Last weekend Stephen and I took a last minute trip to Salzburg, Austria!
(Was that your guess?) We had talked about going for about a week, but we didn’t know if Stephen would get the time off. Then on Thursday, he came home from work proudly reporting that he didn’t have to go in on Friday or Monday. Long weekend! That’s just the right amount of time to make the 3 and a half hour drive to Salzburg and stay a few nights.
I was highly disappointed that we didn’t get any new stamps in our passports; we just drove right across the border with no fanfare. (Although, I am glad we avoided the hassle of a border crossing!) For a while we weren’t even sure if we were still in Germany or if we’d crossed over. (We saw a sign about 1000 meters after that discussion.)
The best thing about Salzburg: looking at all the old stuff!
We kicked off our Saturday explorations by walking through the decorative tunnel carved right in the mountain leading to Old Town Salzburg. I love how functional things (like tunnels) are made beautiful in Europe.
The numero uno site I wanted to see here was the Mirabell Garden.
We had to walk a couple km to get there, but it was a trek so worth it. Best garden I’ve seen yet. I loved the statues, the flowing flower designs, the fountain. And part of The Sound of Music was filmed here! (“Do Re Mi” my friends! Jumping up on the stairs! That was here!)
Once we crossed the garden we looked back and got an incredible view.
You can see the gardens, the fortress in the distance, the river, and all the old buildings in between.
About the time we were done at Mirabell, the rain picked up. We didn’t let it damper our spirits. We were only in Salzburg for the weekend, and we were determined to make the best of it!
We walked right through Mozart Platz, we walked on by the very big, very old church, and made our way to the Festung (Fortress) Hohensalzburg.
We spent a lot of time here. We walked around the entire outside, looked out on the city, and then we ate lunch here. (Penne pasta for both of us because we needed energy!) Then we took the audio tour so we could see the inside of the Fortress. (There was a torture chamber that we really wanted to see, but it turns out no one was tortured here. Let down! It was just used to hold torturing devices.)
After taking the festungbahn (fortress tram) down the mountainside, we went off in search of more food.
Macaroons for her:
Apple Strudel for him:
We walked down a fantastically crowded street that Stephen dubbed Diagon Alley (a la Harry Potter). There are over 900 shops and restaurants squeezed into little ol’ Salzburg. If I was more of a shopping woman, I would have been in shopping heaven. Alas, I’m more of a look around and eat woman.
The last stop of the day was Hellbrunn Schloss.
It was used by Markus Sittikus in the 1700’s as a day house. (He’d visit it during the day and return to Salzburg in the evening. The house doesn’t even have any bedrooms!)
You may also recognize it as the front of the Von Trapp house in The Sound of Music. (It’s not the real house and they didn’t do any shooting of the inside, to my knowledge.) The outside of the house has multiple pools, gardens, and green pastures. My favorite part was the pavilion:
16 Going on 17! Leisl dances in the pavilion in the movie. This is the real deal, although this isn’t where it was originally located, it’s locked to the public so you can’t go in, and interior shots of the pavilion were filmed in Hollywood. I still thought it was cool.
We finished up our day with dinner at a place called Gasthaus Wilder Mann, a traditional Austrian restaurant. Bavarian food ain’t really my style, so I didn’t love it, but Stephen really enjoyed it. (He gobbled up his schnitzel and fries and washed them down with two big ol’ beers. When in Austria!)
That was our entire Saturday. On Friday and Monday we took two separate trips up the mountains to see the Eagle’s Nest (Hitler’s vacation retreat in Berchtesgaden, Germany.) I’ll give you all the deets on that tomorrow.
Any other Sound of Music fans? I sang the songs the entire weekend!*