One of the 23 different waterfalls in Slunj, Croatia.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Slunj, Croatia.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Hellbrunn Palace and the Trick Fountains, then drive to Gmund

We left the RV park in Salzburg by 8:00am. Used all the facilities so that Max has empty holding tanks and a full fresh water tank, and his batteries are fully charged. 

We still had one more attraction that we wanted to see that was included with our Salzburg tourist cards, and we had to make sure we gained admission before the cards expired at 10:40am. Hellbrunn Palace is located south of the city, so it was along our route heading south anyhow.

We stopped at a fuel station to buy the €9.50 ($13.70 CAD, $11 USD) highway toll pass for Austria. 

Then it was another half hour or so to Hellbrunn Palace.

Scenery along the way.

Hellbrunn Palace was built by Prince-Archbishop Markus Sittikus who was the leader of Salzburg until his death in 1619. It was his summer residence where he entertained groups of people with his Trick Fountains.

Hellbrunn Palace.

At the entrance, we got tickets for the 10:30am tour. It's pretty much self guided with an included audio stick, but the trick fountains are only turned on when groups of people are standing around, so it's in your best interest to keep up with the group.

Also, be aware of where the ground is wet. If you are standing in a spot where the ground is wet, you are also likely to get wet! The fountains can be very random and often you don't know where the water is coming from.

The Roman Theater.

Everybody gathering around.

There is a big stone table and chairs in front of the theater. Apparently the Prince-Archbishop would have all of his guests sit at the table, and then he would unexpectedly turn on the fountains. Of course one stream of water came up from the stool directly where they were seated. Every seat had a fountain... except for the one the Prince-Archbishop sat at. All of the fountains were designed so that he didn't get wet at all!

All of the fountains turned on.

Consider that all of this was built over 400 years ago! The water came from underground springs, but was pressurized by filling gravity tanks higher up. At the time, the tanks were filled by hand, the only difference now is that they are filled by electric pumps.

This fellow is very prehistoric looking!

This ball would float freely in the fountain.

The back of the palace.

Water squirting out of the antlers!

The grottos.

This room was purposely built to give the impression it was about to fall apart.

The Mechanical Theater is the most recent addition to the Trick Fountains. It was built and installed between 1748 and 1752... more than 100 years after the death of the Prince Archbishop!

It contains 142 mobile figurines, with water pressure providing the force to move the figurines.

I took a video for you. Turn up your volume, because it is also water pressure that powers the organ...

The Mechanical Theater at Hellbrunn Palace.

Some people having fun with the fountains.

Water spewing everywhere.

Somebody had quite the imagination.

The fountains were really fun. We enjoyed this part of our day! But we still had to have a quick tour of the palace, and then get on the road because we wanted to do the drive through the mountains before the forecast bad weather appeared. We had such a beautiful blue sky it was hard to believe there was three days of rain on the way.

Hellbrunn Palace.
There is some kind of odd "modern" art display. 
Looked to me like a plane crash, but what do I know??

Ruth, with a stuffed unicorn.

This room was painted in 1612!

Ruth, and the original gazebo used in The Sound of Music scene with
Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

We headed out and got on the A-10 highway leading to south Austria through the mountains.

When I said that the highway went through the mountains, I was serious.
There are quite a few tunnels.

Scenery along the way.

There are quite a few avalanche protectors.

And quite a few castles.
We could spend a lot of time in this area during better weather.

Fantastic scenery.

More snow barriers.

There was one tunnel that was over 6 kms (3.7 miles) long. It had a separate toll charge, I'm guessing because both the free road and the toll road have to use this tunnel. There is no other easy route through the mountains. It cost €12.50 ($18 CAD, $14.50 USD).

We stopped in the town of Gmund to do some grocery shopping. I had an overnight spot planned a little further on, but we decided to stay here. It's just a parking lot, but it's quiet and free and used by motorhomers for a one night stop on a regular basis. Besides, there is a castle here we want to see, and a lot of hiking trails in the area. We are due for some exercise!

Just before dinner, we saw an old rig pull in, and the guy got out and wandered over and knocked on our door. Of course he saw our German licence plate and assumed we spoke German. But it turns out his English is perfect as well. We had a quick conversation, and ended up inviting him over for a drink after dinner. It turns out he has his girlfriend traveling with him, so they both came over.

Kevin, with Yadira and Michael.

Michael is originally from Germany and he met his girlfriend Yadira in Panama. Obviously the discussion centered around travel. He has owned his old rig for about 30 years and has done a lot of overland travel in Africa. I will get photos of his rig this morning before they leave and include them in tomorrow's blog post.

So... that was a busy day! We are taking a day off today just to wander around town and do some hiking.

Yesterday's drive, 151 kms (94 miles).


And in Canada... has a whole bunch of Prime Exclusive Deals on right now.


  1. Wow, another amazing day! The age of everything is what boggles the mind, so well kept up too!

    1. It was another amazing day, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the weather was perfect for our drive through the mountains.

      We totally agree with you about the age of things over here in Europe and for the most part how well they are kept up too! Mind you many of these buildings have been destroyed by fire or wars and rebuilt, they have also been renovated and added on to throughout the years so I think there are very few that are still in their original state, however it is still amazing to see.

  2. What a Beautiful country. Hiking heaven .

    1. It certainly is! If the weather was warmer and we had more time we could easily stay in this area for a while and never hike the same route twice. :-)

  3. Wow beautiful drive and love the gazebo where sound of music was filmed.

    1. The drive was gorgeous and we are sure it would have been even better had we taken the free road but we didn't want to run into the real cold temperatures or snow, so we cheated and took the toll road.

      I was a little disappointed with the gazebo. I thought maybe it would have had a pretty flower garden surrounding it, it just sort of seemed out of place where it was and not so attractive as I thought it might have been.

    2. I thought the same thing - it's almost like(grudgingly), "Well, we better leave it here because of the movie.".

    3. We totally agree! We have heard that the Austrians aren't particularly fond of "The Sound of Music" movie, we don't know if this is true but looking at the gazebo makes we think it probably is!

  4. Not an airplane crash, it must be an Airstream trailer that broke loose from its tow vehicle. :c)

    1. Lol, or maybe it was an airplane that crashed into an Airstream trailer!

  5. What amazing scenery for your drive...Austria is gorgeous and very green. Just lovely. I had to chuckle when I saw the gf's name was Yadira. We get (junk) mail for a Yadira Rodriguez here at the rental house, and according to our landlady, she hasn't lived here for five years. Maybe she moved to Panama? ;-)

    1. It was definitely a beautiful drive, we can only imagine how much better it would have been had we taken the free road. Next time we are in the area, we will take that road instead. We love Austria, when we were out hiking yesterday, I mentioned to Kevin that it felt like we were in Switzerland, at least from the pictures I have seen from Switzerland. We look forward to doing more exploring of Austria when the weather is better maybe late spring or even in September some time in the future.

      Lol, pretty sure it's not the same Yadira but a funny story none the less.

  6. Cool,you are having fun,we may have two same as you two are! I love the lifestyle, you have many cool experience! Rawn Stone

    1. It really is hard to not like this lifestyle, we are totally enjoying it and all the exploring that comes with it. :-)

  7. Another great share, thanks and I’m thinking your granddaughter will love the unicorn

    1. Lol, Kevin took a picture of the unicorn with his phone and immediately sent the picture to our daughter so she could show it to Sadie! :-)


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