The Hills are Alive in Salzburg

 

This past holiday weekend (Whit Monday), we headed to the famous hills of Salzburg for a long weekend.  Yes, we did sit down and watch The Sound of Music before embarking on our journey.  2 hrs in, Russ was begging for mercy.  It did help him, however, understand what all those other crazy American tourists were talking about. 🙂  Needless to say, we did not take the Sound of Music Tour that ushers you to well-known destinations from the movie…between what I can imagine is loud, joyous, (and thoroughly American) sing-a-longs of “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things,” and “16 Going on 17.”

On Saturday it rained.  And rained.  And rained.  We hadn’t arrived til later in the afternoon (around 4), so we figured we’d walk around for the evening, maybe hit up a Mozart museum, have some dinner, and call it a night.  When we arrived at the first Mozart museum, The Mozart Family Residence, it was closing in an hour.  Not enough time.  That’s when we really looked at our list of activities–EVERYTHING closed at 5:30.  We hustled to the lesser-reputed Mozart Museum, the Birth-house, and found that the hour we had left was plenty of time to work our way through the exhibits there.

Mozart's Geburtshaus

Afterwards we toured the cathedral, the Salzburger Dom. The dome itself was replaced in 1959, years after a WWII bomb had dropped right through.  The church itself is massive and quite beautiful, though seemingly plain from the outside.  Inside, there are stucco and paintings everywhere, and the organs are massive.  Mozart himself played in this cathedral for a few years.

Salzburger Dom

Another view of the cathedral--obviously taken the next day

After seeing the cathedral, we sought out some dinner and a café for some coffee and a piece of cake.  The town seemed throughout closed.  When we finally found a café and happily got out of the rain, the proprietor told us that they were closing in 15 minutes!  It was 7:00 PM.  Eventually we did find a great cup of coffee and a slice of Sachertorte, after which we decided to call it a night and hope for better skies tomorrow.

 

AND THEY WERE!

The Austrian flag

Amazingly, with a little more sunshine and slightly drier pavement, Salzburg came alive.  Restaurants set up their outdoor seating and while all shops weren’t open (it was Sunday), it was obvious that Salzburg is actually a living, breathing town.  We headed to the historic old town and hit up some of the sights we missed on Saturday.

Streets of Salzburg

McDonald's Salzburg-style

Mozart's Residence

We went back to Mozart’s Residence and toured through there with an audio guide.  It was interesting, but there’s something about audio guides that Russ and I really dislike.  Is it the fact that anyone could have had this up to his/her ear before me?  No, pretty sure it’s how whenever someone uses an audio guide, they immediately can’t seem to watch where they’re going.  😉

Next,we headed toward Mirabell Palace to check out the gardens and get some of the fresh mountain air.

Mirabell Gardens

 

Mirabell Gardens

The Gardens with a view of the Palace

SOM trivia question 1: Name the scene where the Pegasus statue was featured.

Cool View up to the Fortress--Our Next Destination

After enjoying the flowers in the gardens, we wanted to take advantage of the clear skies and get to the highest vantage point in case the sunshine was only temporary.  The Fortress, seated 400 ft. above the river, watches over the town of Salzburg.  It’s always done a pretty good job, too; it prevented anyone from attacking the town for about a thousand years.

At the top there are several museums and some spectacular views of the city below.

Approaching the Fortress

Salzburg and the River Salzach

Good View of the Dom

From the Fortress Tower

"Oh, Mother. I just couldn't help myself. The gates were open and the hills were beckoning and everything was so green and fresh, and the Untersberg kept leading me higher and higher, as if it wanted me to go right through the clouds with it."

Gorgeous

Looking toward the rest of the fortress

More of the Fortress

Russ in Salzburg

 

When we weren’t taking the views, we spent the rest of our time at the top of Salzburg going through several of the museums; we started with the Fortress museum, where we got access to the top of the towers, and then headed to the creepiest museum of all.  The Marionettes. Russ took no pictures of the Marionette exhibits, I suppose for fear that they’d come alive at night?

I tried my hand at the art

 

Creepy.

Instead of taking the funicular down the hill, we decided to walk and get some more great views of the town.

Funicular

Heading down the mountain

Approaching the Dome

Our dining spot from Saturday night--and Russ's favorite beer. Don't tell Germany!

Aaaand we made it!

I exaggerate.  It really wasn’t a very long walk.  However, we were feeling pretty grateful when the people climbing up the hill were passing up, sweating and panting.  Our all-inclusive Salzburg card turned out to be quite the bargain. 🙂

There’s more to Salzburg and more to our Sunday, but I’m saving it for another post.  Next time look forward to Hellbrunn Castle and Prince-Archbishop Sittikus’s famous trick fountains. Oh, and a really really cool trip to the Salzburg Zoo. 🙂

 

 

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Lauren, your photographs are beautiful! Thank you so much for posting. It was like viewing one gorgeous painting after another!!! Aunt Maryanne

    Reply

  2. I have heard so many wonderful things about Salzburg — and your photos make me want to visit even more! Also, P.S., I am very jealous of your slice of Sachertorte.

    Reply

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