Traveling to Austria

From Munich we went on to Salzburg, Austria.  This was another place on my list of “places to visit” while living here in France.  From the very first time I watched The Sound of Music, as a little girl, I have been smitten with Austria.  I had never been except until last month!  Another dream became reality!  We left Munich in the afternoon and approached Salzburg just at sundown (It was only 1.5 hour drive).  Some of the views from the road where incredible.

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We couldn’t see Salzburg from the auto route because it is nestled in the foothills/hills of the mountains.  But, I knew we had arrived when the Salzburg Fortress came into view!


We located our hotel room, ate at a little italian restaurant next to our hotel, settled in for the night and tried to sleep, despite my excitement for the next day!!!!


Cultura is a store here that has a little bit of everything.  It is a mix of Barnes & Noble, Hobby Lobby, Best Buy, Toys “R” Us and a music store all in one.  I was looking for something specific the other day, and as I was walking around looking at everything I came across this display of buttons.  I smiled and took some pictures.  In America, whenever I have needed buttons for sewing or crafts I always ended up buying a card with 2,3,4 or more buttons attached.  Over the years, I came across a few specialty stores that sold individual buttons.  But, for the most part, I end up buying more than what I need.  I have a button box back in storage that is all the “extra” buttons that I never used.  So, when I saw this display I was happy.  They were grouped according to color and texture and stored in plastic tubes.  It was fun and different than anything I have seen in America.

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Dachau Concentration Camp

My interest in the Holocaust was sparked in 8th grade on Long Island New York.  I was in a history class in which we had a special guest speaker.  An elderly woman who survived the concentration camps!  I remember seeing her number tattooed on her arm and hearing her horrific recollections of her life during that dark period of time.  While I was in the Cold Spring Harbor High School library listening to her, I remember looking around at my Jewish friends and thinking how could one person lead nations and people to hate a race in a short amount of time.  My heart was then drawn to this subject of the Holocaust. I have read a lot on this subject and each time I do I am saddened, horrified, dumbfounded and compelled to read and study more.  I don’t know why this part of history pulls at me so hard.  Maybe I am trying to understand history to be able to recognize it repeating itself, or, just trying to understand cultures and lives that were so quickly destroyed on every side of the battle.

My desire to visit a concentration camp became reality when we were in Germany.  It was one of the things on my “places to visit” list while we are in Europe.  We visited the Dachau concentration camp.  It was incredibly cold and grey!  Our whole family visited the exhibits and then Aaron took Tristan, Jack and Sophie back to a gift shop/cafeteria, while AJ, Austin and I watched a short film, toured the barracks and the crematorium.  It was a humbling, sad and sobering experience.  The boys were a little uncomfortable during the film, but I wanted them to witness what took place on the grounds we were visiting.  It was and continues to be hallow ground.

Dachau was the first concentration camp to be built and used as a prototype for other camps.  I could spend post after post sharing the stories and information I learned and know about Dachau, but I do not want to.  I only wish to share all the photos I took and I know they do not effect all five senses, but I hope it causes a stirring of the heart.  It did for me this day as I was able to touch, feel and listen to this historical site.

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Not many years ago the original railroad tracks were excavated.  We were able to walk on them and visualize those prisoners getting off the cattle cars and seeing their new reality that awaited them.  It was right along this path to the entrance of the camp.

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This is one of the rooms where dead bodies were stored to go into the crematorium.  It was right next to the room with the chimneys.

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Starnberg, Germany

After the Temple trip we headed to Munich, Germany area.  My dear friend, Kathleen Sneddon, has a son, Michael, and his family that live in Munich.  We have met them on previous occasions in Utah and met up with their son, Nathan, at a Stake Conference here in France back in November.  Michael, Jenny and children were so kind in opening up their home to all 7 of us.  They have a lovely home in Starnberg, about 30 minutes outside of Munich.  Each of the kids got along so well.  I think right from the start these kids had a common bond: living overseas and wanting to be with other Americans! :)  We all had a comfortable bed to sleep on and wonderful food to eat.

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The Sneddons live in a quaint little town on Lake Starnberg.  We happened to be there on Valentine’s Day, so the 4 adults/2 couples went out to dinner at a lakeside restaurant.  It was very pretty and the food was good.  I had real “wiener schnitzel” and was pleasantly surprised that I liked it.  I guess I never knew exactly what it was.  Now I do.  It is a deep fried piece of veal prepared Viennese style, meaning the veal is flattened, dipped in batter and fried.  Viennese referring to Vienna, Austria.  Interesting bit of information.  Anyway, the 4 of us had great conversation and we had to pull ourselves away to return to our children and to allow Michael to get some sleep before Sunday morning responsibilities. We had a lovely time!

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Recyclable Clothing

Europe is extremely keen on recycling.  Nothing seems to go to waste in this part of the world.  Peoples lives are somewhat simple and routine.  Recycling fits into this routine.  A number of months ago I started noticing a green recycle bin at our local Carrefour.  It has “vetements” (clothing) written on it.  After noticing this bin, I began to take notice of other clothing recyclable bins in other locations.  I have seen them on the outskirts of neighborhoods (this is where the recycle bins usually are) right next to the bins for glass, plastics, etc.  This is so convenient!  France has the recycle convenience win over America, or at least Logan.


I decided to give it a try.  Sophie and the other kids have out grown a few items of clothing that I know we will not bring back with us.  I was storing them not knowing what to do or where to take them until I noticed these clothing recycle bins.  Plus, I do not have to take an extra trip to a different store.  I can either drop the items off at the local grocery store location that I frequent (almost every other day) or the bins I have noticed coming and going from Nîmes.  I have used these a few times now and love the convenience!


This is a sticker that is on all the clothing recycle bins.  I have been doing my research on the date, 29 July, 1881.  There was a law passed on this date called Law on the Freedom of the Press.  I am still unclear why this is displayed on the recycle bins.  Maybe so everyone knows to respect the right to voluntarily donate?  Not sure?  Any french readers understand why this is posted?  It evens states at the bottom, “under penalty of persecution”.  Aaron didn’t understand the meaning behind this advertisement.

Nonetheless, I am thankful for this convenience I discovered!  :)