As I mentioned in my post What Traveling Means to Me, my trip to Salzburg was impromptu…must get out of town and regain some sense of balance and love for living after the insanity that is my life at work.
The drive to Salzburg was nice, but when I arrived it was cold and overcast. None the less, I got settled in to my hotel and decided to start exploring. My hotel was a little farther from the center of Salzburg then I thought, but it’s not like walking bothers me. I headed into the center of town in search of Mozart’s birth place and childhood home, which is now a museum. I’ve always been a fan of classical music, so to be able to walk through Mozart’s childhood home and learn more about his early beginnings and life was quite a treat. I took my time making my way through each room, and discovered what I knew about Mozart was either false or very limited…it definitely debunked what I’d “learned” from the movie Amadeus.
Once I left Mozart’s, I simply did what I do best, I just wondered about. There are many shops to visit…some filled with Mozart and Sound of Music tokens, and many others that offer higher end shopping for clothes and other things. The cobble stone streets, baroque architecture and the massive Festung Hohensalzburg dominating the high ground make for great sightseeing; however, it was getting cold and I was hungry. I started heading back to the hotel, stopped to grab a quick bite to eat at a local restaurant, and called it a day.
The next morning, I was picked up for my Sound of Music Tour. If you go to Salzburg, I highly recommend taking this tour provided by Salzburg Panorama Tours. The day started out overcast and chilly, so it was nice to kick back in the bus and listen to the story of the von Trapp family. To my ignorance, I had no idea the Sound of Music was in fact based on a true story. The tour stops include: Mirabell Gardens, Leopoldskron Palace, Hellbrunn Palace, Gazebo, Nonnberg Abbey, Mondsee – Wedding Chapel and Salzburg Lake District Area – St Gilgen. I won’t spoil the tour for you…just be sure to take it if you find yourself in Salzburg.
For the afternoon, I was signed-up for another tour (of the salt mines) but the sun was out, I was yet again hungry and didn’t feel like spending more time on a bus. Instead, I thought I would get more out of heading up the steep hill to check out the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The Fortress is not like any other castle I’ve toured in Europe. It is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe; it’s very well maintained and standing strong.
Once I made my way back down, I stopped in to walk around The Petersfriedhof, or St. Peter’s Cemetery, the oldest Christian graveyard in Salzburg, dating back to 1627. Another worthy stop while in Salzburg.
Once more cold and hungry, I found a restaurant where I enjoyed a meal and a glass of wine before returning to the hotel tired, and satisfied with my day’s worth of exploring. The following day, I headed back ready to roll up my sleeves and get back to work.