I had a friend visiting for the past week (*edited to add: for my regular readers, this was when Milos visited me in Vienna for the first time. It was just the beginning of our amazing fairy tale romance), and during his stay, we decided to take a side trip to Salzburg. I had never been and it had been top on my list of places to visit while here. About a month or so before heading to Europe, I found a great deal on a hotel in the old city section of Salzburg. (My review is below, a few paragraphs down…)
We caught the 11:14am train out of the Westbahnhof (train station in Vienna) and in two hours and forty-five minutes, we were in Salzburg. Because I have a RailPass, all my train travel in Europe is covered and included. (I have a two month unlimited pass.) I think there are only a few exceptions of countries I can’t visit. Once we got to the train station in Salzburg, we hopped a bus to the part of town near our hotel. (And just a word of caution – even though public transit here works on the honor system – there ARE officials who are dressed undercover who check!!! Be warned! We may or may not have learned that from experience….on the bus…. in Salzburg….)
Our hotel was the Hotel Elefant in the old city section – where the streets were strictly for pedestrians and everything looked, well, super pretty! All the buildings had that old world charm and even the signs for modern stores, were delicate works of art hanging above narrow walk-ways.
The hotel room was a great size, and was partitioned into sections – a living room/sitting area with a table and two comfy chairs, the bedroom area, and two separate rooms for the bathroom – the WC and the rest of the bathroom. The price couldn’t be beat, and was totally worth it for the size room we got. The only slight issue was that the wifi was a little tricky. You actually had to go out into the hallway to pick up the signal, then you could bring your laptop back in the room and stay connected. Can’t figure that one out.
The weather was a little overcast and drizzly, but we still wanted to get out and see the city. First order of business was food. We chose a great restaurant called Zum Mohren. There was a varied selection of different types of food – from traditional Austrian to Italian to Indian, and it seemed a few others thrown in for good measure. The food was wonderful, and after eating, we headed for the fortress.
I love castles and fortress type structures of all kinds, so it was obvious that this was my priority in Salzburg. There was a funicular to take you up to the top at Hohensalzburg Fortress, but that seemed a bit pricey, and I’m always up for some exercise. (Plus my guide book said the walk was easy.) Well, the walk up was a BIT challenging, but nothing too hard. Plus, along the way we got some GREAT views of the city below. Since it was later in the day, some of the exhibits were getting ready to close, but it was still cool to explore what we could, though.
Once we got back down to the city, we decided to visit the cathedral. We were the last people inside there for the evening – it was immensely beautiful and peaceful.
The Salzach River flows through the city, and we spent some time walking along its bank as it started to get dark. It made for a really pretty picture to see the Fortress all lit up for the evening up on the hill framing that section of the city.
Once back at the hotel, it was time to get ready to go out. I had gotten a bar recommendation from a musical acquaintance who had gone to school in Salzburg, so we headed out in the rain to the Pepe Cocktail bar. Fortunately it was just a four minute walk across the river.
It was a cool bar with LOTS of drinks to choose from. And there was a special price for all cocktails on Thursday nights. I believe i had several drinks named after different composers. (The Rossini was my favorite.) One thing about bars over here – it’s not like at home in the States where you can always get munchies at the bar. Bar munchies are very limited here. But they did have chips and dips. (The chips came with a slightly spicy salsa, and a creamy garlic dip. I liked them – in fact, I ordered a second helping….)
The next day was mostly bright and sunny, so we did a little more exploring of Salzburg. I wanted to go back into the cathedral to see how it looked with the light coming in the windows. That way I could get some better pics of all the details in the architecture and design. It didn’t disappoint!
Then after walking around the city a little more, we decided to hoof it to the train station and take in some more of Salzburg on the other side of the river.
As always, the trains were beyond efficient, and we left at exactly 14:01, and we were back in plenty of time for a nice relaxing evening at home.
Here are some pics from Salzburg!