I have always wanted to see Austria. When I was planning the trip with TT, Austria and Croatia were two of the countries that I desperately wanted to visit. Austria for the Alps and Croatia for Lake Bled. I have not and probably will not see Lake Bled this time but maybe on another trip, I will squeeze it in. However, I was able to fulfill a wish and see the Alps. I not only viewed the alps from afar, I was able to hike them! It was a real treat.
So, my trip to Salzburg started out bright and earlly. Two Saturday's ago, I was up and out of the hotel around 6am and at the Kornwestheim banholf 10 minutes later. My train was leaving from the Stuttgart hbf a little before 7 and I was more than on time. Once on the train, I basically sat back and relaxed. I read, dozed and read some more.
My train was originally supposed to arrive in Salzburg after 12pm but when I checked my watch and it said 11:55 and we were still in Germany, I knew it was going to be late. No big deal since the hostel is 24hr check in but they have 2 Sound of Music Tours per day, one at 9am and the other leaving at 2pm and from the looks of things, I wouldn't be able to catch my intended, two pm. I was right. We got in about 45 minutes later than scheduled and the 2nd group was already gone by the time I reached the hostel.
The hostel was really easy to find and about 10 minutes walking distance from the main station.
After checking in, dumping my bag and booking a tour for the next day (Sound of Music), I headed out. As a note, there was a Mozart 3-course dinner and music show that I would have loved to do but I was not aware of this so I didn't bring the appropriate clothing for such an event. When I get back to Salzburg, and I will (IGSML), there is this and one more tour I would like to participate in.
Using my map I got at the hostel (remembered this time Anita), I walked around marveling at the pretty buildings, the gorgeous colors and the nice cars! Yes, the cars are HOT in Salzburg. It seems that everyone owns a Audi or BMW!
Some observations so far on Salzburg:
-From the train I knew we had entered when I saw the gorgeous Alps.
-It is colder temperature wise. Obviously the mountains have something to do with that.
-There are a lot more open, green spaces. A lot of patures and cows. This was all viewed on the train while coming into the city.
What I really wanted on this trip was mountains, beautiful views and some serenity.
I set down Paracelsustr., the street the hostel is located on, intent on seeing Kapuziner Monastery but was easily sidetracked by the beauty that surrounded me. Salzburg is CLEAN!! I thought most parts of Ontario and Stuttgart were clean but Austria is almost pure, it is that clean. It was so clean that I took a big breathe and inhaled....nothing!! I tried a few more times and my lungs were rewarded with clean, pure, alps purified air. It was so nice to be in this environment, even for this short period of time.
I took many pictures of the gorgeous colorful buildings and soaked it all in. Instead of heading straight to the monastry, I walked slowly along the old town street of Linzer Gasse.
It was at this point that I stumbled across an old yet gorgeous graveyard and wandered in. It was purely by accident but it was really nice. It is beautifully maintained and clean. I discovered that Mozart's wife, Constanze, and two of his children were buried in this yard. I don't think I happened upon Mozart's grave site.
I never made it to the monastry as I kept walking Linzer Gasse after my lunch. I did however see the monastries entry and kept the location in my head for tomorrow. Next was the city center. It is all about old buildings, color, history, beauty and the Salzach river.
I saw a boat that was circling the city and thought I would catch it but after meandering too long, I missed it and didn't stick around for the next ride. There was just too much to see and do.
I kept walking and crossed a bridge and walked some more. Looking beyond, I was intrigued by a big white imposing structure I saw off in the distance. When I looked at the map, I discovered it was a castle so off I went. I walked with a purpose as I was excited to see this structure.
Right before I was to take the funicular (expensive at euro 10,50 return!!) up, I was distracted by another graveyard. I know the people who laid in this yard had to have mega bucks just looking at the ornate structures and grounds.
Now onto the fort. It is said that, Hohensalzburg Castle, is one of the largest and well preserved forts in Europe. Once off the funicular, I made my way to the front (I think) of the fortress and took a few pictures the buildings edge. I was scared because I was really, really high up but I took them anyway. The sights of Salzburg from this height was breathtaking.
I walked up some stairs, on spaghetti legs mind you, so that I could explore more. My first stop was at the Marionette museum. I've always thought these dolls are slightly creepy but I still checked the place out. The museum had a old and musty scent. I think it is partially due to the marionettes themselves which was seriously antique. And scary looking.
I walked further along the fortress and stopped at another section (the place is huge) to check out the city view from another angle.
After taking some pictures and soaking it all up, I moved on.
Back in the old town, I headed in the general direction of the hostel but I sort of detoured. I stopped in a park and relaxed a bit. Then I decided to head back to the hostel for real but was once again distracted!
There was a mob of people and a beautiful yellow building in front of me. I had to check it out.
It happened to be the Palace of Mirabell (Mirabelle schloss). I took pictures including a unicorn, pretty flowers, a gable that for some reason reminded me of the book "Anne of Green Gables" and a miniture green maze.
More walking and then the hostel. This afternoon, when I originally arrived, I booked a Sound of Music tour for the next day but my heart was not into it. Don't get me wrong, I wanted and still do, the sound of music but what really drew me was a tour called Ice Cave Tours. At the hostel I quickly changed the sound of music for this adventure tour. A bit more up my alley. I was a bit more interested, in my limited time, in climbing the Alps and part of a sculptures shaped purely by water, nature and God.
Dinner was being prepped at the hostel so I went into the dining room to see what was happening in the meantime. I met and chatted with some girl there as we both struggled to get a movie playing on the tv/dvd/vcr combo thingy. I ordered Pizza Margarita for my dinner and ate while reading. I have to admit that after my day of travel and exploration, I was getting tired. Instead of heading in though, I went online for a while and then met my roommates in the room.