was a music room that was entirely painted with murals. It was a small room with a dome, and it had awesome acoustics. The kids had fun singing and making animal noises so they could hear their voices being amplified.
Elora admiring the ceiling. Notice she has her own audio guide. She loves them. We have to play the tracks for each room, and she will ask questions about it and ask for her favorites to be repeated. I need to pay close attention to my own so I can give her educated responses!
On the grounds is the pavilion used for filming the song, "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" from the Sound of Music. The movie was not actually filmed here, but the pavilion was donated to the city after the movie was completed, and the city chose to display it here since the grounds are a large public park.
Elora in her "festival pants" with sticks. Always sticks.
We went back to the car to get the stroller since Oliver was getting tired, and literally 2 minutes after putting him in the stroller he zonked out. I told Elora to go smile for the picture, and here is the face that I got. She is such a goober. In a good way.
After the Schloss Hellbrunn, we went into the main section of Salzburg to revisit the little festival we had seen earlier. There was also a little flea market set up along the river. I love this city, it is so beautiful.
Oliver on the Carousel. He was SO HAPPY. He smiled and giggled the whole time, especially when he saw his daddy taking his picture. Then he cried and wouldn't let go of the lion when it was time to get off. So sad!
After the festival we went to lunch at a little cafe. Elora is showing off her new magic wand that she bought with her own money at the flea market. She has been enjoying doing magic ("just pretend magic!") ever since. Yesterday we changed the sky to purple, then red, then green, then back to normal with her magic.
And here is the food! Elora saw this gigantic portion of Wiener Schnitzel and got super excited. She actually ate most of it too... I got Parmesan Spinach Knodel (They are made from either potato flour or dried bread and then the other ingredients are added). It was AMAZING. Chris had pork with a potato Knodel. And of course Apfel Strudel for dessert. No pics, but it was the best strudel I have ever had.