Malbun is a ski resort located in the principality of Liechtenstein. This double landlocked country has to have the highest natural beauty per square kilometer in the world. Despite being one of only two countries in the world to be double landlocked, the per capita GDP is third highest in the world. Situated in the Alps means there are snow capped mountains in every direction. The entire family enjoyed our time in Malbun.
From Salzburg, we drove to Memmingen. Rather than stay on divided four lane highways, we used well-paved two lane mountain roads. We used these roads so we could pick up our tickets for the Neuschwanstein Castle the next day. Marcia had made reservations and we would have needed to arrive two hours before our reservation time, so we hoped to avoid the need to get up early and be at the Castle two hours early. Marcia went to the ticket office was told she had to return the next day, no advance tickets for the online reservations.
We used the autobahn to go to our the Riku Hotel in Memmingen. As mentioned in a previous blog, drivers of the German cars zipped by at 90-100 mph. It was fun to put the metal to the metal for short stretches. I’ve enjoyed driving our French car. The steering is precise and the car doesn’t feel as though the five of us and our gear is too much weight.
Leaving Memmingen in the morning was complicated since the public garage where we parked the car was closed on Sunday. At the hotel we were given an electronic token that was supposed to open the garage door and lift the gate. No such luck. In the garage there was a group of six college age young people who had been at an outdoor music festival. Their car was parked in the garage and they had called the phone number on the booth inside the garage. No answer. I went back to the hotel and explained the garage was closed and that I was unable to get the garage door to open. I followed the clerk’s directions and went back to the garage, again the door did not move. After the second try, the hotel clerk kindly offered to go with me to the garage. She brought a second electronic token. She watched as nothing happened when I inserted my token. We traded tokens and the new one worked.
Going back and forth to the garage resulted in a delay of 45 minutes. This meant we did not arrive at the castle two hours before our reserved time. The ticket agent informed Marcia her reservation for the two castles and the museum was cancelled because we did not arrive in time. This turned out to be another time that plan B was better than the initial plan. Since the online reservation did not require a deposit Marcia saved money by only purchasing only the tour of Neuschwanstein Castle (click on link for more info on the history of the Castle). The 90-minute tour was perfect for our collective attention span.
Marcia is a good sport. I tried to get the girls to do the same pose, but they would not go for it.
Several months before we left for Europe, Marcia insisted we watch the Sound of Music. Prior to getting on the bus, the girls and I were a bit reluctant about the tour. On the bus they announced it would be a four hour tour, and we looked at each other. Four hours, oh no. Turns out we all enjoyed the tour.
The car GPS indicated the drive from Vienna to Salzburg was 2 hours 50 minutes. There was considerable traffic when we were trying to get out of Vienna. Once out of the city, it was a divided four lane with a speed limit of 130 km/h (81 mph). There were occasional reductions to 100 km/h around interchanges, but for the most part the posted speed limit was 130 km/h. Off and on there was light rain, more like a drizzle. The traffic was fairly heavy and a truck passing another truck would mean significant braking at times. In Europe, drivers do not sit in the passing lane. They use the lane to pass and then move to the right lane. (I wish drivers in the US would behave that way.) The challenge on the drive to the Saltzberg was if you pulled into the right lane and there was a truck ahead, you would close the distance quickly and be unable to pull into the passing lane because a cluster of cars were doing 145 km/h or more. Typically the cluster included cars from Audi, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and BMW.
While in Vienna we saw multiple Bentleys. On the road to Salzburg, we saw a tractor trailer carrying 4 new Bentleys, not a sight you see everyday.
Yesterday, it was raining in Salzburg. Unfortunately rain was the forecast for the four days we plan to be here. The girls are reading, watching YouTube and laying around.
On our street (Bergheimerstrasse) were clay figures that adorned the front door of a neighboring house. We were at Bergheimerstrasse 49 49.
We met Josh and Val at their hotel. Josh is Marcia’s second cousin on the Campbell-Fenwick side of the family. We missed them in Budapest because we had left for Vienna. Josh and Val arrived in Vienna the day we departed for Saltzberg. However, we overlapped for a lunch get together.
Before we met Josh and Val for lunch we headed to the Anchor Clock to see the parade of figures rotate on the hour. The Anchor Clock is set in an elevated bridge between between two buildings owned by the Anker Insurance Co. It was built between 1911 and 1914. The Anchor Clock was created in the Art Nouveau style by painter and sculptor, Franz von Matsch.
We arrived about 10 minutes before noon and a small crowd had already gathered. The girls were unsuccessful in their efforts to practice patience. Noon came and went without seeing any action on the clock. At 12:05, people were looking at their watches and wondering. In another couple of minutes the clock finally started.