Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beginning our tour of central Europe

Andrew and I started our tour of central Europe on Nov. 13, when we left San Francisco to fly to Munich. We arrived on the morning of the 14th. I have already posted a few albums of the first few days. Here they are...

[Note: To see the larger pictures on PicasaWeb, just click twice on the albums below.]

Munich


After two nights in Munich, we rented a car and drove south to Schwangau, where two castles of King Ludwig II are located.

Neuschwanstein
This castle was one of six that Ludwig built before his mysterious death, probably at the hand of conspirators. It is rumored to be the inspiration for the Disney World castle.

Hohenschwangau
This castle was built by Ludwig's father and it was where Ludwig was raised until he became king himself at the age of 18.

After two nights in Schwangau, we returned the rental car in Munich and took a train to Salzburg. There we met up with our friend Leila Josefowicz, whom we met on our Baltic Sea cruise a year and a half ago. We all went to a "Mozart dinner concert" held in the "oldest restaurant in Europe," which dates from the year 806.

The next morning, Andrew and I attended Leila's rehearsal and then we went to the Sacher Hotel cafe for lunch. After a nap in the afternoon, I went out in the early evening and took these pictures.

An evening in Salzburg

After the walk around Salzburg's old town, we attended the performance by Leila at the Mozarteum. She performed a violin concerto by the contemporary composer John Adams that must have been one of the most difficult pieces ever written by my estimation. I could never say enough about how incredible it was, so let me speak of the audience's reaction. The ovation went on and on calling Leila back again and again to take more bows. Finally she performed a solo encore which of course led to more applause. After the end of the concert, we waited for her to change her clothes and then she introduced us to the conductor, Christoph K├Ânig, and the four of us left to go to a restaurant probably an hour later. As we entered the restaurant about a block away, a table of people recognized Leila and Chris and began to applaud as we all went by. Then the next table picked up the applause and then several tables more continued in that manner. We then had a wonderful time visiting with Leila and Christoph over dinner and finally said good-night and returned to the hotel.

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