It was Christmas Eve and we had arrived in Salzburg! What a beautiful town. We were slightly disappointed there was no Christmas snow but at least we were able to see some on magnificent mountains that surrounded us. We found our hotel with relative ease.....Salzburg public transportation was definitely lacking compared to the other cities we had been in and we did end up taking taxis to and from a few places….our little Christmas treat to ourselves J We then freshened up and made our way to Christmas Eve dinner. We had made reservations after reading online that in Salzburg they celebrate more one Christmas Eve then day and most places would be closed. We walked into the restaurant, which was in a hotel just outside town and were instantly a little wary. The restaurant looked like a mix between Perkins and a 50s dinner filled with cigarette smoke. We were placed in a separate 'non-smoking' section where there was only 2 other lonely old men eating together not talking at all. There was no jolly Christmas music playing and was so quiet we could just hear the chewing and drinking of the old men. Not the Christmas we had envisioned but it soon turned out to surprise us. Once then men left we created our own ambiance and turned on the Christmas mix we had on my iphone, instantly brightening our mood! Then came the food……
The food was to die for. Not at all what we were expecting from this tiny little restaurant. I had the duck with the best dumplings in the world! Sarah had steak that was equally as good. We topped it off with a marvelous dessert and were completely satisfied and happy with our Christmas Eve.
The next day was a beautiful sunny day, we started in the center of the city at Mozartplatz, Mozart square. It was buzzing with people out celebrating Christmas and there was a large outdoor ice skating rink set up with tons of little kids and adults skating, I was wishing I had my skates along! J We then walked through the Christmas market, definitely not to the scale of the Vienna or Munich ones but equally as charming. We just couldn't do more sight seeing around town because we were too excited to get up to the 'castle' which is really Hohensalzburg Fortress. We had 2 options to get to the top, hike up the steep path or take the funicular, an elevator that takes you up to the top. We took the path less traveled and began to climb. It was definitely worth it, with all the amazing views we were able to take in along the way and it was really not that long, only taking about 20 minutes (with a few stops along the way). We finally arrived at the top and made our way to the opposite side, facing away from the city, and our breaths were taken away by the amazing view of the mountains in front of us. It is really impossible to describe the majesty and the pictures do not do them justice. It was definitely a 'Sound of Music' moment. We wandered back down the mountain and spent the rest of the day meandering around. It was a short trip but definitely a highlight. I can't wait to go back with more time to see all of the Sound of Music sights!