Part 3: Salzburg, Austria to Essen, Germany (warning--no coaster content!)
After our day at Prater, we validated our Eurail passes and took the train across Austria from Vienna to Salzburg. Our ultimate destination was Essen, just north of Düsseldorf, in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, where we'd meet up with Greg, who had been sightseeing in Berlin. Our plan was to spend a night in Salzburg, do a little sightseeing the next day, and then continue on to Essen.
Our hotel was the Best Western Hotel Zum Hirschen. Nothing "Best Western" about it; it was a really nice place with plenty of outlets for Tim and Dave to recharge all of their gadgets. There were Mozart balls on our pillows which were delicious. The Mozartkugel, as it is called, originates from Salzburg (as did Mozart) and has a core of pistachio, marzipan, and nougat coated with dark chocolate--yummy! Equally exciting was my discovery that the TV channel line-up included a 24-hour "The Sound of Music" channel! I am a big fan and Tim obliged by letting me watch a bit before we turned in.
The next day, after an excellent breakfast that included some of the best bacon I've ever had (I often wonder what Europeans think of the generally crappy and pathetic "Continental" breakfasts that American hotels tend to offer; theirs are far superior...), we set of to do some sightseeing before we had to catch our train.
We walked a few blocks from our hotel to the Salzach river, walking along the river until we reached Mirabell Gardens and Schloss (castle) Mirabell. There was some sort of bike race going on in town that day so there were parts that were blocked off and helicopters buzzing overhead but we did get to see the gardens (featured in the Do-Re-Mi sequence of "The Sound of Music"), including bits of the Salzburg Dwarf Garden, before heading back to the hotel to check out and walking to the train station. Salzburg is a town I wouldn't mind visiting again. Maybe next time I'll make it to Erlebnispark Strasswalchen. (And if Derek ever goes, there's "Brauwelt," Europe's largest exhibition of beers. Check out http://www.brauwelt.at/e_home.htm and take the bierquiz while you're there)
(Next: Schloss Beck and Movie Park)
"The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years..."
Mirabell Gardens. Maria and the children pranced through here while singing "Do-Re-Mi".
"Doe, a deer, a female deer
Ray, a drop of golden sun...
...Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long, long way to run...
...Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow Sew...
...Tea, a drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to Do....
...Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do.."
From the Dwarf Garden (and also seen in The Sound of Music).
The scene at the train station in Munich, where we had to switch trains. Lots of people coming for Oktoberfest, dressed in lederhosen (so hot!) and dirndls, and a really party-type atmosphere. We couldn't wait to come back!
Hey, there's a WalMart in Essen!
Here's one for the beer thread, from Cafe and Bar Celona (get it?) at Kennedy Platz in Essen.
niiicolaaah wrote:Hahaha... if I ever go there I have to budget for using the restrooms...
I tried to pee for free wherever I could but I also kept .50 euro coins on hand for when I really had to go and a pay WC was the only thing around. There's also toiletten that are technically free but there's someone sitting there next to a tip plate...
First time posting so I hope this works. Where was the Hochschhaubahn? I was there last August and didn't see it, and was looking forward to riding it. Otherwise, I really enjoyed that park, very different from what I'm used to out here in So. Cal. It had lots of Fun Houses, the type that we don't see anymore. And the dark rides were pretty cool. We also did the Dino walk-through. Cheesy, but I love cheesy stuff.
Beager wrote:First time posting so I hope this works. Where was the Hochschhaubahn? I was there last August and didn't see it, and was looking forward to riding it. Otherwise, I really enjoyed that park, very different from what I'm used to out here in So. Cal. It had lots of Fun Houses, the type that we don't see anymore. And the dark rides were pretty cool. We also did the Dino walk-through. Cheesy, but I love cheesy stuff.
Hochschaubahn is in the rear of the park. If you take the train (Liliputbahn) back you'll see it, although the first train stop passes it and you'll have to walk back a bit. You can see it on this map:
http://www.wien-event.at/prater/plan.html Click on the map to enlarge it. For some reason, the numbers don't match the printed guide; Hochschaubahn is at number 195/196, facing Hauptallee.
I agree--the fun houses and dark rides (well, the ones we did anyway) were great.
Part 4: Schloß Beck Freizeitpark and Movie Park Germany
After checking out of our ultra-modern Sprockets-like hotel in Essen (Welcome Hotel Essen), we stashed our luggage at the train station and took the train to Bottrop Feldhausen. Schloß Beck Freizeitpark is a pleasant 5 minute walk from the train station and Movie Park Germany is about a 10 minute walk.
We arrived at Schloß Beck around the scheduled opening time but had to wait a few minutes while staff finished opening preparations. Schloß Beck (Castle Beck) is a former Baroque castle built in 1766 that functioned as a schnapps distillery in the 18th century and then fell into disrepair until the late 1960's when it was purchased, restored and opened to the public.
While not huge on thrills, Schloß Beck was still very charming and fun. The castle features a haunted basement and the upper rooms are full of dioramas with moving figures and music that is activated by the push of a button.
In addition to Familienachterbahn, a medium-sized Tivoli coaster, there are several of the Heege Freizeittechnik self-activated rides, including double Nautic Jets, a Luna Loop, Tower, and Sky Dive (zip-line-type ride), fun slides and all sorts of interesting playground equipment for Derek to hurt himself on.
After an hour or two at Schloß Beck, we walked over to Movie Park Germany. Don't know what to say about this place other than I didn't really care for it---it was just OK. It was my least favorite park on the entire trip. On the positive side, Ice Age was pretty cool and they did have kokosnuss.
The train station near Schloß Beck and Movie Park.
The view from the station platform.
This way to Schloß Beck!
Slug on the pathway. Just like Bakken!
Tower for the water slides.
Waiting for the park to open.
Park map. "Becki" is the park mascot.
Wish I was small enough for these.
These too. There was an age limit. :(
I also wanted to try these. I think they were coin operated.
Entrance to the "haunted basement" which was very dark and consisted of coin-operated aminatronic displays.
Hey, it's N'at Man!
From the one of the animatronic displays outside the castle. You push a button and it comes to life, accompanied by music.
From one of the animatronic displays inside the castle.
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