Saturday, October 24, 2015

Salzburg



Oh Salzburg, you filled my heart with all things warm and fuzzy.

I had high hopes for the city that birthed the notorious Mozart and it didn't disappoint. The sound of music glistened my ear drums, without the need to buy a ticket for the tour, as talented locals filled the streets with musical performances. My senses were clearly spoilt with my first taste of Austria. 

Although a bustling tourist destination, Salzburg powerfully retains its Austrian charm - and that in itself is an impressive accomplishment. Every corner of the city appears as if it were built a century before, in that regard it brought back memories of my love affair with Venice. Unlike Venice however, you don't get the sense that Salzburg is falling apart. Every inch of the city has been perfectly and beautifully restored to its original perfection. Stepping in creates almost a portal through time, which filled me with satisfaction as I felt like I was seeing the 'real' Austria and not a commercially driven tourist destination.

We stayed in the Urban Stay Villa Cicubo, I gave them four stars purely because they surprised us with a free breakfast bag each morning. Free food will always earn you extra stars - for anyone who owns travel accommodation, you may want to make a note. They lost a star for stirring me from my dreamy sleep on the first morning, the rooms aren't sound proof and reception was outside our door. It was however, lovely, and clean, and a 15- minute walk from the river so I would still recommend (more so if you're a morning person). 

Fortress Hohensalzburg however, was perfect at every time of day. Walking around the castle made me feel like a princess returning home to her chambers, overlooking the entire city and offering all Instagram users the chance to get a perfect panoramic shot. The cable cart up, filled with tourists and their cameras, was also very reasonable, satisfying my frugal mind as I'd already heard many stories regarding extortionate prices in this part of Europe. 

If you fancy working hard for the panoramic shot instead of jumping on a cable cart, there's some beautiful waking trails just outside the old town through Kapuzinerberg, offering incredible views of the city but also a pretty nice workout - it doesn't look far, but damn it's steep. At various points I was genuinely concerned I was going to give my mother a heart attack! 

As we reached the end of our trail, we found a little house in the middle of nowhere which we believed to be a restaurant. I'm still unsure as to whether our beliefs were dumbfounded, as despite the menu outside and the sign saying 'come on in', It felt like we had stumbled straight into somebody's home. We heard voices but couldn't find any people, and every room appeared to be lacking any sort of food or service. Looking back it seems like a horror film in the making, so it was probably a great idea for us to head back down and hit the shops instead. 

Despite the lack of great food (we mostly stuck to Italian restaurants, with it being reasonable and in large supply) the shops in Salzburg were perfectly suited to my shopping desires. Small and quaint, with copious beautiful items that would have perfectly suited my dream home, it was hard not to spend every penny I had in the 48 hours I spent there. Instead we stuck to the basics, buying a birthday gift for my aunt, cute fridge magnets, chocolate and soap that smelt of fresh flowers. Let's just say in Austria... They know how to make soap. 

Despite only having two days, I left feeling like I had conquered Salzburg and experienced so much of the city in such a small amount of time. This sense of satisfaction would have been duly helped by the train I was about to jump on to Innsbruck.

Other places worth checking out:
Salzburg Cathedral, St Peter's Monastery and Residenzplatz

A little overrated: 
Mozarts Geburtshaus; it may be because I'm a philistine but I wandered past this and didn't even realise until I got home
Apple strudel; the more I ate the more I disliked it (my Mum thought it was tasty though so don't let me put you off)

If I had more time in Salzburg: 
A day trip outside the city; possibly to Eagle's Nest or Hallstatt
A visit to Mirabellgardens 


  





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