For our free day, a bunch of us decided to take a trip to Salzburg, Austria. We got up bright and early to get our Covid-19 tests in order to fly home the next day. Afterwards, I got a coffee at Starbucks to wake me up and got ready to leave for Austria. The ride to Austria was a nightmare as our train to Munich got delayed by 60 minutes, but we managed to hop on another one just in time so we would not be late for our train from Munich to Salzburg.
When we finally arrived in Salzburg, I was struck by how beautiful the city is. We wandered around looking for lunch, and eventually ended up at a restaurant where I ordered the fish with potatoes. The garden that we were sitting in at the restaurant was beautifully shaded by trees and there were lights strung between them. Despite the heat, sitting outside was very comfortable and we had a great time eating and talking amongst ourselves.
After we finished eating, we started meandering around the city walking towards the fortress that overlooks the entire town. We ended up in the Mirabell Palace gardens that were filled with blooming flowers and trees as well as a number of mythical sculptures. My particular favorite was the sculpture of a Pegasus that stood proud atop a fountain in a courtyard of the palace. Everything in the gardens were well maintained and evidently loved. It was nice to see a place of such quiet beauty in the midst of a bustling city.
After viewing the gardens, we made our way across the city to the Fortress Hohensalzburg. Along the way, we went shopping and took in the city. I bought a souvenir for my sister and some iced cake loaf at a local bakery. None of the streets in Salzburg follow a completely straight path. They all wind around curves and circle back and lead to somewhere new. This made our wandering even more interesting as we found many statues and fountains on our way up to the fortress.
We finally reached the fortress and realized just how massive it actually is. We spent most of the rest of the day exploring the fortress and learning about the history and lifestyle of the people who lived there. We found an entire museum dedicated to puppets that also had a horror theme, which was very interesting and very creepy at the same time. The best part of the fortress was the overlook at the very top of the tallest building that gave us a view of all of Salzburg and the surrounding areas.
Luckily, we made it back to the train station in time to catch our train back to Munich. Unluckily, the train was delayed and then stopped after we crossed the border because the police were checking passports. We heard a rumor that they were looking for Ukrainian refugees. It was interesting to see how the war was being felt all the way into Germany. After the train started moving again, we were scared about missing our train back to Augsburg. However, when we got to the station in Munich, a train was waiting for us that had added a stop in Augsburg. The train went super-fast, getting up to speeds of 230 km/h. In the end, we got to Augsburg earlier than we were supposed to!