Friday, January 8, 2010

Salzburg Trip

Do you hear the Sound of Music? ;-)

The first time, I have been to Salzburg was in 2004 (I think) with my mother over the weekend for her birthday. Other than the obligatory sightseeing, we had tickets for a dinner and chamber music package... A total tourist trap, but since we were tourists... Back then I looked through a couple of sightseeing flyers and stumbled over the "Sound Of Music Tour" and didn't have a clue what they were talking about. Newsflash here... Even though the movie takes place in Austria, it is way famous around here than in Germany (I can't talk about Austria). So when I moved over here, that whole flyer finally made sense. Although I sometimes jokily refer to the movie, I have never seen the whole thing (same goes for "Titanic")... It's too long and the singing makes me gag after half an hour. Noooo... I am not a musical hater... I just don't really care for this one.

And now I got completely sidetracked at what actually should be a travel report for our one day tour to Salzburg, Austria.

From where we were staying in Bavaria, there is a direct train connection to Salzburg every two hours. So one morning we hopped on the train and while we were travelling, we soaked in the scenery... unfortunately without snow... it would have been even prettier with a little dusting.

Taking a nap on the train.

First glimpse at the Alps.

After getting off the train we stopped by the tourist information to get the scoop and what kind of tours they offered in English. After a little deliberation we decided to do a 1.5 hour walking tour starting at the Mozart square in two hours or so. First order of business was to test out their public transportation (bus) and make our way to the historic downtown to snoop around a little and grab a bite to eat.

The walking tour turned out to be a good decision. Our tour guide was knowledgeable but didn't overwhelm you with too much information. On the other hand, if you had additional questions, she was able to answer them. Every now and then she made a reference to the Sound of Music and how this song was supposed to play here, but was actually done in a studio in Hollywood type information. Since it was a walking tour, it was limited to the old historic city (they kind of have a newer historic city too) which also kept the volume on information to be processed in bearable limits. After the tour we crossed the Salzsach to also make some postcard pictures from the Mirabell Gardens looking at the Hohensalzburg.

Year plate on St. Pete Cemetery... One year older than America! ;-)

Mozart's birthplace in the Getreidegasse.

On a bridge over the Salzach with the historic city as backdrop.

Mirabell Gardens

After the Mirabell Gardens, we returned to the older part of the city and did touristy stuff e.g. shopping. After a little debate back and forth, we finally decided not to pass the opportunity and visit the Hohensalzach Castle before heading back. The cable car ride up the castle just takes 45 seconds and all the access for museums at the castle is included in the fair. First order of business was to walk around the castle on the outside and get all the scenic views over the city and the Alps. After that we wanted to do the audio guided tour but the line was loooooong and not moving whatsoever and time started to press since we were shooting for catching the 5PM train. So we skipped the tour 1 (audio guided) and moved on to tour 2 right away.... No lines and we know why.... It was pretty boring unless you are interested in Austrian military uniforms over the centuries. To finished up and after walking around a little confused to find the cable car entrance again, we made it back to the city.

View from castle over city.

View from castle at the Alps.

The last adventure of the day was catching the right bus to bring us back to the train station. We stopped at several wrong bus stops but fortunately didn't hop on a bus. Since I am not scared to ask for directions, we got pointed the way and made it back with time to spare in a PACKED train. Obviously we were not the only ones that had the Salzburg day trip idea.

After getting back to Vilsbiburg, we met up with a friend for dinner and ice cream and with the check each of us got a free piece of cake. Was that a perfect day OR WHAT??

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