xmas Right away I could tell there was a different air to this city, I liked it. I could tell this was going to be a fun stop, and was glad that we were taking two days here. After a confusing 5 min trying to get our directional bearings, we were soon at our hostel. It was a YoHo – youth hostel that played the sound of music nightly. So looking forward to this place!
After getting to our room, settling in, and freshening up we headed out. First stop was food! We had purchased some snacks the day before, which we enjoyed on the train, but 5.5 hours and only snacks makes for hungry travelers. It was the plan to go try this authentic Austrian place, but when we got there (roughly 5:00pm) it was closed. It would open up at 6… And so we trudged away, stomachs growling to go kill some time at the Christmas market. We figured we’d walk around, get a snack and some gluhwine (hot mulled wine), and then go back to the restaurant. So we started walking about and found the perfect snack – pretzels! Mmmm… They make the best pretzels here. However, after whetting our appetite with that, and seeing all of the other glorious foods about, we gave into temptation and decided to save the Austrian place for tomorrow!
After we were sufficiently frozen and full, we decided to head back to the hostel to watch some sound of music and then hit the hay. We ended up chatting with some of the other people enjoying the movie and had a wonderful evening drinking, chatting, and determining each other’s spirit animal. Apparently I am a fox – definitely ok with that!
The next morning I was feeling a bit haggard. Breakfast was great – all you can eat for €3.50, but the coffee just wasn’t getting me geared up and ready for the day. We’d been traveling for a while and it was starting to wear on me. Didn’t know if I’d be able to really get into today, but with some prodding from Jackie I made it out the door and we headed towards the fortress.
Now the fortress stood on the very top of a great hill in the center of the city, so it was gunna be a bit of a hike to get up there. In preparation for said hike, we decided to dress in light layers. Maybe not a great idea – we were frozen like the whole time, but it was still cool to go around, see the fortress, the museum and Amber shop within, and the view was gorgeous. We also stopped at the church where Mozart was baptized and silent night was played for the very first time.
We had a picnic at the fortress, complete with beer, paprika pringles, and sandwiches. All while looking down at the beautiful city of Austria. Yup, this is my life.
After taking the tram down from the fortress, Jackie requested (through blue tinted lips) that we go get our warmer clothes. Good call on her part! With our warm clothes we then trekked to a different part of the city in search of a brewery started by monks. Saw some cool sites on the way too!
So back to the brewery – turns out you can’t tour it, but that hardly mattered. As it happens, the brewery is basically a big cafeteria with food places on the sides and on one end, a case of steins (0.5 L and 1 L) to grab, rinse and then get filled to the brim with beer. Jackie and I of course had to go for the big ones! ;) finding a seat was difficult, what with the entire place being chalk full of 50-90 year old men! Some women sprinkled in, but we were definitely the youngest in the room by 15 years… But the beer was phenomenal! And after a liter, I was feeling pretty good!
We had decided that we’d try that Austrian food place that evening, but we had some time to kill still after Mozart’s birthplace so we decided to go grab some gluwine and relax a bit at the Christmas Market. As we were enjoying our first sips we noticed a small person dressed up in a complete fur covered suit with a horned demonesque mask with a thin branch. It had a large bell on it and went around whipping people with the branch. Now it seemed like no one else was giving this a second thought, but it was the oddest thing I had ever seen. I couldn’t keep from staring… It must have noticed because before I could tell what had happened, Jackie, who was standing closest to the thing, screamed, spilled her gluwine and jumped towards me. The thing had whipped her and was growling and dancing about behind her. We were terrified and also hysterical at the same time. It was the craziest thing… As we were recovering, a loud commotion started coming towards us, complete with fireworks and more bells. And what do you know, an entire parade of these terrifying furry demons and other devilish looking things, this time much much larger came lumbering up the street. People were desperately trying to make way for them, not wanting to get too close. Turns out the little devil was dressed up to match these terrifying creatures. I was actually terrified of the whole procession and still have no idea what it could be!
Then, seeing as it was after 6pm, we went back to the Austrian restaurant, and boy was it delicious! I love Austrian food! (Which I’m told is basically German food – no wonder I like it so much!)
The next morning we had to pack up and checkout, but luckily we were able to rent a locker for the day so that we could go and check out some more of Salzburg before we caught our train around 4pm. Again it was a pretty slow morning, both Jackie and I were starting to feel the tiredness from all of the travel. But we were able to rally enough to go and see some neat things.
We were headed to go see where Mozart lived for a time, when we ran into a market. Apparently we have a gift for stumbling upon them… It was cool to see all the different fruits and veggies grown here versus what are grown back in the states. They also had large assortments of meats, cheeses and pastries everywhere. It was a good thing I was still pretty full from breakfast or I would have wanted to buy everything!
We found Mozart’s house, but didn’t feel like paying the €10 to go see the inside, so we opted to go and check out the Salzburg museum instead. It was really cool. Had an exhibit on the First World War, which I feel is usually overshadowed by the Second World War, and so it was interesting to hear about it all.
We then attempted to find where the festival in the Sound of Music was filmed, and after a few not so pleasant alleyways, we found it but decided that a €10 guided tour was not for us. Instead we settled for buying some strudel from a street stand and heading back to the hostel to eat it and collect our luggage, with just enough time to go and catch our final train to Munich.