Monday, October 16, 2023

Grand Tour for 30th Wedding Anniversary - Salzburg

Salzburg, Austria. Thursday/Monday 12/16-October-2023.

Table of Contents:

The fifth stage of the Grand Tour: Salzburg. The route from Chur took us via Germany, changing trains in Munich. We (i.e. Mary) failed to make reservations and, despite having first class passes, ended up travelling between Munich and Salzburg on the floor between the carriages! To be fair this was one of the few problems we had and were only going via Munich because of engineering works. We learned our lesson and then made reservations where we could.

Confession - I was a muppet! We had a change at St. Margrethen in Switzerland. We detrained and had a 20 minute wait for the train to Munich. As we settled into our seats Mary asked, "Where's the food bag?" I had only gone and left the Co-op shopping bag containing our lunch and other stuff on the platform! I could bear the loss of lunch and a couple of thermos flasks but unfortunately I had popped my iPad in there as well.

The conductor was helpful and communicated the loss so we hoped station staff could be able pick it up but too late. FindMy app showed the bag stationary for a while then on the move along the rail route, then off at a later station to some random location. I initiated a remote delete so hopefully, at least, the thief will derive no benefit. Despite the lack of a receipt for the iPad, our travel insurance company were very good at covering the loss (minus depreciation).

We stayed in an interesting 15th century converted mill house courtesy of Home Exchange; it had a stream that ran literally under the house. It was in a quiet neighbourhood away from the centre but wth great transport links. Thanks to a tip-off from someone in the Interrailling for the older crowd FaceBook group we purchased a 72 hour Salzburg card which you can load onto your phone. We made great use of it on Salzburg's many bus lines to get out to our accommodation, into the centre, around town and back.

The first evening we decided to eat local in the nearby Gnigler Stub’n. Not as posh as the reviews imply, it was a basic locals pub that did bar food. I had schnitzel and chips and Mary wurst and chips. Very tasty, traditional food and generous portions. Just what you need to relax after a long day travelling.

Next day we went into town for a wander and get our bearings. The tourist trade majors on the twin pillars of Mozart and Sound of Music but the city is more than a two trick pony with beautiful architecture and many fascinating old buildings.

Inside, this one looked like it still had the original pharmacy fittings.

All the churches we visited were opulent.

After a hard days' touristing we needed refreshment, sampling the local produce in a couple of local brew pubs with a proper bierkeller atmosphere.

Tasty weissbiers.

Then after supper it was off to another bierkeller to sample more beers of course.

The next day we downloaded a walking tour app and went of a self guided route around town.

This tour included some really quirky graveyards.

A complete famile set of gravestones from the 1700's.

We took the funicular up to the fortress which is visible from everywhere ...

... and from there you can see everything.

There were shopping streets including the Salzburg equivalent of Bond Street, full of designer outlets.

As we saw in Warsaw, shops often have signs illustrating their wares.

Salzburg's most famous son, Mozart. Unsurprisingly he cropped up everywhere. Mozart tea towel anyone?

We spent some time in Mozart's birthplace and a very interesting museum and learnt a lot. Not just the about man himself, but also his musical family and Salzburg society of the day.

Saturday is parkrunday so off we went to Hellbrunn parkrun, held in the lovely park around Hellbrunn castle, lovely and flat, 2.5 laps with brilliant views. More tourist than locals. The Run Director explained that the locals prefer to run up the mountains you can just see in the background behind the trees. Each to their own.

As always at parkrun, a great bunch of volunteers including Mary as Schlussbegleitung (Tailwalker).

Mary also earned a volunteer credit for post-event tidy up.

In Salzburg we had piece of serendipity. On the Sunday in search of culture, from a number of possibilities, we chose a concert by a young Latin American orchestra, Orquesta Iberacademy Medellín. The orchestra was fantastic: young, energetic and very talented. This concert was part of a short series called Latino Mozart. The whole programme was amazing but the Adagio from the Concerto de Aranjuez was one of the most beautiful pieces we have ever heard. 

Sunday evening on the recommendation of someone in the Interrailing group we went to Austria's largest beer tavern in the Augustiner Bräu Mülln. Drinking our way around Europe, one craft beer at a time!

We loved Salzburg with its history, tall elegant buildings, imposing fortress,  parkrun, and music and beer heritage. 

Next stop Karlsruhe and Freiburg.

No comments: