Day 9 – Sightseeing in Salzburg

While spending two nights in a place seems like a long time, in reality it only gives you one full day.  This was a shame because I would have liked to have stayed longer.  But we made do with what we had and I was glad we decided to come.

At any rate, we woke early the next morning.  The sun was shining and I stood gazing out at our Alpine view.  We hurried down to breakfast, which contained the same items as most other places – meats, cheeses, cereals (including muesli), bread, rolls, and soft-boiled eggs.  And of course, coffee…
We met a young couple from Canada at breakfast.  They were on holiday from Victoria and told us how to catch the bus outside to get into town.  We decided that busing would be easier than driving, since it is difficult and expensive to park in the old town section.  The bus was a couple of Euros and the stop was right outside the pension. We were soon whizzing into the Aldstadt (old town) area.

Funicular heading up to fortress

The bus let us off by the river and we grabbed our map and started walking.  The first thing we saw was the huge Hohensalzburg fortress high on the hills above town.  We were going to try to get up there, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to, given my fear of heights.  Pat read that the funicular that goes up there runs at an almost vertical angle.  The other option was to walk, but it involved many many steps uphill, and I still wasn’t sure if I could manage the heights involved.

Musicians in Salzburg

There was still much to see and do, though.  We decided to just wander through the town and play it by ear.
The first street we hit was a charming cobblestone array of quaint shops and cafes.  Shopping it is!
Thirty minutes later I found a cute wool cardigan vest for Bjorn, and Pat bought some very cool hats – one for herself and one for a gift.
After that, we just kept walking.  The Allstadt is fairly small so we made our way through the Dom (Salzburgh’s cathedral), and several incredibly ornate churches. We also wound our way through the marketplace, which held an array of wonderful sausages, cheeses, breads, pastries and absolutely beautiful fruits and vegetables.  I snapped a few to show some of the people at Turner Farms, as they had some interesting berries and a pumpkin in a color that was almost coral.
Since we hadn’t had lunch yet, we picked up some sandwiches and sausages and stopped at a table to eat.  The sausage I got was juicy and tasty.  I am amazed at the endless variety of sausages that are offered.  There was one that I am addicted to (unfortunately, I forgot to write down the name).  I also had a Steigl beer, which is brewed by a local Salzburg brewery, and is quite tasty.

Salzburg cathedral

We continued on our walking tour through town, ogling at the beautiful buildings and sights and munching on chocolate.  I bought a couple of Mozart Kugles, which are round chocolate balls stuffed with marzipan that have been a specialty of the hotel since the late 1800’s.
We stopped and listened to wonderful musicians, including a four-man group that played very interesting folk music.  One had a large instrument that was held like a cello, but was large and rectangular shaped.

Musician in square

After that, we found a very cool old cemetery that was tucked away in a little side area.  Some of the stones were centuries old, but there were also much newer graves here.
Next we had cafe at the Cafe Thomaselli, which has been around since the 1700’s (and was visited by Mozart), then split up for a while, as I wanted to head back to Mozart’s birthplace.  It was a huge yellow building, but the family only lived on one floor.


It was somewhat interesting, but not really worth the 7 Euros I paid.  There wasn’t much to see, other than a few documents in German and a few miscellaneous items, so I left after doing a cursory walk through.
After that, I headed over to one of the many bridges by the river to meet Pat.  It was nice to sit and relax by the river and watch the people go by.  There were loads of bicycles around – both Germany and Austria are heavily populated with bicyclists, which is great.  I would love to come back and do a biking tour of this area.

Old gravestone

Once Pat joined me, we decided to take a break and head back to the hotel for a while.  We caught the no. 21 bus back to our pension and dumped our purchases in the room.  I wanted to check out the property so I headed back down and walked around back.  It really was beautiful – evidently the Ballweins did some farming, as they had a tractor in back and I could catch the scent of manure.  The pasture in back, which led all the way to the mountains, was the same rich green color I’d seen throughout Germany.
At this point, we had no internet access and also wanted to do some laundry, so we found a place listed in Rick Steves’ book that allowed both.  We grabbed the car and after some maneuvering, we found a parking garage nearby and parked the car then headed into Bubblepoint.  At that point, I realized that Pat didn’t need to do laundry and hadn’t brought any (she told me earlier, but I must not have heard), so I loaded up my stuff in the washer.  Luckily, there were instructions in German and English.

Tiny church in Salzburg

Bubblepoint offered computers and internet service, but since we had Pat’s netbook, we figured we’d just look for a place with free wi-fi while the laundry washed.  We found a cafe two places down with wi-fi, ordered a beer for me and cafe latte for Pat, and logged on.   It was nice being able to check email again, and publish my blog.
After the laundry was done and we had our fill of the internet, we left to go back to our car.  I found the exit signs (Ausfahrt) and headed on up.  When we got to the place where you exit, however, we ran into a problem.  There was no attendant, and when we tried plugging in the parking card we received earlier, a message in German flashed on the machine, none of which I could understand.
Finally, Pat noticed a call button, so I pressed it.  A woman’s voice came on in German, and I frantically said, “We are English and we don’t know how to pay to get out of the parking garage.”
There was dead silence for a moment, then the gate in front of us lifted and the garage door opened up onto the street.  We looked at each other, and I quickly yelled out “Danke!”, shifted gears and drove up towards the street before the gates came down again. Pat and I figured that it was easier for them to let us out without paying, then to try to explain to us what to do.  Whatever—we were happy for small favors.

Schloss Leopold (Captain Von Trapp's home in "Sound of Music")

On the way back to the hotel, I wanted to run by Schloss Leopold, which is now an upscale hotel and conference center, but decades ago was the site for part of the movie, “The Sound of Music.”  It provided the outside setting for the Captain’s house, including the party he had where the Baroness showed up.  We parked nearby and walked over, ignoring the signs that said that the premises were for guests only (yes, I can be a rude tourist at times, but it looked fairly quiet and I figured we wouldn’t disturb anyone).

Lake behind Schloss Leopold (shown in movie)

It was incredibly beautiful and just as I remembered it from the movie.  The back of the house (which is the part that was used in the movie) has a large balcony that leads down to a crystal clear lake.    We got as close as possible and took as many photos as we dared, then finally left as it looked like they were getting ready to start some sort of party or event in the back.
After dropping off the laundry at the pension, we decided to go to Augustiner Brewery for dinner. This is a huge brewery started by Augustine monks in 1621.  By this time, we were becoming an expert on Salzburg streets and drove there in no time at all.  It is a huge complex and we had no problem finding it.  We parked the car (Pat grabbed the parking ticket just in case) and walked in.

Augustiner Brewery

It was huge – the outdoor beer gardens were ablaze with lights and filled with people, laughing and carousing and waving their big beer steins around.  This is no “sit down and order” restaurant – instead you visit one of the many food stands scattered throughout the buildings, pick what you want to eat and carry it to your table.  If you want a beer (and most everyone does), you pay at the beer stand, pick up a large stone mug and take it to get filled from the large wooden barrel that all Augustiner beer is stored in.
It was a lot of fun and the food was good.  Pat and I each got a plate of ribs, served with a potato, sour cream and cabbage salad and headed outside to eat.  I also grabbed a beer and we sat and ate and watched the crowds around us.  It was Saturday night and was evidently a very popular spot, both with locals and tourists.  The buildings also housed cavernous eating rooms and there were lots of people eating inside, but the majority seemed to be enjoying the outside tables.
We finally left to go back to our pension.  This time, we decided to be smart and ask ahead of time how to pay for parking.  When Pat approached one of the cashiers with her ticket, he took it and stamped it and told us that it was free.  We were batting a thousand with the parking!
After that, we headed back to Haus Ballwein and sleep.  Tomorrow — back to Munich and a visit to Dachau concentration camp.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Linda Olive
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 00:22:48

    It looks like you are having a great trip, and it brings back lots of great memories from my trip to Salzburg a few years ago. I keep
    pestering my husband to go again, but first I want to visit the Trapp Lodge in Vermont. So many Sound of Music things to do!


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