|Our group before descending into the Salt Mines at Berschtergaden - Scott & I are sitting on the train!|
|Jennnerbahn Gondola in summer|
|We could see hiking paths all over the mountains|
|The path trail up to the lookout|
We finally ended in a good sized tunnel which we walked through while our guide filled us in on the history. Salt mining began in Berschtergaden in 1193 and operations began at this spot in 1564. We saw the Reichenbach pump built in 1816 which brought the salt brine 357 Meters uphill and 29 Km to a processing plant. This pump worked continuously until 1927! No throw away machines then. The mine is now an adventure tour. The wooden slides that once carried the miners from one level to another are now a fun and quite exciting ride. Four at a time we sat on the wooden rail, squished against each other and plunged down into the dark. Wow! The second time, Scott and I did it alone. During the tour we also crossed a lake in one of the caverns while lights and music played over the water and walls - very pretty. Altogether a fun experience.
|We got this far up the trail to the look out before deciding to turn back, but still the views were lovely.|
|And the wildflowers carpeted the ground|
|Looking down the gondola path from the top|
|Scott and I in our "miner's outfits"|
|The first big cavern we entered with the walkway down|
|The walls showed veins of salt. You could taste it!|
|The underground lake we crossed in a boat|
|A corner of the stage at the Mirabell Palace concert hall|
Dinner that night was at a Sheraton Hotel as it was near the Mirabell Palace where we attended a wonderful concert with the Salzburger Solisten; violin, piano, cello and guitar. Not surprisingly it was mostly Mozart with a lovely classical guitar solo from Irina Kulikova. The Archbishop of Salzburg built this beautiful palace for his mistress Salome Alt (and their 15 children). The concert hall was gorgeous - all covered in gold with marble staircase and cherubs. Walking back through the quiet city was lovely but unfortunately one more difficult night sleeping for both of us.