Today we had a particularly early day, but we all didn’t mind as we were so excited to go to Salzburg, Austria!! We were out the door of the hotel by 6:50 am on our way to the train station. We developed a count off system, each of us with a number one through ten, which we took full advantage throughout the day. Arielle, Marius, Dr. Feick, and Sonja suggested something called the Bayern ticket through which you could put five people on the same ticket, which made the trip a lot cheaper for each of us. We had ten people, so it was easy to split into five and five. In the United States, I don’t think we have a concept such as that one and I was also curious on why traveling in a group would make the ticket cost less by such a significant amount. We took the first train to Munich, where we then transferred to another train that was going to Salzburg. I also understood a little better how hard Arielle and Dr. Feick’s job is because every other minute I was worried about losing a member of the group and we constantly had to count off.
Once we reached Salzburg, the first thing I noticed was how nice the train station was. It was structured very similarly to the Augsburg station in that each track was almost like its own terminal. Once we got out of the train station, we got a quick bite to eat from surrounding cafes and Starbucks before we moved on to our first tourist site. On our way there, I noticed that Salzburg was more modern than I thought it was going to be. Much of the way there, I observed that the environment looked and felt more American than Augsburg did. The weather was absolutely stunning, it was so beautiful and trust me the group was more than thankful after the weather we had been having over the course of the week. We started with Mirabell Gardens which was beautiful, it looked like it was out of a movie. Oh wait, it was out a movie, it is in the Sound of Music scene where the children sing the song Do-Re-Mi and pass through the gardens.
We walked through as we made our next stop at the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The way we found it was by following the hordes of other tourists that were also there. I was not expecting nearly as many tourists as they were, and they were mostly traveling in these big groups. We crossed over this beautiful bridge as we entered what seemed like the center of the city, especially for tourists. We then made our way past the beautiful buildings to the cable car that would take us to the fortress. After our experience with the gondola at Oberammergau, which took us up the Laber mountain, I was not ready for the modern looking cable car which took us up to the fortress, It took us up in less than a minute and we got down it felt like I was in a whole different world.
Once we walked out a little further, we found the view and it was absolutely beautiful.
We explored the fortress a little, as we were trying to find a better view. On this excursion, we ended up finding a marionette museum inside the fortress, which I am not going to lie was a little creepy.
We then sat at this restaurant outside the fortress which overlooked the city and had an amazing view of the Alps. While there, I got apple strudel as I knew it would be my last chance to do so. I started the trip with apple strudel, so I had to end it with some as well. I was surprised when this restaurant was not extremely crowded or overpriced. After we took a million pictures, we made our back down again.
Our next stop was the touristy shops, where you could find dozens of trinkets and little souvenirs. This is where I was reminded that Mozart was born and raised in Salzburg. I bought myself a few trinkets including a Sound of Music magnet, a Mozart pencil for my pencil collection, and a really beautiful headscarf that I cannot wait to show off this summer. The girls and the guys then split for about an hour and a half so that we could each do a little shopping and exploring. Michelle and I shopped with the girls for a bit before splitting off to go to the Mozart Museum. It was really amazing to go to his house and see where he grew up and where the magic, he made started. I have been playing the violin for over nine years and been playing Mozart pieces since before I knew who he was so getting to learn more about him and understand where he came from was really awesome.
Once we spent some time there, we began to make our way up to the restaurant where we had decided as a meeting spot. Along the way, we met up with the girls and when we got to the restaurant it turned out to be closed so we found another one that was close, Pasta y Vino. At this point, the streets were a lot more cleared up and I was feeling better as we were not overwhelmed by tourists. This restaurant was probably one of the most intriguing (weirdest) places I have ever been. When we got there it was pretty full, and they said they would have a difficult time fitting ten of us there so these men in suits, gave up their table and got on their bikes, and literally biked away in their suits. So, we sit down, and the waiter tells us they do not have menus and tells us our three options. Later all these extremely fancy people come out of the restaurant, leaving us wondering how big it is inside only to find out that it was pretty small, it had a deli inside and when we went inside to pay, we went into the kitchen. It was a confusing place, but at the end of the day it had some really good food.
After our meal, we made our way back to the train station to take the next train back to Munich and then to Augsburg. On our way back we all fell asleep, you could tell that we were exhausted from the two weeks and would be sleeping for way too many hours once we got back home. By the end of our day in Salzburg, I can definitely say it was not what I was expecting as a city but that I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.
Once we got back to the hotel, the group got together for one more time and we met up with the German students to say goodbye and get one last doñer. It was hard to say goodbye, but I was so happy I had become good enough friends with them where not saying goodbye to them would have been difficult. We had a fantastic free day, and I am so happy we made the effort to go to Salzburg, being a huge fan of the Sound of Music since I was young made it even more exciting to see the city. This was the first night I wasn’t excited to get rest, since I knew that the next day, we would be leaving the city we had all grown to love over the last two weeks.