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Day 4 (May 21): Munich -> Salzburg -> Vienna

sunny 73 °F

While driving in Europe, we discovered with some delight that seemingly long distances are actually not that long at all. Since distances are measured in kilometers, and you can drive a lot faster, you feel like you can get from anywhere to anywhere in Europe with a snap of your fingers. At an average speed of around 120 kmph, what seems like a long road of 480 kms can be covered in just 4 hours - this is actually less than the distance from Munich to Vienna, which is about 440 kms. (Imagine driving a distance of 480 miles, at an average speed of 60mph. It would take 8 hours!)

It also helps if you have interesting stops you can make in between, such as Salzburg, which is about a third of the way from Munich to Vienna. And because it is pretty much directly in the path, you have little reason to not stop there--it's really almost like a rest area right off the highway. Oh, and did I mention that it is the birthplace of Mozart?

Clearly, a lot of people had arrived at the same conclusion. The town was fetching, and teeming with tourists.

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The main attraction, Mozart's birthplace, now functions as a museum which you can tour for a fee.

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One of the secondary attractions is Mirabelle Palace.

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The palace gardens appeared to be a huge draw with the tourists, much more than Mozart's house.

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It helped that the weather was just about perfect, sunny, in the low 70s.

Now that you are in Austria, after all that activity, you should treat yourself to some Sachertorte, the famed Austrian chocolate cake.

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By the way, to drive in Austria, you need a permit sticker that you stick on the windshield. You can get one for around 10 euros at any highway gas station on the German side of the border. (We were told that if you are caught without one, you could be fined as much as 1000 Euros. Disturbing.)

The drive to Vienna continued to be wonderfully scenic, with glimpses of the majestic Alps.

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Dusk was falling as we entered Vienna. It was immediately apparent that this was a much bigger city than Munich--a longer windup to get to
the downtown area (we stayed at the Marriott on Park Ring), more traffic, and a lot more bustle.

It was too late to do any sightseeing, but we could tell the next day was going to be action packed.

Posted by sesh 06:54 Archived in Austria Tagged landscapes mountains buildings museums palaces

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