Germany · My Thoughts

Days 12-15: Salzburg, Free Time & Home! Wow!

Days 12-15 came so quickly! We opted to stay in Grassau and explore then on to Salzburg. Then we had another free day to pack up and enjoy a farewell banquet. Then we flew home—our magical Bavarian ended!

Day 12: Free time. Optional tour offer—Tolzer Twirlers Anniversary Dance in Bad Tolz.

Maypole in Grassau, Germany - Days 12-15
May pole in Grassau

I know most people who know Lin and I will be shocked that we opted to not dance that day but to explore Grassau. We made that decision because of three reasons:

  1. The trip to Salzburg the next day—we wanted to be rested for that because we both looked forward to the city and the Mozart concert that night.
  2. We had been going at such a clip, we both worried about our current health situation, and needed a break.
  3. We had been in Grassau for two weeks, but hadn’t had the time to explore this quaint little village.

After breakfast, we walked to town in the rain. First, we went to the Information office and inquired about restaurants for dinner. Interestingly, being a Saturday night, we thought we’d have lots of options! No, we had two choices, both Italian! We visited the May Pole—each village had a May Pole that told about the life there.

Next, we went into the church, the church of Assumption of Mary, right across the street from the Information office. We had walked by this church often and did not know the magnificent interior. It’s amazing how this small village supported this gorgeous church, stunning and ornate!

What made it fun, too—we watched a wedding party prepare for a wedding that afternoon!

Our next stop—a steamy latte for me and cappuccino for Lin, and delicious German sweets in a coffee shop. We relaxed, enjoying people-watching and no rush!

Our favorite thrift shop we had visited earlier wasn’t open this Saturday—Heidi’s is only open one Saturday a month. Then we found out that all the shops in town closed between 12 and 1! What a difference in commercial attitude than what we are used to!

We found a nice-size department store though. Lin bought a much-needed umbrella because ours had died! I bought two sweaters—one gold and one lime green for a great price. I got a nice discount on the first one I bought.

We ended our afternoon back at our apartment, then we met John & Barb Sloper for dinner at Mama Mia’s Pizzeria for dinner. I had rigatoni with pepperoni. When the server brought our dishes, I didn’t see any round meat on my dish. I took a bite, and it blasted me out of the room. Then, I grabbed the server and asked him about the pepperoni—I found out in Germany pepperoni is a chili pepper, not meat. So, I drank lots of water and ended the meal with Tiramisu, then we went to the ice cream parlor near and Lin had his usual ice cream.

NOTE: Everyone who attended the Tolzer Twirlers Anniversary Dance in Bad Tolz raved about their experience. They had over 300 dancers!

Day 13: Salzburg: City walking tour with English-speaking guide. St. Rupert’s Day Evening – Salzburg Mozart Dinner Concert. No dance, live Classical Music tonight!

This day became one of my favorites! When I think of Salzburg, I will think of two things: The Sound of Music and the bells ringing!

When we left the bus once we arrived, I asked about leaving our bags. “Yes, that’s okay,” so we did. As we prepared to go on a walking tour of Salzburg, Kim Oxendine and Gina handed us our bags and said, “The bus is not coming back!” Thank you, Kim and Gina, for taking care of us.

We started the walking tour at the Mirabell Garden, the same place where they filmed a memorable scene from the Sound of Music. It sent chills over me! When Lin and I got home, watched the Sound of Music and stopped it every time we recognized a place we had been—what a thrill!

The garden features gorgeous flowers, statues and fountains—and the Sound of Music!

Then we walked to Old Salzburg. It was the Feast of St. Rupert, the patron saint of Salzburg and the city overflowed, even though it was a Sunday! The narrow streets fascinated me—metal shop signs hung over our heads!

Mozart's birthplace - Days 12-15
Mozart’s Birthplace

On the tour, we saw Mozart’s birthplace, “The house where Wolfgang Amadé Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, is now one of the most visited museums in the world. No other place makes the person behind the artist Wolfgang Amadé Mozart and his music as tangible as his birthplace.”

We also saw the Saltzburg cathedral.

Salzburg Cathedral
Salzburg Cathedral

At the end of the tour, Lin and I stopped in an outdoor beer garden and enjoyed venison sausage and sauerkraut and a cheese tray. So delicious!

Cemetery in Salzburg
Cemetery in Salzburg

After lunch, we shopped some and then walked to the cemetery. The cemetery plots overflow with flowers. We visited the chapel there and lit more candles for our friends.

Funicular ride to fortress - Days 12-14
Funicular ride to fortress

Then we rode the funicular up the hill to the fortress overlooking Salzburg. We spent a lot of time wandering around the fortress. My favorite part—standing near the wall and listening to the bells and taking pictures of the skyline full of church steeples! It felt other-worldly!

View of Salzburg from the Fortress - Days 12-15
View of Salzburg from the Fortress

Listen to the bells I recorded:

After our great time in the fortress, we rode the funicular back down and arrived at the restaurant just as our group went in. We savored a three-course meal. The entertainment began during the meal and continued. They did a section of one of Mozart’s opera, then a course, then singing! It was fabulous!

Night time view of church & fortress - Days 12-15
Night time view of church & fortress
Tony Oxendine, Jet Robers & Tom Crisp at Last Dance in the Barn - Days 12-15
Tony Oxendine, Jet Robers & Tom Crisp at Last Dance in the Barn

Day 14: Free time for last-minute shopping and time to pack. Last dance 11 am—1 pm. Please bring luggage to the hotel lobby to be loaded onto busses no later than 4 pm. Special Farewell BanquetNo dancing after banquet—party or early to bed.

Sadly, our trip was ending! We had a last dance and enjoyed our last time in the barn dancing. After lunch, we shopped some more, and I bought a fantastic pair of shoes! Wore them to church today! We packed up our bags! That’s always a major event, trying to get all our souvenirs in, but once again, we succeeded.

The day ended with a Farewell Banquet. I thoroughly enjoyed a highlight of the evening—each person in the group shared if they wanted to share their favorite memory of the trip. It really brought back so many outstanding memories as I listened!

Day 15: Depart Grassau for an early flight from Munich to USA.

Because we had people who had early flights, we left Grassau at 6:00 A.M., breakfast at 5:00 A.M.!

Our travel day home was eventful for sure! We had delays and friends missed connections in London, having to stay a night there. We made ours, but we got home later than planned with a delay in Denver.

Days 12-15 sped right on by! What an amazing trip we had! Tom, Gina and Curtis Crisp provided a trip of a lifetime with their experience and knowledge. If you’re interested, the next trip is September 16-30, 2025. Tony, Jet, Tom and the international callers entertained us with their great calling! Thanks so much!

Close up of church steeple & fortress - Days 12-15
I leave you with a closeup of a church steeple & fortress in Salzburg!
Our group that went to Germany - Days 12-15
Our group that went to Germany

Hair on Fire: A Heartwarming & Humorous Christmas Memoir - Days 12-15
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