It was an exciting day trip to have dined in three different countries: breakfast in Venice, lunch in Lake Bled, and dinner in Salzburg.
I had the chance to work again with Impact Events. This time we transported over 300 delegates with over 500 bags. This may sound challenging, but for a conference specialist like Impact Events, it is the exhilaration of providing a unique experience.
Friday, 6 May, I started my day early on the last day of the 5-day conference in the city of Venice. I was up at 5 am to catch up for an early breakfast. At exactly 8 am, we left the hotel by boat to go to the bus terminal in Venezia Tronchetto.
At 1 pm, my allocated bus group arrived at Hotel Triglav in Lake Bled, Slovenia. Everyone woke up and was mesmerized by the imposing view of the glacial Lake Bled and Bled Castle. The castle is another iconic landmark proudly built on a rock in the middle of the lake. Both the lake and castle are primary tourist attractions of this region. Lunch was served after the brief tour: a delectable 2-course paired up with a glass of wine. The ambience and boosting view of the stunning lake from the window of Hotel Triglav restaurant section added perfection to the spectacular food served.
After lunch, we continued to drive to our last destination. At exactly 2.30 pm, we crossed the border of Austria with a boosting Alp temperature. Austria is one of the richest countries in Europe.
By 6.30pm, we finally arrived to our final destination – Salzburg, the 4th biggest city in Austria. The groups were distributed to three hotels; the Sacher Hotel, a luxury hotel located along the banks of the Salzbach River, the Sheraton Hotel, the conference venue and is connected to the Congress Centrewhich is conveniently a stone away from the beautiful, and well known Mirabell Gardens. And then the historical Goldener Hirsch Hotel, which served as my hub during the conference. At 8.30pm dinner was enjoyed with the Impact Events team at the Sheraton.
The Golden Hirsch Hotel property is located in the Old Town, a great place for a leisurely stroll. The town is obviously surrounded by old and historical buildings. The following day, group who stayed at the Goldener Hirsch Hotel enjoyed a city foot-tour in the afternoon. The tour started from the shopping street of Getreidegasse (Grain Lane) and concluded at Mozart’s Residence.
Among the main attractions we visited in the Old town included: the Salzburger Dom (Sazlburg Cathedral), site of Mozart baptism; the St Peter’s Archabbey (St Peter’s Abbey) which is considered to be the oldest monastery; the intriguing St. Sebastian’s cemetery; then the last stop to the former residential palace of the Archibishops of Salzburg, Salzburg Residenz.
The opulent Salzburg Residenz was the perfect venue to enjoy a private welcome cocktail. We listened to a 20-minute private concert performed by local artists, – violin and violoncello soloists. In the evening, I joined with the Impact Events team to dine at a local restaurant Triangel, located near the University of Salzburg’s library. Just a heads up for a coke drinker, Triangel does not serve coke or soda. Whilst ‘apfelstrudel’ (apple strudel) is well catered in most restaurants/cafes, don’t miss the famous Salzburg ‘Nockerl’ (a light dessert generally served with a bit of sugar made of egg yolk, vanilla, salt, flour, sugar and milk).
My mornings in the birthplace of Mozart involved a pleasant early walk joining with the crowds of locals and tourist walkers and bikers, through the shopping street of Getreidegasse (Grain Lane) and along the banks of the Salzbach River. It’s a 5-minute walk from the banks and bridge to the Sheraton.
‘Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things’
Who would ever forget this verse from ‘My Favourite Things’ of the Sound of Music, the musical movie that made Salzburg famous? On Sunday, 8th of May, we watched a special and private puppet show performance by the Marionette Theatre of Salzburg. After seeing the performance, all I want to do was to see the film again. It was brilliantly orchestrated from the opening to the ending scene. Puppeteers revealed their operational hands towards the end of the show – it was remarkable to see. The tricks, movements and maneuvering of the puppeteer’s strings/wires were so fascinating and beautifully synchronized that you could hardly tell that it was a puppet performance. It looked so real from all angles and hilariously entertaining at the same time. It was definitely one of the best stage performances I have ever seen and guaranteed to be enjoyed by everyone, not just children. One of the delegates was in tears from laughing.
Following the Sound of Music classic show last night, I had the privilege to go with the group to one of Impact Events optional tours – Sound of Music Tour. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to see the scenes of the movie up close and personal.
The tour sites include the Mirabell Gardens, the site where Maria and the 7 children sang ‘Do-Re-Mi.’ This was followed by a visit to the Nonnberg Abbey. Some of the scenes here include the opening part when nuns were going to mass and Maria showing up late, as well as the wedding of the Baron van Trapp and Maria.
We also had a chance to do some photo stops. These include the Leopoldskron Castle, the façade of the house of the Trapp family facing the lake; the Hellbrunn Palace, (where in the gardens, the glass pavilion/gazebo were reconstructed to serve attraction to the returning fans of the movie); the St Gilgen and Lake Wolfgang, scene at the beginning of the movie; and the Wedding Church Mondsee, the church site of the wedding and our last stop. The last stop also allowed us to walk around the area and sit down for a choice of coffee/tea or ice cream.
A Farewell Dinner was organized to celebrate the end of the Salzburg conference. This was done in a traditional Austrian evening at Steiglkeller Restaurant, located below the fortress. The restaurant had a fantastic view of the heart of the town. The night started with welcome cocktails on the terrace. Everyone enjoyed the view and the sound of a live traditional Austrian Folk music. The entertainment composed of traditional dancers, stage and audience performers continued through out the night. The night ended with a dance band. It was a fantastic evening!
Impact Events specializes in catering special events. Their professionalism and care, utmost diligence, attention and care, are the ultimate ingredients for a successful and most memorable event. Impact Events, it was a pleasure being part of a professional team!
Tuesday, 10 May, Fiona and I exchange adieus with the delegates.
I look forward to a post conference week holiday in Croatia. See you all in my next article as I cover this current hot destination in the Mediterranean.
© 2012 by Michelle Riel, retains sole copyright to her contributions to all the contents of this site.