The next day, I got up around 5:15 so I could get to the train station for my 6:40 train to Salzburg. It was a long ride — about 5 hours — but it was easily the most gorgeous part of my trip because the whole ride took me through the Alps and there is nothing like sitting in a very comfortable train seat and going through snowy towns and by rivers and woods and such. It was quite relaxing!
I got to Salzburg around 12:30 and headed to my hostel which wasn’t far away at all. I think this was my favourite hostel (trying to remember all of them!) because it was pretty cheap, very clean, and it played The Sound of Music every evening at 8:00 in the lounge. Also, it was located right near the Mirabell Gardens which is where a bit from the song Do, Re, Mi was filmed :) After I checked in and got settled, I headed out on a walking tour of the city. I had a fantastic tour book for this city, and the self-guided walking tour took me around all of the major sites. The catch? It was pouring rain most of the time… Oh well, I had an umbrella and a rain jacket so I survived! My book got a little wrinkled, but I think it makes it look well-travelled.
I saw the statue of Mozart in the, wait for it, Mozartplatz, that was put there on the 50th anniversary of his death. Salzburg, and most of Austria in general, makes a big deal out of the fact that Mozart was born there so his face is on everything! Sometimes it’s a bit tacky, but sometimes it works. Another one of my favourites was the Neue Residenz and the Glockenspiel, which has been around since about the 17th century and chimes in the morning and evening. It doesn’t sound like church bells, but more like handbells and the sound is really charming. I also climbed up the face of the Monchsburg cliff face near the festival hall to get some beautiful (albeit cloudy) views of the city — I got better ones the next day when it was sunny. My tour book had also recommended a little bakery near St. Peter’s cemetery that is famous for its rolls which it sells for only a Euro, so after walking around in the rain for the longest time trying to find it, I stumbled upon it and was very grateful for the warmth! It’s the oldest bakery in Salzburg and I think it’s been around since the 13th century or so. Let’s just say it was so worth getting soaked because it was the best brioche I have had in my entire life— so light and warm and sweet, and there were a few raisins in it — I was in heaven! I finished my walking tour and headed back to get into dry clothes for The Sound of Music!
The next day was my full day in Salzburg so I had breakfast in the hostel and set out for the city centre again. I visited a few of my favourites from the previous day and then began a long uphill trek to the Hohensalzburg Fortress which had been highly recommended. This has been around since the 700s and I got to see an exhibit where they have models detailing how it has grown since then. It hasn’t been used as an actual fortress in quite some time (since 1860), but Napoleon used it as a military barracks when he was off being Napoleon. I also got to see the fortress interior which hasn’t been modernised or lived in since the 1500s and at the end of the tour, they took us up top where I saw the Alps in their full beauty and it’s something I will never forget.
After I had seen as much as I could of the fortress, I took a funicular down to the old city and then crossed over the newer part of the city. I walked along the Steingasse which is full of history: I saw the alleged birthplace of the composer who wrote Silent Night (Joseph Mohr), and then a wall that had been gouged out a bit at the end of WWII because an American GI tried to get his tank up the street to visit a brothel. Good job, guys.
That was it for my day in Salzburg and it was quite a full day, so I was happy to relax with The Sound of Music that night…yes, again :)
Inspired to be,