Andrew wanted to do a day trip from Vienna to Salzburg and initially I was a little wary because we’ve been doing a lot of them and they can be a bit exhausting. However, as soon as we arrived in Salzburg I was very happy about the decision because it reminded me of Munich – one of my favorite cities in the world! There were large pretzels being sold everywhere and hanging from chandeliers in restaurants as decorations. There were women and men walking around in dirndls and lederhosen and of course there we steins of beer being enjoyed.
Salzburg is named so because it was the primary location of salt mining in the region, which in medieval times was extremely important because it was the main food preserver. Nowadays though Salzburg is known for Festurng Hohensalzburg aka the High Fortress Salzburg and the Sound of Music so we made our way to the fortress. After purchasing tickets we rode the funicular up the mountain the main part of the castle. The view was stunning but a little scary.
The fortress was built initially by an archbishop and was added on by archbishops that essentially ruled after him. We saw a large tower were salt was stored as well as a room where instruments of torture were kept and the entrance to the dungeons via the floor.
Andrew was happy that we were able to scale one of the towers and get a panoramic view of all of Salzburg. We also got to see the Salzburg Bull, which is a huge organ that was used to wake the town as well as the private chapel of the Archbishop Leonhard. My favorite part was the Golden Chamber and private bedchamber which felt like they transported you back in time.
After touring the castle we stumbled upon Petersfriedhof (St. Peter’s Cemetery), which is the oldest cemetery in Austria and quite possibly one of the most beautiful. It also inspired a scene in the Sound of Music where the family hides in a studio-crafted cemetery modeled after the original.
For lunch Andrew tried Austrian goulash, which was mostly just meat in sauce, but he seemed to like it. We also had to have a pretzel and we each tried a different stein of Stiegl, a local Salzburg brewery.
After lunch we went to Mirabell Palace, which was the summer residence of the Archbishops. There were multiple weddings taking place in the palace so we didn’t get the opportunity to go inside but we did enjoy the gardens.
In addition to being beautiful, the gardens were the location where the Do-Re-Mi song scene from the Sound of Music was filmed. We enjoyed walking around in the cool shade, smelling the beautiful flowers, and looking at all the funny little statues.
Finally we headed back to the train to our hotel and get ready for our next adventure!