As far as scenic views and all around beauty of the city, Salzburg is my favorite so far. While Vienna was also beautiful, it is still not quite as breathtaking as the harmony you see between the old and new towns of Salzburg that are separated by the “salt river”(named for the barges that used to carry salt down it). In just the areas we travelled around, there were about 4 different bridges we could take from old to new town and vice versa; we walked across each bridge at least once, each bridge unique, from a lock bridge full of combination and bike locks and many more, to Mozart’s bridge -small, but beautifully made with mulriple arches as you walk across.
We started our day at the Mirabel Palace in the colorful garden where part of the movie Sound of Music was filmed. On our walk from the train station to the gardens we picked up kebabs, which you can find on most streets in Europe The fact for under $4, and walked past the large open air market full of vendors selling clothes, jewelry, produce and many more yummy items. Once we got to the gardens we took a seat to eat our Kebabs before exploring the whimsical gardens. After walking around the gardens, we made our way to the fortress seen upon the hill. After walking up many steps and the steep sloping paths up the fortress, we felt like we couldn’t pass up going inside. While we’re still not sure if it was worth the 9.5€, it was still interesting to listen to the provided audio tour and learn about the fortress’ history. Better than the audio tour, the views from the top of the fortress and any of the fortress windows were amazing. From the top of the hill we could see both old and new Salzburg, and we could see the beautiful rolling hills, greenery covered mountains, and the snow capped mountains that stood high behind us in the distance. After wandering around the fortress, we made the trek back down to the old town (this was much easier than the walk up, luckily) and treated our selves for our hard work with some delicious gelato! We enjoyed our gelato while meandering the streets and stopping in a few shops before listening to another Rick Steves audio tour to guide us around the sites of the city.
While I still believe the Rick Steves audio tours are extremely cheesy, I am also so glad that we have had them for a lot of our stops. His tours take around and hour to an hour and a half and are really great at pointing out the must see stops in each city, as well as providing the important background information. While it’s fun to just walk and explore, I appreciate doing the tours after to really learn the significance of the places I may have just passed by, unaware of their history. With his tour of Salzburg, we learned a lot about Mozarts story in his hometown, stopping at a bridge named after him, his statue, his birthplace, and the church he grew up going to and also played the organ in for 2 years. In addition to everything Mozart, we stopped at St. Peter’s church and its catacombs, a few other churches in the area, the university and its square where a large open air market is held each morning, the theater and we also walked along a few other well known tourist streets lined with shops, wiener vendors, and grocery stores.
After our tour, our legs were exhausted and our feet hurt, so we decided it was time to head to the Augustiner, a well know beer house and beer garden. Inside the building the hallways were lined with different food vendors selling fish, different meets, salads, and of course pastries and beer. Anna and I settled on a few salads and calamari and Anna decided to try the beer. The process was pretty complicated as you have to pay for the mug, rinse it in the fountains to cool it down, and then you take a ticket which you must give to the person who fills up your mug. After you finish, you rinse your mug in the large fountains before setting them to the side to get cleaned. While it was a fun experience, we both felt the site was a little overrated as we weren’t huge fans of the food or beer. But hey, maybe we just don’t have those Austrian taste buds we needed.
After the beer adventure, we were exhausted and decided to head back to the hotel a little earlier than we usually do (9:30pm) so that we could enjoy a bottle of wine and take in all that was the real Vonn Trapp house, now a hotel called Villa Trapp. We looked at the pictures outside of the rooms that said whose room it once belonged to, accompanied by a small biography, and then went to the common area where we enjoyed a bottle of wine and wound down for the night. The next morning we enjoyed breakfast in the dining room, munching on fruit, toast, yogurt and some much needed caffeine!
- Villa Trapp
- The beautiful views
- The history and old and new town
- We’re starting to become better navigators yay!
- The bed was so comfy we slept in at Villa Trapp which was MUCH needed
- We are going to be all star speed walkers when we get back to the US
Next stop: Zurich