Munich, Salzburg & Vienna

Rick Steves Tour

October 2022

“It is the personal experiences on our travel adventures that transcend just visiting somewhere new” – Julie A R Stephens


Rome, Italy – I put euros in her cup and remember her

  “The most precious gift we can give one another is letting them know they matter.” – Julie A R Stephens


Rome, Italy – this lady and I make eye contact and smiled – she communicates asking for Bruce’s help opening her shop


My husband and I experienced our first RS tour in 2017, the Best of Paris, in celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary – we did 2019 Venice Florence Rome – (written about in this blog) – we have done trips abroad on our own and now RS tours work best for us


Celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary in Paris 2017

The malicious Covid plague hit shortly after our return from Italy in late October 2019 and then the world shut down. It was all rather daunting but we had to make the decision to no longer travel or to do all we can to prevent Covid and continue onward with travel adventures. Onward!

We got our two Moderna vaccines in March 2021 and a booster in December 2021. We flew for the first time since the end of October 2019 to Austin in March 2022. There we met our youngest grandchild. We have not caught Covid. We wear KN95 mask inside around other people. We are rather isolated in our tiny mountain village but for different reasons, others here have caught the virus.

On September 9, 2022, exactly four weeks before boarding our plane to Munich, we got our bivalent vaccine; which targets the highly contagious omicron variant of Covid. Though not required, we wore our mask on the planes. Our Rick Steves tour has all travelers show proof of having gotten all Covid vaccines and a negative Covid test 24 hours or less before our first meeting. We all signed a pledge stating we would wear KN95 mask when inside together – except of course restaurants.


Great to see the official negative Covid test

Husband and I are both deserving of being proud of us getting out of our comfort zone and it begins with the airport – each earsplitting, hectic terminal is bigger and louder than our peaceful  little mountain village (except in the summer  – visitor’s season)


The moon and pink, lavender, blue sunset out the window of our plane on October 7th

I read my book a lot on the flight – The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs. It begins with a plane crash – rather off putting while flying but it is filled with believable, interesting characters and such is the story as well. 


Here I am reading that book in Austria – I carried it all over Europe (electronic books don’t appeal to me)


Our first meal out on this trip – informal and interesting, eating outside is my favorite and Europe is filled with outdoor cafés – we are so lucky that English is the universal language. Most menus had both German and English and most people speak at least some English. Greeting locals in their language pleases them. We then ask if they speak English – all to say language was not a barrier when we are kind with each other.

I picked the spicy pizza and asked the waitress what drink would complement the food and indeed, my taste buds are having a party      


Aperol Spritz – the flavors were having a parting dancing with my taste buds

Aperol Spritz is 3 parts proseco, 2 parts Aperol, I part sparkling water. Chill all bottles and combine


Bruce picked this salad and we shared the food after a blessing of thankfulness and using hand sanitizer

Best view in Munich – from tower at St. Peters (303 steps) St. Peter’s Church is a Roman Catholic parish church in the inner city of Munich, southern Germany. Its 91-metre tower is commonly known as “Alter Peter”—Old Pete—and is emblematic of Munich. St Peter’s is the oldest recorded parish church in Munich and presumably the originating point for the whole city.


After St. Peter’s we come across this adorable little tea shop and Bruce buys me a birthday present that will be saved until that day next month


Amen! We then come across this café and alfresco we enjoy coffee and share a yummy pastry


We were really lucky with the weather for the entire trip with only the occasional drip of a raindrop – not even worthy of rain gear. Only our last day was rainy and that wasn’t dreadful – no wind, no cold, no downpours

We walk to the Deutsches Museum. The 18 minute or so walk in the picturesque autumn day is a joy


The beautiful autumn days keep giving both blooming flowers and changing leaves




October is our favorite time to travel since Europe is cooler and the crowds are thinner – the stunning leaves are a bonus


This scene is so European looking!

The Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany, is the world’s largest museum of science and technology, with about 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology. It receives about 1.5 million visitors per year


Oh my …The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab was an actual radioactive toy and learning set sold in the early 1950s. The $49.50 set came with four samples of uranium-bearing ores (autunite, torbernite, uraninite, and carnotite), as well as a Geiger-Mueller radiation counter and various other tools.  Thankfully the price kept them for selling really well.


So very many NASA displays and yet it looks like they went out of their way NOT to have NASA shown anywhere – ONLY on this one display, on the back, has a very small NASA patch – WHY???

I am keenly aware since our son and his wife are NASA engineers






I thought of my FB friend Elaine McAfee Bender who is the biggest Beatle’s fan I know


One of our desserts – looks like a valentine

Baking class in Salzburg EDEL WEISS cooking school – fun experiance

– I had a bit of assistance with the apple strudel


I tasted schnapps – a strong alcoholic drink resembling gin and often flavored with fruit. I did not care for it



Pinch me! The Do-Re-Mi steps from The Sound of Music in Salzburg

The final Mirabell Gardens Sound of Music filming location featured in the song sequence for “Do-Re-Mi” is the grand steps at the north entrance to the gardens. This entrance gives you the iconic and stunning view of Hohensalzburg Fortress, as it towers above Salzburg.

RS tours start early in the mornings to avoid crowds – NO other people around in this famous, public place~!

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OMG! I’m HERE! The first site in Mirabell Gardens featured in the movie The Sound of Music is the Pegasus Fountain. The kids and Maria walk along the edge of the fountain singing before jumping off in cinematic choreography. Pegasus Fountain is located directly at the bottom of the Musical Steps at the north end of Mirabell Garden

Mirabell Garden Palace – where we heard a concert – palace and gardens built in 1606 by prince-archbishop Wolf Dietrich for his beloved Salome Alt

This is Hallstatt – postcard pretty little Alpine lake village (600 people – 2x’s the size of our little mountain village) our RS tour group took a boat around the lake to get the most stunning views

Later when we were on our own, Bruce and I took a lift to get more amazing views


The view out our window in our Hallstatt hotel room – we were on the top floor – we have stayed in some nice hotels – this is the loveliest by far. In our experience this RS tour has had better hotel rooms by far. Our bathroom looked like Frasier’s (TV show) – the perfect celebration for our (August 20th) 45th wedding anniversary…




This is the church where Maria gets married in the Sound of Music. It is the basilica in Mondsee. I walked down the aisle remembering the scene in the movie…in my head I could hear the nuns singing – how do you solve a problem like Marie…


Another valentine-looking dessert!     


Mozart’s birthplace       


 Mozart candy – Iris, our guide gave us each a piece – Mozartkugeln is a small, round sugar confection made of pistachio, marzipan and nougat that is covered with dark chocolate. It was originally known as Mozart-Bonbon, created in 1890 by Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst (1856–1941) and named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.





Potato dumplings and salad with goat’s cheese



Gerhard, our passionate guide and founder of the 3rd Man Museum – as he said he and his wife have no children so he can put all the time, money and passion he has into this work – Gerhard says he does not understand how his homeland Austria can just want to ignore the war…ignore the holocaust

The Dritte Mann Museum (Third Man Museum) is a museum in the 4th district of ViennaAustria. Opened in 2005, the museum has an area of over 400 square meters divided into 16 rooms, displaying a comprehensive collection of original exhibits based on and around the international film triumph The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed and based on a treatment by Graham Greene

The Third Man Museum is an independent two-person project, initiated by Gerhard Strassgschwandtner. He put together the collection, whilst the design and concept came from Karin Höfler. Specialists and generalists, they created the museum from scratch. It is a private museum with no sponsors and subsidies.

The museum contains collections on the history of pre- and post-war Vienna. An exhibition within the museum explains the historical backdrop of the film and portrays the everyday life of a city occupied by the Allies (Americans, British, Soviets and French) between 1945 and 1955, and includes many original documents from the period.





Their little girl is taken away…



The ALBERTINA Museum in Vienna

The Albertina is a museum was founded in 1776 and is in the Innere Stadt of Vienna, Austria. It houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world with approximately 65,000 drawings and approximately 1 million old master prints, as well as more modern graphic works, photographs and architectural drawings


They must mean something, these extraordinary moments

What, if anything I have presented here speaks to you? Why? Are you a traveler? Why or why not? What’s your next planned trip? Do you think traveling outside your comfort zone helps you grow as a human being?

Rick Steves see travel as a political act as we leave our prejudices behind – thoughts?

“The most precious gift we can give one another is letting them know they matter.”  Julie A R Stephens

Living in the Mountains

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14 thoughts on “Munich, Salzburg & Vienna”

  1. Beautiful photos and writing, thank you for sharing with all of us. It looks like your trip had a bit of everything!

    1. thank you David for reading & posting – yes – one of the many great things about RS trips is the balance with tour time & free time & the suggestions & insight of RS philosophy – we did indeed have a good mixture of different activities

  2. What a fabulous trip, Julie! Does Rick Steves actually lead the tour or just arrange the itinerary? His philosophy of traveling as a political act is interesting. I wonder if studies have been done on that–comparing the prejudice toward “otherness” of non-travelers vs travelers.

    1. yes it really was such a combination of fun & thoughtfulness & of course not everything even got posted – the tour company is RS & occasionally he may show up but he doesn’t lead the tours – the guides are trained people who live in the area & we have other day guides along the way

      people could travel & still have prejudices – one has to have on open / conscious heart – thank you kindly Karen for reading & posting – share with folks you think would enjoy

    1. Thanks for your time Raj – glad you enjoyed it – we did a lot of different things & this isn’t quite everything –

      So interesting how we were on the same wavelength concerning our feelings about being around other people on the tour. We could have done a stand up routine – so many things to remember: body language, eye contact, table manners, eating & talking, questions to show interest without interrupting – so much pressure
      Glad we sat together with meals somewhat regularly!

      So glad we met.

  3. Looks like a wonderful trip. Great photos and description. Reminded me of a trip to Munich and Vienna I did a few years ago, the Deutsches Museum, Mozart. Love Beatles pics as I am a huge Beatles fan. And Salzburg, The Sound of Music, one of my favorite movies. Thank you for sharing.

  4. As always your photos and writings are so inspiring. Inspiring for others to get out and enjoy the rest of the world.
    Life is too short to stay in one place and not experience other cultures.
    Thanks for a great review of your trip.

    1. Thank you for posting Erin and thank you for your kind words – so glad you enjoyed my photographs and writing

      “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”— Saint Augustine

      We are fortunate to get to travel and fortunate to get to call our little mountain village home – Bruce and I enjoy traveling but the peacefulness at home this time of the year is a rare magical quality in this noisy world

  5. What a lovely trip! And I’m especially glad you enjoyed Salzburg’s Sound of Music sites! Loved the stairs picture. Hope you sang the song and went up and down the stairs! You looked all bundled up–was it cold? Or was that just the chill of early mornings? I pictured Munich to be a very busy, modern city–was that your experience? I had to crack up at your choice of books with the opening being a plane crash! Oh my! For the first few days, travel is always hard for me, especially with language challenges and trying to figure out how to get around. I’m really knocked out of my comfort zone, but then since I’m managing, I come to trust my wits. That’s when the adventure begins in earnest and I’m captivated. Glad you and your husband had a great trip!

    1. Phyllis! Thank you for your time and kind remarks– so glad you enjoyed my post! We had a lot of different experiences! Right! The Sound of Music movie sites were just such an out of body occurrence – hard to believe I was THERE.

      Munich has both modern and old parts to the city. It got very crowded during the day. Rick Steves’ tours get started early so we can avoid crowds then and yes, the October mornings and evenings were chilly – though never cold or uncomfortable for us mountain folks! The temperatures warmed up as the day progressed. I had shed some outter clothes on the Do Re Mi steps that I wore in the Pegasus picture, as the steps were in the afternoon (Bruce and I went back) and the fountain was in the morning. Language was never a problem as most everyone speaks English and everyone was kind and worked at communication.

      ***Lots of good memories were made.

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