Auto Ads by Adsense

Friday, August 02, 2019

June 30th: Berchtesgaden Salt Mine

We woke up, made breakfast, loaded up the bikes, and rode over to Arte Hotel Salzburg, which was prohibitively expensive on Friday and Saturday, but was relatively cheap for Sunday and Monday night. I'd picked the hotel not just because of air conditioning, but also because of its proximity to the train station, and I was delighted to discover that it was basically 100m from the train station entrance. I'd never been to Salzburg since the renovation of the train station had been completed, and was very impressed by how nice it was. Not only that, it had the only supermarket that was open on a Sunday, so we could still pick up milk for Boen, who would still wake up in the middle of the night to demand milk.

It was way too early for our hotel to check us in, but they happily held our bags, and had us park in the underground garage where there was a special bike room. "You don't want to keep your bikes on the street!" admonished the hotel clerk. Earlier in the morning, I had done a Tripadvisor search, and discovered that there were excursions for the Berchtesgaden salt mines, where you got to slide down to the mines using the old chutes, visit an underground lake, and actually tour a working mine. The excursion prices included both the entry and a bus from the Salzburg train station to the salt mine, but the prices were such that it was cheaper for the 4 of us to catch an Uber, pay normal entrance fees, and then take an Uber back!
Well, it being a Sunday, there were only 2 drivers, and both of them declined to give us a ride way out into Germany, but no matter, we walked 100m to the train station, where the taxi driver happily let us into his taxi, promptly turned off the meter, and charged us 60 EUR and told us to text him for a pickup on the way back.

The salt mines, being underground would be cool despite the heat outside, which was the main reason I did this. But both kids really enjoyed the tram ride into the salt mines, the slide down, and the presentation was very good, reinforcing what Bowen had picked up at the Deutsches Museum mining exhibit. It happened to be reading Salt, and the exhibit brought to life how much the area was developed because of its proximity and access to Salt.

The driver happily picked us up and delivered us back to the hotel, where unfortunately our rooms were not ready. Boen threw a temper tantram but the staff gave him some chocolate to soothe him, which worked. After we moved into our rooms we enjoyed the view from the 10th floor of the building. The family room at the Arte Hotel occupied an entire end of the building, so you got a 180 degree panorama of the city. Rather than being a building with windows, the entire wall was glass, with button-operated exterior shutters in case you wanted to sleep in. I was very impressed.

It was very hot, but Xiaoqin found myIndigo, which had lots of indoor seat and was very cool despite the exterior heat. The food wasn't up to par, but they had sushi, which kept both kids satisfied, despite German/Austrian sushi being absolutely horrible compared to their Bay Area counterparts.

No comments: