Archive for the ‘Austria and Germany’ Category


This week, I participated in a new adventure. One that everyone will have gone through at some point or another. You see, it was about time for me to frame a painting that I bought in Salzburg, Austria.

The painting was all rolled up and stuffed in a protective tube, but I was ready to see that city again, more frequently that is…so, I decided to go and get it professionally framed.

There were so many choices that I considered for matting and a frame. Do I get a black frame or a brown frame? Do I get white white or off-white or an accent color? How wide should my frame be? How wide should my matting be? What type of glass do I incorporate? Etc, etc, etc….see, so many questions.

There were several suggestions which was good because remember, I’m a framing virgin so I needed lots and lots of help.

This was one option. Brown frame, off-white matting. This was my initial favorite because the yellow undertone of the matting really brought out the buildings and the frame was sort-of rustic and simple.

This here was another option. I really liked this frame because of the texture and its rusticness. Rusticness…I don’t think that is a word, but I’m going to use it anyway. Anyway, I loved the frame, but the grey matting was too dark and was not what I was looking for for the painting.

There was this frame with the lighter, off-white matting. The frame was awesome because of the rustic texture and the classic look of it, but the downfall to this frame was that it was the top of the line “gallery” frame. I simply couldn’t afford that, but seeing this black frame with the light matting made me realize that I liked the black with this matting. Which lead me to this:

The black, rustic, double-layer frame that I liked from the beginning with the off-white matting with the black beveling. It was perfect!

Of course, I would not have been able to choose these options without the help of the staff in the framing department. They were awesome

I can’t wait to see the finished product of this framing experience.

Don’t worry, I’ll post photos of the completion of this painting to find out what you think because I’m pretty pumped about seeing the finished product. Only a week or so to go!


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6 1/2 weeks.

It seemed so long when we first began.

I really thought it would feel like forever, but here I am at the end of it all and I’m appalled to see that the days have passed so quickly.

Throughout this experience, I have gained knowledge and everlasting friends. These friends I have gained are ones who I have learned with, fought with, loved with, and who will be a part of my heart and who I am for the rest of my life.

And now, as I pack my bags, a bittersweet feeling fills my heart because I’m not so sure that I’m ready to come home, but there are so many people and things that I miss from home. There is so much at home that I love and I look forward to celebrating when I return home.

In just 3 days 11 hours and 7 minutes (and counting) I will be graduation from college.

Then, comes the real world.

If you had asked me, “Are you ready to graduate?” just 3 months ago, I would have shouted at the top of my lungs, “YES!! I’m ready for the real world!!” That was at the time where school was the hardest thing I have ever done.

Now, as I look to my future, it all seems so uncertain. I haven’t secured a job and because I don’t know where I will be working, I don’t know where I will need to live. At this time, my bank account it pitiful, at best, and bills must be payed.

I suppose my wish has now been granted.

This may be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I have to say, I’m nervous, anxious, excited, intrigued, fascinated, and worried about the days that lay before me, BUT the days are passing by, wether I am ready or not.

I’m looking at the future as another adventure.

Something that will teach me, harm me, stress me out, and will reward me beyond my wildest dreams. You see, God is good like that. He puts mountains in front of you just to show you that with his help, you are able to climb. It is one foot in front of the other from here on out, and if my foot slips from the edge into the unknown, God will be there with His mighty hand to pull me right back up.

So, as I sit on my bed in Ireland, looking out the window for my final times. I pray that I will remember always that God will be there for me through the good times and the bad.

Learning to trust,

The Dreamer

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Oh my….at this point we had done so much in Salzburg, and we had fallen in love with the city and the people in it. It was so much fun to be able to move along. Needless to say, we didn’t realize that we would fall in love with yet another city.

If we were in love with Salzburg, then we were head over heels over Munich. It was an amazing city with so much to do and see as well as so much long standing history.

We arrived in Munich on Friday, April 22 via train from Salzburg. We were able to drop out luggage at the hotel and be on our way to begin to navigate our way around the city. It was so funny because on the first day, we though we were really close to the city centre.

We started walking and we walked and walked and walked and….well, you get the picture.

Turns out we walked about 2 miles and were still on the outskirts of the western part of the city. After that day we took the Underground train or the Subway to get to and from the city. That was the smarter idea of the two.

We walked all the way to Olympia park where the 1972 Summer Olympics were held.

This was was the site of what is called the Munich Massacre. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the history of the 1972 Summer Olympics, this was the year that Mark Spitz, the swimmer, won the 7 gold medals which beat the record of the most gold medals won by a single person. This record was recently broken by Michael Phelps who is also a swimmer. He won 8 gold medals in the Summer Olympics of 2008.

Anyway, I have gotten off topic. What is known as the Munich Massacre was when 11 Israeli athletes, coaches, and personnel were kidnapped and murdered by Pakistani terrorists. It was devastating and affected the Olympics and its security. After this occurrence, the security of the Olympics has been heightened and tightened.

Despite its gruesome history, it was a beautiful place. In Olympia Park, there are fields of green grass, a pond on which you can canoe, an Olympic sized swimming pool under a beautiful roof made out of a glass tent. It was spectacular!

As most of you know, I have a bit of an obsession with pools so this fascinated me. I have to say, this is probably the largest pool I have ever seen.

After visiting the Olympia Park, we cruised on over to the BMW plant where I dreamt over beautiful cars that go VROOM!! I love cars too.

I’ll come back to the BMW plant in a moment, but I just realized that I didn’t tell you that I went up into this thing:

It was tall…really, really tall…

We went to the top of this tower and were able to see a 360 degree site of Munich and it was super cool to be able to see the city from a different angle.

Anyway…back to BMW.


I know…I’m a bit weird. There is only one thing better than looking at pretty cars and that is driving them!

We headed into the city centre where we took a cycling tour of the city. Boy, was that funny! I haven’t been on a bicycle since I was 10 years old! It took a few minutes to get my balance back, but when I got it back I got it!

So much so, that I could even take a picture while cycling!!

Whitney got it back too!!

And so did Cassie…

And so did Ashley…

This was an incredible way to see the city because you were able to move more quickly, therefore covering more ground than we would have walking, and it was an awesome opportunity to meet lots of new people. We met people from Australia, Germany, the UK, Kansas, and California. They were all so much fun that we ended up going on a pub crawl with several of them later that night.

On the bike tour, we went to the English Gardens. In this place they serve food and drinks. When you order your food, you take it to a picnic table where you find a seat with random people. This was also an incredible way to meet new people because it is when you share food with people that you create a bond. I truly believe that…being the “foodie” that I am.

That being said, the food was wonderful…spectacular…delicious! So scrumptious that I would have gone back the next day for the same meal.


My mouth waters just looking at this plate of food! We had half of a game hen with roasted potatoes. The potatoes weren’t just potatoes though, there was bacon and onions and seasoning that made them extra delicious.

We then went to a massive surfer attraction. Yes, I said surfer attraction. Check it out!

This is river surfing.

Crazy, right?

In the middle of the city of Munich, there is a river where a guy built a cement “thing” on the bed of the river in order to have surfing close by because he missed surfing in Australia. I was amazed and I absolutely loved watching these guys surf on a river. They were all dressed in wet suits, head to toe, jumping from the side and taking the plunge into that frigid water just to surf in the middle of the city.

They are hopelessly devoted to their sport!

The following day we went to Dachau. This is the location of the first concentration camp that was established by Adolf Hitler during World War 2. Dachau was the model for all other concentration camps in the way that it was laid out, in the way people were housed, and in the way people were tortured and killed. It was an incredibly difficult day because I struggled holding back tears as I examined the photographs and the text that was posted around the camp. It makes me sick to think that there are people in this world who can cause so much damage and pain without even considering the repercussions of the damage being done.

I took many pictures of this concentration camp, but I can’t bring myself to share the horrid, spine tingling sights right now. That will have to wait until later.

Moving swiftly along….

The late lunch that we had was across from the New Town Hall of Munich where the world famous Glockenspiels play 3 times a day. The detail in the figures is incredible, and it is amazing to me that something so old is still functional.

These two scenes are telling two separate stories, one which tells an age old story about a wedding of two lovers and the celebration that ensues.

The other story tells about the dance done by the barrel makers during the plague which encourages people to come out from hiding.

There are hundreds of people who come to Merionplatz just to see these figurines dance around and around with the sound of bells play a tune they have for over 100 years.

I have to tell you about my desert for the day (this is the last picture of food in this post, I promise). As of right now, it is my favorite desert of the entire trip.

I know, it is really hard to say that I have a favorite desert, but this one was sweet and fresh and flaky.

Oh my. Favorite. Without a doubt.

Fav-o-rite. I want this again…terribly want it again.

….and then there was the Hofbräuhaus.

Oh how fun the  Hofbräuhaus was. This is a a place of jovial celebration with music and dancing and laughter and friends and food. The atmosphere was incredible, I think I could have spent my entire trip there.

This place is world famous and rightly so. It has live music, drinks, plenty of seats, and painted ceilings and walls that were colorful and intriguing.

And on that note, I will stop boring you with my stories and pictures.

There is so much to share about Munich and so many experiences to be had in that city. I love Munich with all of my heart and I would go back in a heartbeat. It was such a wonderful experience and I was lucky to be able to experience this place with wonderful friends.

I love you girls!!

Much love,

Traveling Dreamer

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On the second and third days that we were visiting Salzburg, we used the public transportation to make it up to Untersberg Mountain via a cable car. Oh my goodness…this was not an experience to be had for someone who is terrified of heights, free falling, or small spaces because it was all three of those in one. Once we got to the top of the mountain, it was such an incredible view that I don’t know how someone could miss out on the experience!

But of course we were all troopers and we lived to tell the tale, and boy did it pay off! Look at what we saw from the top of the mountain that was nearly 2000 meters above sea level in the Bavarian Alps!

We had done a little hiking to get up to this point, so we had to sit down and take a bit of a rest and absorb the view that God had put in front of us. It was so amazing because the air was surprisingly warm at the top of this mountain, but there was snow on the ground. Not just a dusting of snow, but a couple inches of snow!


The other girls did a little bit more hiking than I did because they are tough like that, I suppose. I decided that it was perfectly fine for me to sit at this cross and take in the view…in my Danskos.

Yes, Danskos. They aren’t really appropriate for hiking, but I was okay with that one too.

Instead of living life on the wild side, I went down to the restaurant and drank a glass of wine and played cards while the other girls went wild in the icy snow.

I know…really brave of me, right?

While I was waiting, I noticed that there was a house that was located at the top of this mountain.

Yes, I said a house.

You know the ones where people live in them? Well, there was a house, and the only way to get to that house was to use a smaller version of the cable car we rode up to the top in to get down to it. I was privileged enough to witness one man with lots of supplies loading up the cable car and riding it down to the house.

Of course I had my camera in hand, and of course I had to take a picture of it!

This was the man in the cable car with all the supplies, and here is where he has to go…

Woah. I wouldn’t want to go down that thing…even in the best of weather!

Later I found that there are stairs leading down to the house, but those stairs are only partly visible now and it would have to be after all the snow and ice melt that they are able to be used.

When we got down off the mountain, boy was I happy to have my feet back on the ground after that cable car ride! It made me nervous! We rode the bus back into the city center where we walked around town and went to the market and visited shops and cathedrals that blew my mind!

I thought the candles in this particular cathedral were absolutely beautiful. They made the church glow from the sides because there were multiple places where people could light candles.

The intricacies of the ceiling are amazing to me. Not only do the ceilings have varying vibrant colors, but the actual ceiling itself is carved so delicately. Breathtaking.

I hate to do this, but I’m going to include one more Sound of Music reference. The littler girl who played Gretel in the movie, was staying in the Sacher Hotel in Salzburg city centre. At this hotel, there is a world famous cake called The Original Sacher Chocolate Cake, and after hearing about this cake, the girls and I simply HAD to get a piece of it. So, that night we went to the Sacher Café where we ate a light dinner and then had a piece of the world famous chocolate cake.

It. Was. Amazing.

Absolutely delicious!

So delicious, in fact, that I nearly had the audacity to have the desire to pick up the plate and lick it…but I didn’t of course.

That would have been embarrassing and absolutely inappropriate, but I can’t say that I didn’t think about it.

Until tomorrow…Don’t worry, I still have TONS to fill you in on and I can’t wait to share!

Much love,

Travel lover

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“Let’s start at the very beginning,

A very good place to start.

When you read, you begin with A-B-C,

When you sing, you begin with Do-Re-Mi…”

I’ll begin here at the beginning of our two week travel time where we flew into Memmingen, Germany where we took a bus to the train station, then a train in a round about fashion to Salzburg, Austria.

Salzburg was where we did the bulk of our traveling in continental Europe.

And if you are now thinking about the Sound of Music, you have got it right! We ladies of course had to partake in a bit of Sound of Music, right? The first day we were there, Tuesday, we went on the Sound of Music tour with Panorama tours who did an excellent job in giving we lovers of musicals information about that specific musical.

Here I are several photos of various filming places for the famous movie, the Sound of Music. The cast and crew spent about 11 weeks in Salzburg, Austria where they filmed the majority of the world famous movie. These scenes include the “Do-Re-Mi” scene where Maria is teaching the children to sing through familiar things around them. Then of course, the children pick up on how to sing instantly and are able to carry a beautiful tune with Maria. Also, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and “Must Have Done Something Good” were filmed in the gazebo which is located in Salzburg, though Hollywood had a duplicate made in the studio that was much larger than the one located in Salzburg.

The photos above were taken mostly in Mirabell Gardens where “Do-Re-Mi” was filmed. I was able to sit on the edge of the fountain where the children walked along singing as well as stand on the steps where the children hopped up and down while singing.

I know…I LOVE Sound of Music!

For the Von Trapp’s home in the movie, there were two different palaces which were used for the setting of the Von Trap home. These two palaces are now private schools and do not allow the public onto the property. The first palace which overlooks the lake, was used as the back of the Von Trap home. This lake is also part of the canoe scene where the children and Maria fall out of the canoe as they are greeting the Captain. The second palace is where Maria is seen singing “I Have Confidence,” as she is going to begin her new life as a Frauline for 7 children. This palace is used for the front of the Von Trap home. Both of these palaces are extremely beautiful.

This is the cathedral where Maria and the Captain were married in the movie. This cathedral is B-E-A-UTIFUL!!! Check out the inside of the cathedral, I think it just might top the exterior of this building.

Gorgeous, right?

I don’t know how people can’t be given chill-bumps from something like this!

This cathedral is located in a small town called Mondsee which is a suburb of Salzburg, Austria. In this little town, there was some scrumptious deserts that we decided to add to our waistlines, and because we all know that I travel according to my stomach, I have to share with you the sweet treats.

I chose the black forest cake…


In case you didn’t know, Maria, the Captain, and the children were real people who lived in Salzburg, Austria. They met the same way, but their love affair was not quite a romantic as it is in the movie. Maria and the Captain were married in the oldest abbey in Salzburg called the Nonnberg Abbey where there are still nuns who are practicing their faith, but the public is no longer allowed to enter the abbey because the nuns are practicing silence, simplicity, and are praying to The Almighty.

This abbey is also exquisite, take a look…

I love the red roof in this picture. It really give the structure extra character.

Ok, ok….I know there are people who might be reading who aren’t as fond of the Sound of Music as I am, but there are only a couple more pictures and I won’d even make any movie references.


On this tour, we went out into the lake district of Salzburg where we took our first photos of the Bavarian Alps.


Look how beautiful this sight is…I was speechless. Yes me. Speechless.

Appalling, I know.

See what I mean?


On this day, I also partook of my first Bratwurst and it was all downhill from there. I fell in love!

I was incredibly happy with my Bratwurst. Incredibly happy!

After lunch, we took another tour to the Salt Mines of Hallein where we went deeeeeeeep under the ground to see where salt or “white gold” comes from.

The best part of this tour was that we wore jumpsuits. Incredibly attractive jumpsuits…

Really attractive, right? Oh goodness…seeing us getting dressed in these things was hilarious! I could only imagine that the staff looks back at the security videos with drinks and chips just for entertainment. I have to say that I was glad to have this jumpsuit on underground because it was SUPER cold down there!

Yes mom, I said it was cold.

We weren’t supposed to take pictures underground so I only have a couple of pictures of before getting onto the train and one or two on the train. I’m sorry! :/ But here is what I did get!

We were riding on a trolley down deep into the ground. This experience was NOT for those who are claustrophobic. It was incredibly tight quarters in there for a while and it even made me a bit nervous.

Don’t we look cute in our jumpsuits. I might need to get one to bring home and wear it on a regular basis, but I’m not sure that my sister would claim me if I wore something like that.

Later that night we strolled around and just got to know our way around a bit. The city itself was incredibly safe and there were no times where we felt uneasy about our surroundings, but the city is gorgeous at night time because everything is lit up.

I would go back to Salzburg in a heartbeat. It is such a beautiful place and there is so much character presented by all of the buildings here that  I couldn’t wait to explore some more.

Much love to those back home!

~Salzburg Explorer

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