Ben quashes all dreams of the hills being alive
Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
137Trip End Nov 08, 2010
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Where I stayed
- The train left on time, but was 9 minutes late getting to Salzburg. We're no longer in the land of perfect efficiency!
- I understand a bare minimum of the German they speak (enough to buy things and order food), as opposed to that gobbledygook Swiss-German that I never got the hang of.
- I no longer swoon at the price of everything. In fact I smile!
- There is no corner of my mind busily going 'You're doing WHAT tomorrow? Are you nuts??'
- I can't poke my head out the window to see snow on the mountaintops. Although there are still lots of pretty mountains around.
Ben is very disappointed we had to leave Switzerland
We arrived in Salzburg after 8pm, and being the lazy creatures we are, we took a taxi to our hotel. But it's okay, because Austria is cheap! The taxi driver was really nice and spoke good English, and he pointed out all the sights of Salzburg and chatted happily to us on the way there. When he found out we were only staying a couple of nights, he was disappointed and told us we could stay in Salzburg for a year and do something different every day. We assume this is true, but are not planning to spend a year in Salzburg!
Our hotel was near the Old Town, which is surrounded on one side by this huge, regular rock upthrust. It is really weird - there's a few hills here and there but Salzburg is mostly flat, and suddenly there's this huge cliff of rock climbing into the sky. We went through a tunnel, and it turned out to be only about 100m thick, and it promptly disappeared in another cliff on the other side. I've never seen anything like it.
We opted to get up at a reasonable hour and go sightseeing the next morning so we could hopefully have half the afternoon to relax in our hotel, as we were still pretty tired from our adrenalin-fuelled week in Interlaken and full day of travel
We walked back through the strange rock upthrust, and walked around lots of the Old Town and a little bit of the New Town, on the other side of the river. Salzburg is bursting with churches, many of them very pretty, but we took pictures of the better ones and didn't bother going inside any. We're a bit churched out! Ben is also a bit town hall-ed and palace-d out, but I still enjoy palaces quite a lot, so he's still being dragged to them grumbling.
The Old Town is lovely, and it's where most of the churches are. It is bordered by the rock upthrust, the river and a fortress on a hill, which we took the funicular up to. It had great views but the fortress itself was quite white and plain. The state rooms of the archbishop were very good though; we think they're the oldest we've seen, as it was all wood and gilding rather than stone or paintings. And there was the most incredible ceramic stove ever!
There were a few nice plazas back down the hill, with lots of souvenir shops and gorgeous matched horses for touristy carriage rides
Over the river in the New Town, we walked past Mozart's house. They're very big on Mozart here. Mozart chocolate, Mozart paintings, Mozart concerts, heaps of buskers with violins... You can't come to Salzburg and leave without knowing Mozart was born here! They were doing restoration work, so there was some scaffolding over it, but we still saw it. Afterward, we went to the Schloss Mirabell Gardens and enjoyed the sunny day for a while.
I started at various points throughout the day to introduce a nice kitschy atmosphere by singing 'the Sound of Music'. The flaw in this plan was that I am quite possibly the worst singer known to mankind. Even people who love me tell me this, in tones that indicate that if they ever have to listen to me sing again, they will go and stick their head in a water trough until it is over. Or find some way to shut me up, fast. So I was quickly banned from singing. Dancing is apparently not on either - it was not banned, but he gave me funny looks and shuffled further away from me if I started to skip. He wouldn't download and watch the movie with me, either.
The obvious answer is I should have insisted on one of those Sound of Music tours they run through the countryside. But we did see a few minor things from the movie in Salzburg (eg, the Pegasus statue they dance do-re-mi around), so it really wasn't necessary, seeing as even I've only see the movie once, ages ago. It just seems to be a really big deal still in Salzburg.
After a pleasant late lunch of sushi, we went back to the hotel and had a blissfully lazy afternoon to ourselves. And it was awesome. Following this came a lovely lazy evening full of World Cup and messing around on the Internet, a reasonable sleep in, and racing to catch a train that we only just made. Which will be entirely blamed on Mum for Skyping me as I was getting ready.
Peace, love, and a drop of golden sun,
Amanda and Ben