12 July 2007

Day 15: Salzburg–Berchtesgaden–Munich

Not one of the best days of the trip, to be honest. Most of it was spent in transit from Salzburg to Munich, including an hour-long traffic jam on a two-lane highway. A little bit of Los Angeles all the way over here in the Old Country. Then I attempted to go to a swing event in the Hofgarten, an outside event in the Diana Temple. However, I arrived there and found nothing going on. It wasn't until I trekked back to Starnberg and fiddled on the 'net that I found out the event had been canceled "due to uncertain weather." Come on, only a 10% chance of rain, that's not that uncertain! Also, the site I had been directed to originally had no information about it being cancelled. I had to really hunt down the information that it was cancelled.

Anyway… the morning did start rather interestingly in Salzburg when Dad accidentally locked Mom in the room when we went down to breakfast. We were staying in an old-fashioned hotel where you can lock the doors from the outside without being able to open them from the inside, and Dad absently locked Mom in and he headed down to breakfast. Fortunately, someone finally wondered where Mom was and Dad went to retrieve her.

The one sight we saw was an interesting one: the Salzburgwerk in Berchtesgaden (not in Salzburg as the name implies), a massive salt mine under a mountain that originally opened in the eighteenth century. It's still a working salt mine, but a very media-intensive and elaborate tour takes you through the older and unused section of the mine. First we had to dress up in mining overalls, which resemble the uniforms that James Bond villains' armies of henchmen wear, and then ride a mine cart very similar to the ones the miners ride deep into the salt mountain. The main grotto has an illuminated light show, then we got to ride down in groups on a slide, which was also the standard transportation mode for the miners. The slide is huge, and gives the same sort of feel as a water flume ride. Later in the tour, we rode on a boat across an underground lake. I don't know if I learned much about salt-mining (I don't know if wanted to learn anything about salt mining), but it was extremely well done and visual fascinating. And we each got a small sample of the salt mined from the mountain.

Okay, I really have no idea what were doing tomorrow.