Salzburg was a perfect place to celebrate my 40th - a city bursting with Old World charm, full of flower gardens, cafes on every corner, horse-drawn carriages, and delicious coffee, cake, and chocolates.
Remember the scene in the "Sound of Music" where Maria hops around singing with the von Trapp children in the gardens by the fountain? That scene was filmed in the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, and these days the immaculately trimmed flower beds draw camera clicking tourists from all over the world.
Sophia and Lucy started posing as soon as I pulled out my camera, and some of the international tourists started taking photos of them too.
A neighbor of ours in Munich recently gave Sophia this "dirndl" - a traditional Alpine dress done up in girly pink and purple. A group of Japanese tourists passing through went wild taking photos of little blonde-haired Germanic-looking Sophia, and she completely hammed it up in the rose garden (without any encouragement from our side - watch out Heidi Klum!)
After all that modeling, it was time for some refreshments...
The delicious cakes and coffee in Salzburg - served on a silver tablet with real whipped cream - did not disappoint.
You can imagine which cake was my favorite :) This triple layer chocolate mousse was to die for!
The historical Cafe Bazar had a terrific ambiance with uniformed waiters and chandeliers,
and a little later we went for coffee again at the Cafe Wernbacher; it was so good!
The Festung Hohensalzburg dating from the 11th Century towered over the town square,
and down below, we went wandering through the cemetery gardens of the beautiful St. Peter Church.
The church grounds had a special atmosphere, full of green ferns, moss, old stones, blooming flowers,
and lovely hand-painted and gilded wrought iron grave markers.
My husband noticed the wistful wooden female figure built into a stone wall by German contemporary artist Stephan Balkenhol.
Throughout Salzburg, horse-drawn carriages called "Fiaker" show the tourists the sights.
We probably wouldn't have taken a "Fiaker" on our own, but Sophia desperately wanted to ride in the carriage with the gray horses!
She got her wish - and we all enjoyed the ride.
These sweet and patient horses let Sophia and Lucy pet them on the nose.
Mozart was born in Salzburg and lived there for most of his life, and his pretty yellow birth place or "Geburtshaus" still attracts hoards of tourists.
Mozart's favorite cafe was supposedly the "Cafe Tomaselli" where he drank hot chocolate to prevent anemia (what did I tell you about chocolate being healthy?)
Speaking of chocolate, the Fuerst Konditorei were the first to make the famous "Mozartkugel" or Mozart balls in Salzburg. These delicious little chocolate balls are filled with layers of creamy pistachio marizpan and nougat. There many different brands available now, but the Fuerst Mozartkugel are the "originals."
Of course we had to taste this Salzburger delicacy,
and I wanted to share one with you!
The filling is made with ground pistachios, almonds, chocolate, and the recipe is a family secret. They were truly melt in your mouth good!
We took the train to Salzburg and back, which was a special treat for the kids. It was a wonderful day spent together with my beautiful little family, and it made me feel very blessed!
Thank you for coming with us, and I am looking forward to sharing more European travel with you this year. Details coming very soon...
p.s. - I am so happy to see what an international group is signing up for my e-course! We already have participants from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and we are growing every day. I love it, and I'm so looking forward to this big global creative celebration together with you :)