A place for family and friends to keep up with the Carlson's!

The Carlson Family

The Carlson Family

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Jungfraujoch-Switzerland

During our time in the Bernese Oberland region we were also lucky enough to make it to the Jungfraujoch at 11, 782ft. It is also known as the top of Europe as this is the highest railway station stop in Europe. The total train ride up to the top took us about 2.5 hours. The last 6 miles of the journey are through a tunnel that is actually carved into the mountain. We learned that the railway through the mountain started in 1898 and was completed in 1912. Amazing!

When we got to the top the views were spectacular. Ericka and Mark got to go sledding down a small hill at the top. There was lots of snow and Lauren was not to0 keen on playing in the snow. This was Lauren's first experience in the snow as Luxembourg didn't really have any snow that stayed on the ground this past winter. It was extremely bright at the top as well with the sun reflecting off all of the snow. We were very lucky to have had a clear day to go to the top and see the views!! We visited the Jungfraujoch the day before we came home- what an ending to a spectacular vacation!!!

The Schilthorn- Switzerland

During our stay in Murren we made the journey to the top of the Schilthorn mountain- also known as Piz Gloria after the James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" which was filmed here. The Schilthorn is accessed by aerial cableway and provides a 360 degree panorama view of the surrounding mountains and region. The top of the Schilthorn is at 9,587ft. The views were incredible!!!

Murren Switzerland

The last stop on our 2 week vacation was Murren Switzerland. Murren is located in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. The Bernese Oberland is one of the greatest tourist attractions in the world due to it's beautiful location within the Alps. The town of Murren sits on a high plateau above the Lauterbrunnen Valley at 5300ft. Murren is the highest year-round inhabitated village in the Bernese Oberland. It is about 40 mn south of Interlaken and no cars are allowed. The only way to get to Murren is by aerial cable way or train.

We really enjoyed our stay here as the setting was very quiet and the views were magnificent. It didn't bother us at all that the hotel upgraded us to a 2 bedroom apartment with a balcony facing all the mountains either!! Mark and I would sit out on our balcony until 10:30 at night (it stayed light that long) and just enjoy the quietness and beautiful sights. This by far, was our favorite place of our entire vacation. The pictures do not capture the true beauty of the place. But I've posted some pictures of our hotel and the views from our balcony.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tirol Region of Austria

Our third stop was the Tirol region of Austria. We stayed near Seefeld, Austria which is a huge ski area in the winter. However, the mountains were quite a site in the summer as well. This part of our vacation was much more relaxing and we spent a lot of time outdoors and enjoying the scenery. We took a cable car up to the top of a mountain, took walks, swam in the swimming pool at our hotel and enjoyed some down time. The region was peaceful and beautiful.

Hitler's Eagles Nest

During our stay in Salzburg we traveled about 30 km south of Salzburg into the German Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden to see what is known as Hitler's Eagles Nest- or as the German's call it Kehlsteinhaus. The Eagles Nest is on top of Kehlstein mountain and was built for Hitler as a 50th birthday present in 1938-1939. It took 13 months to build and was used as a place for Hitler to entertain important guests. To reach this point, you need to take a special bus up a narrow 4 mile mountain road. The last 124m up the mountain are reached by an elevator of polished brass that was bored straight through the mountain. As you can see from the pictures- the views were absolutely amazing.

During World War II the allied forces tried to bomb and destroy this place. However, due to fog and weather conditions, the target was missed and nearby areas were heavily destroyed. The allies took control of the Eagles Nest in May1945 and used it as a military command post until 1960. After 1960, it was returned to the German government.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Salzburg Austria-other sites

Salzburg is such a beautiful city and we really enjoyed our time here. The city has the only fortress in europe that wasn't taken over by force. But as you can see from the first picture that is because it was so high above the rest of the villages. Salzburg is also the city where Mozart was born and raised. However, by the time he was famous he had moved to Vienna to live with the royal family. The old part of the city is very typical of many european cities that we've visited so far.

All the houses in Austria have beautiful flower boxes on the front of them. Everywhere you look-you see these flowers. The last pictures are of the girls just having fun during our time in Salzburg. Lauren having fun one night at dinner in the old city center, and the last picture of the two girls at the Salzburg Zoo.

Salzburg Austria- The Sound of Music

The next stop on our 2 week vacation was Salzburg Austria. This was a very pretty city, and of course where the Sound of Music was filmed. As Ericka loves this movie, we just had to take a Sound of Music tour where they showed us the various sights from the movie. First of all we learned a lot about the real Von Trapp family. For those of you who love the movie and are interested in the real story of the Von Trapps-just ask me and I'll tell you later what was actually true and what was "hollywood made". If you are familiar you will recognize the sights: the front of the Von Trapp house, the back of the house, the gazebo, Mirabell gardens (where Maria and the children sang Doe Ray Me), the church where they got married, the cemetary where they hid from the Nazi's, and of course the lake district where Maria sang in the mountains at the beginning of the movie. However, most Austrians wouldn't know what you were talking about if you asked them to show you the sights of the Sound of Music. Most of them have never seen the movie even though every year Salzburg attracts thousands of tourists to see these sights.