Salzburg!, a storybook town

Saltzburg is an elegant city located in one of the most scenic areas of the Alps, a perfect backdrop for a classic romanticized storybook.
The city is also well known as the birthplace of Mozart and the host city of famed movie, Sound of Music.  As we strolled various alleys of the city,  we could almost hear the cacophony of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante mixed with Do Re Mi of the Von Trapp choir.
Of course, before the trip, we had primed ourselves with heavy doses of Mozart’s music and watched several rounds of the 3-hour-long Sound of Music. Nevertheless, It was quite exhilarating to retrace their footsteps and anticipate them to be with us in our time and place. In fact, just being in this town gave me a sense of stumbling into a bubble where I get pulled into an illustration from my favorite dog-eared fairy tale books.

Mozart’s house of birth and youth

Rothenberg, Germany’s finest medieval town.

Rothenberg is a charming medieval town  that survives largely intact (even the World War II bombings) and thrives into the 21st century.  It’s probably one of the cutest town that we have ever stepped into. But at times, its highly curated appearance has an uncanny resemblance of a theme park. Unfortunately a big contingent of tourists roaming every alley of this little town doesn’t help the cause. But I also get the sense that Rothenberg is a real functioning town as we interacted with the locals and toured the neighborhoods.  We had a joyous time walking on top of the medieval wall that encircled the town. It provided many scenic views of the town.  Another highlight of the day was our visit to the crime and punishment museum where we could see various medieval objects of torture and punishment, some of which were horrifying while others were amusing. We capped our day with dinner at a local restaurant and had our first taste of German food ( handmade pasta) and beer (tucher) which I have grown to love.
I can’t think of a better introduction to Germany than what we experienced in Rothenberg.

Orlando!

We are finally here after making a thousand mile journey. So many parents, over the years, have made pilgrimages to this humongous cluster of theme parks in search of entertainment, rites of passage, or even magic. We knew our kids would enjoy this place but we weren’t quite sold on it because it seemed so artificial, overblown, crowded, and expensive. But we’re here… perhaps it’s the fear of depriving our kids of the essential childhood experiences or the pressure to keep up with the Jones’s. By the end of the day, I was feeling nauseated from all the rides and going to puke if I see another hint of the artificial color! But kids seemed to enjoy it and thanked us for the experience. In the end, I was glad to check this one off of my bucket list!