Austria: Vienna & The Danube, Salzburg & the Lakes District [VHS]

 
9781568551807: Austria: Vienna & The Danube, Salzburg & the Lakes District [VHS]

Habsbug palaces, coffee houses, Strauss waltzes, all are part of Vienna. From its famous Opera House and the elegant Schoenbrunn Palace to luscious Saschertorte and bandstands in city parks, Austria's capital still lives its elegant past. Also cruise down the Danube past vineyards and castles. Visit the city's baroque Cathedral, take a funicular up to Europe's greatest medieval fort, see unique budget lodging for hikers, and explore old streets reminiscent of Mozart's time. Relax in the woody "Sound of Music" land - the Salzkammergut Lakes District, drink beer with Augistiner Monks, tour an old salt mine and wander in the tiny village of Hallstatt. 1997 VHS 60 min. Wehman Video Cat. #0587

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Review:

This installment in Rick Steves's low-budget public television series Travel the World takes us through the wonders of Austria with visits to Vienna and Salzburg, beginning on the eerily named Grobbin Street--the Ditch--where victims of the Great Plague of 1678 were piled.

A trip to Vienna is essentially a study in the monarchy of the Hapsburgs, the family who ruled Austria for centuries until their defeat in World War I. We visit their palaces, their monuments, and even the Kaisergruft, which holds many of their tombs. The history of the Hapsburgs is interrupted with a look at the sweet foods of the city, with visits to coffeehouses and samplings of the varied rich pastries to be found. Just try not to be enticed by the chocolaty goodness that Steves taunts us with. From there we move to the music, as Vienna is still the music capital of Europe, home to the Vienna Boys Choir and world-famous opera. After a sampling of Austrian wines, Steves catches a train to Melk, where he visits the stunning, restored Benedictine Abbey with its gorgeous ceiling frescoes. Then, a cruise down the Danube and a bike ride along the countryside provide a relaxing way to visit villages.

Eight million tourists come to Salzburg, a city that is incredibly resourceful in marketing its most famous citizen: Mozart. If you journey to the city in August, you can enjoy the music festival, although music is available at all times, often for free in the cathedrals. While in Salzburg, we also visit the castle, the churches, the restaurants, the outdoor market, the pedestrian mall, and of course, the Mozart sights. And what's a trip to Salzburg without a Sound of Music tour? Finally, a trip back to nature Austrian style, with a train ride down to the Lake District, where Steves gets his fill of mountains and lakes in the small village of Hallstatt. Packed with the lush views and helpful travel tips for which Steves has become known, Austria is another informative installment in the Travel the World series, bound to awaken the travel bug sleeping inside you. --Jenny Brown

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