Our third day in Germany saw us heading out of the country, to Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg is where they filmed The Sound of Music and Rose read that it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and wanted to see it.
Our rental car agent told us we would need to buy a toll pass sticker to drive on Austrian higways after Rose mentioned to her we would be going to Austria. Without the sticker, we could have faced hefty fines. On the way there we stopped at a convenience store. Since I didn’t know how to ask for it in German, I asked the clerk, “Sprechen Sie English?”
“Ein bissien” was her replay so I said “Toll pass?” She said, “Oh, vignette?” I said, “Ja bitte,” then added, “zehn Tage,” before she could ask how many days. The shortest option, a ten day pass, was about ten euros.
Before I left she asked if I wanted coffee or anything else. I said, “Ja, zwei Kaffee bitte und Eine pretzel.” I didn’t know how to say “pretzel” but she knew what I wanted. I added the only thing I could to the coffee, which was lowfat milk, and then dumped both cups into a Yeti mug. It tasted so bad neither one of us could drink it.
On the way to Salzburg we noticed a long traffic jam in the opposite direction. We hoped that by the time we drove back it wouldn’t be as bad.
I was expecting some type of border crossing. I thought they would stop us and perhaps check our passports but we didn’t see anything like that. In fact, if there was a sign announcing that we were entering Austria, we missed it. I think that when we entered Salzburg, I checked Google Maps to make sure that we actually crossed the border.
Even though Salzburg was said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, when we got there we couldn’t find any of that beauty. I thought maybe there was more than one Salzburg and we were in the wrong one. We drove around for awhile but if there was beauty to be found, it was hidden well.
I didn’t take many photos there, mostly because I didn’t see anything worth photographing. I’m sure if we looked harder we probably would have found something interesting but after a half hour of driving around we decided to head back to Munich. On the way back I tried to find places to go along the way But the phone signal was intermittent so it was time consuming to search the internet.
On the way back we hit the traffic jam that we saw earlier. We noticed that drivers were inching along on the far side of their lanes, leaving a gap in the middle. I assumed there must be a law requiring drivers to leave space for emergency vehicles. If there is, it is a good idea because 30 seconds after Rose took the photo below, a police car with its lights and siren on cruised past us in the gap.
After we go out of the traffic jam, we stopped near a lake called Chiemsee where we parked and got out for some photos.
We then we drove around the area for a while and ended up at Aldi’s. I was hoping to get real heavy cream for our coffee but the didn’t have it. They also didn’t have light cream or half and half. We ended up buying some weird artificial liquid coffee creamer.
We then found a cute little town called Rosenheim. We drove around for a while admiring the small town charm.
I noticed corn fields, which we don’t see in Florida, but Rose was not impressed. She told me they are everywhere but I don’t pay attention. For that, I had to put up with her pointing out corn fields for the rest of our trip.
We then found a restaurant that was attached to a hotel. The place was called Hotel & Landgasthof Happinger Hof. This looked like real German food, which we had not yet had on our trip, so we decided to have lunch there. Our server asked us, in German, if we wanted to eat here or in the beer garden. The dining area we were in was covered but outside. The beer garden was nearby and also outside. We told her we wanted to eat here and sat at a table overlooking the beer garden and a small playground.
Our server did not speak English but we managed to communicate with her pretty well. I actually liked that she didn’t speak English because I needed to practice my German, but it was obvious that I needed more practice. Rose asked me about potato pancakes so I asked her, “Haben sie kartoffelpuffen?”
She laughed at that and quickly stopped laughing when she realized she was being rude and said, “kartoffelpuffer? Nein.”
I wasn’t offended buy her laughing at me. She was, after all, very nice. Who knows, maybe kartoffelpuffen is slang for “stupid tourist.” If that’s the case, that would have been very funny.
It was a very good meal, perhaps the best or at least one of the top three meals of the entire trip.
Our lunch was also reasonably priced. We paid 45 euros for two meals that included drinks and desert, and that was including a good tip.
When we got back to Munich, Rose wanted a real German pretzel from a vendor that made them fresh. So far, I could only find them in gas stations or small markets. We had a hard time finding pretzels, or any German food, within walking distance of our hotel. Not only could we not find a German restaurant, we also couldn’t find a stand that sold sausages or fresh pretzels. We walked to Karlsplatz looking for a place that Google said sold pretzels but it wasn’t there. We then walked past Karlsplatz until Rose’s foot started bothering her. She stopped to rest and I continued for a hundred yards or more but found nothing. We ended skipping the pretzels and went to a place called Ruff’s Burgers for dinner.
The next day we checked out of our hotel in Munich and checked into our hotel in Stuttgart. I will write about that next.
OMC your food looks amazing! Love that you ended up at Aldi’s, too funny! We have one directly across the street from us! You cracked me up when you said you might have been in the wrong Salzburg, you are hilarious!
Thanks. I’m glad I could make you laugh. We have Aldi here too and I like shopping there for most things. I don’t buy coffee cream there but I bet I could.
A friend of mine is regularly at the Chiemsee as he is busdriver and drives Northern German tourists down there a few times a year.
Talking about Salzburg, there are definitely beautiful places there, another friend of mine was there and showed me tons of photos. But it’s like with many places in Europe… an example, people say Berlin is beautiful and even some tourists claim that. Honestley? Berlin is the ugliest and dirtiest of all cities I’ve ever been to, if I exclude the middle of Berlin, the tourist area. A friend who lives there and I, we both usually make jokes and say “If you have been to Berlin and if you say it’s a beautiful city, you saw exactly 0.1% of Berlin”. With cities, it’s usually marketing… they show you the cool architecture in ads or books, the cool places but they leave out the rest, of course.
On the other side, I am not much different as a blogger. You might have seen my Lübeck photos in the past and I actually got a lot of comments how beautiful our city is. Because that’s what I photograph, the medieval type of architecture, the historical district and so. And yes, I think we have beautiful spots here. But the truth is like with any other place, if you get out of zones like the old district, you find nothing special, in fact you might even find uglier or boring parts of our city. Would it be the same in Florida?
When you said “Haben sie kartoffelpuffen?”… I assume you tried to use a plural here? There is no plural for this word. You can only use singular here… which would mean “Haben sie Kartoffelpuffer?”. If the answer would have been “Ja, das haben wir auch”, you would then would have said something like “Zwei mal bitte”. I assume she laughed not just because it was incorrect to say “kartoffelpuffen” but also because saying it like that sounds cute. It would have been funier if you would have said “Kartoffelpuff”, because that would mean something like “potato brothel” 😛 If that is what she understood, I understand why it was funny. I am glad you wasn’t offended… and I assure you, if I ever visit America, I will run into the same problem at some point.
You usually find the freshest Brezel (prepared during night shift) in bakery stores, where you also find things like Croissants. Not sure how it is in Bavaria. But that’s how it is here.
You have a good point. Most people only share beautiful photos. Where I live, the beaches are very beautiful but much of the rest of the area is not ugly but just average looking.
I was thinking plural when I said “kartoffelpuffen” because here potato pancakes are almost always plural, meaning nobody orders only one. The exception is a German restaurant in Myrtle Beach that serves one “Kartoffelpuffer” that is big enough for a meal. I must admit, though, that I just remembered the word wrong.
I did notice that there were a lot of bakeries in Bayern and Baden Wurttemberg. It seemed there was a bakery or apotheke everywhere we looked. I think we were looking for a stand that made pretzels fresh and hot while you wait but I guess they don’t exist.
The thing is, “Kartoffelpuffer” is one of those words that stays the same in singular and plural…. examples would be… “Ein Kartoffelpuffer bitte”, “Zwei Kartoffelpuffer bitte”. I am bad at explaining grammar but I’d say it stays in its singular form even when used plural.
Anyway, you only got the ending wrong or remembered the word wrong. But you tried, and you experienced a conversation. I am strong believer in learning by doing, learning practical. I had french in school back then, and while it allowed me to understand the basics, I have been in France for six weeks during holidays each year and that was the far superior method to learn the language. In the class, it gave me a huge advantage compared to those who haven’t been in France.
Wollt ihr irgendwann nochmal nach Deutschland?
Ich würde sehr gerne wieder Deutschland besuchen.
Next time we will stay in small towns where there are not so many people who speak English.
Das ist eine gute Idee!
I was trying to think of words in English that we use as both singular and plural. One example would be bacon. You would not order bacons. A word that is always plural even when there is only one is pants. I guess because there are two legs.
Once in a while I still need to look for translations when I write a post and I spotted words like that a few times. What confused me a lot were words that got a completely different meaning when you just added an “s”. It’s a different grammar scenario but a similar issue… example… people vs peoples.
Oh yes, the “pants” example is great. These things can easily confuse English learners too. In German it has a singular “Hose” and plural “Hosen”, “Die Hosen sind schön”, “Ich möchte zwei dieser Hosen kaufen”, “Ich habe zwei schöne Hosen in einem Geschäft gesehen”.
Learning a language is not easy and I experienced that some people were afraid to correct me but I would never have been offended by it because if someone tells me that I do something wrong, I can learn about it and improve. So, it’s actually helpful to get corrected.
I would not be offended either if someone corrected me. By the way, “peoples” is sometimes used in English. I thought it was wrong the first time I heard it but it is used when referring to more than one ethnic group of people. It is even confusing to me so don’t worry if you don’t understand.
By the way, is it difficult or confusing to learn two languages at the same time? Learning Spanish would be useful here in the U.S. but I just want to practice Deutsch until I feel comfortable speaking it.
Yes, that’s how I learned it. I always wrote “peoples” and thankfully some native English speakers corrected me in the past and explained the word to me like you did. So, the last 3 years I got it right and correctly used “people” instead of “the peoples”.
Back then, I’d have told you it’s managable to learn two languages at the same time. Not so sure about this today anymore. The older we become, the harder learning becomes too. I can only speak about myself, but if I were to learn a language again, I’d definitely focus on one.
There is another issue. If you don’t practice the language (reading books, watching movies, reading news in that language and so on), you will definitely forget it all with the years. Happened to me with French. As I mentioned, I was really good but I should have used the language more. I did it with English… the internet was full of English, and PC games were sometimes only in English and it was generally easy to come across anything English even without looking for it… it was just there, right in front of me (music, product manuals of imported stuff and and and…). But that was not the case with French.
Nowadays my French is enough to be able to ask for directions (streets), ordering something in a store, telling people how my day was or where I am from… super basic French. Everything else is forgotten. I am currently in the process of relearning some things because it’s super sad that I forgot so much. Relearning is easier than not knowing it at all, but still “WOW! How did I forget so much?”.
So this is a big suggestion, no matter if you learn German or Spanish. Actively look for things, like buying books in that language, attempt to understand videos in that language (Doesn’t matter if you understand it all, but your brain needs to be confronted with the language). Constantly look up the words you don’t understand. You don’t easily come across German if you don’t look for it. I think it might be different with Spanish, considering the history of Florida, and the fact that it’s not far away from Mexico.
An example again… Back in the days when I had to work with DOS or install Windows on my PC, there was no German translation. I had to understand English. English was everywhere. It’s the world language number one. I’ve never been forced to use French except for holidays in France. I should have actively looked for French to really memorize it longterm.
So… big big suggestion! No matter what you learn, actively use what you learned and also attempt to understand things you don’t understand yet. Don’t do the same mistake I’ve done with French.
German is much more difficult to learn here than is Spanish because so many people speak Spanish but nobody I know speaks German so it is difficult to practice. Nevertheless, I am not so interested to learn Spanish even though it would help me more.
I learned Spanish for two years in high school but I was in Illinois where fewer people spoke it so I forget almost everything I learned.