So, we got another day train from Vienna to Salzburg. The scenery was amazing on the journey. We passed through tiny Austrian villages, with the Alps in ther background...beautiful!!
We arrived in Salzburg in the early afternoon to glorious sunshine (woo!), and for once only a short walk to our hostel. When we arrived, we were hugely excited to find pictures on the walls from The Sound of Music, and the film being played inthe bar. We had actually found our dream hostel!!!! We dumped our bags, made ourselves at home in our dorm and then headed out into the city to explore.
We found the old town pretty quickly, and wandered around the little cobbled streets, admiring the cafes, and trying to find places that had been used in the filming of The Sound of Music (us obsessed?...never!!!). The city is stunning. It's nestled amongst the Alps, with quaint buildings, and the large majority of it is pedestrianised. The weather was boiling, so we stopped off in a little cafe to cool down. We had the nicest icecream dessert. Peache puree and icecream with a meringue decoration, in the shape of a music note!! We were quite lucky to get something nice as the menu was in German, and we had to point at what the couple on the table next to us were eating, as it looked yummy!!!! After spending a nice relaxing hour here, we continued to explore. We found plenty of pretty squares, a couple of which we recognised from a certain film, so posed for photographs in!!! There are also so many nice shops in Salzburg, although you will all be very proud of us, as we resisted well, and just window shopped! Not at all like our Peru antics!!!!!
We went into the cathedral, and had a look around, although compared to some of the others that we have seen on this trip it wasn't as impressive. There was a market just outside, so we looked around the stalls, and discovered a local Salzburg delicacy...a huge bread bagel with different toppings. We chose cheese and bacon, and munched on it as we walked around the town. Following this, we then discovered a shop that sold liqueurs in all the flavours you could possibly think of. You can imagine our delight when we were told we could try before you buy!!!!! Strawberry and caramel, coconut and cinammon, chilli and chocolate and apple strudel shots later, we left the shop a lot merrier than we entered! We obviously looked happy and carefree, as soon after we left we were acosted by a pimp, by the Mozart statue, offering us work!!! We may be short of money, but we politley refused and moved on!!!!!
We returned to the hostel, where we tried weiner schnitzel for dinner (it was very nice!), and sat in the bar for a while, before heading off for an early night. Travelling tires us out!
The next day we spent exploring the city further. After breakfast in the hostel, we went to the old city again, and visited some traditional Austrian shops (The Body Shop and H&M)!!! We then spent a while in the Christmas shops admiring the beautifully made decorations, before going back to the market that we had found the previous day. On the way we went through one of the squares filmed in The Sound of Music )!!!, where a large picnic was going on for families. It looked quite good fun, but we were older than the majority of the people there by about 20 years!!!!
After a bit of shopping in the market, we decided that we wanted to see something cultural, and so got the funicular train to the top of the hill to the fortress. The views from up here were absolutely stunning, looking out all over the city and the Alps. We sat in a cafe at the top and had some Sachertorte (traditional Austrain chocolate cake) and a cold drink, as the sun was shining brightly! The cake by the way is delicious! We recommend! We toured the historical fortress, complete with moats, towers, suits of armour and torture chambers. The weather was so amazing, we sat on a bench for an hour reading, enjoying the sun.
We got the funicular back down the hill/mountain, and did a bit more shopping. We then started to wander back to the hostel, via a different route. We found a footbridge over the river (again, used in the film!!), where we took some nice photos. Alongside the river we also found some nice looking bars with sofas, that we thought we would investigate further that night! We got back to the hostel, had dinner and showered, and then headed back out to the city.
We returned to one of the bars that we had seen earlier, and had a punch which was full of strawberrys (and sparkling wine!!). We spent a couple of hours in this bar, enjoying the sunset over the city. They also provided us with blankets, which were gratefully received, as it meant we could stay outside, whilst staying warm...genius!! However, a large group of drunk men came to the bar, and so as they got rowdier, we decided it was time to leave!! We walked slowly back, imagining what it would be like to have limitless money to spend in Europe! To accompany this daydream, we sang, the whole way back to the hostel, "If I were a rich man", improvisonmg some of it as we went along!!!!!!
When we got back, we packed our bags, and went to bed, full of excitement about The Sound of Music day planned for today!!!
Today we woke up eary, checked out of the hostel, and left our bags in the luggage room, as our train isn't till 1.30 tonight. As the sun was shining, we went to the Mirabel palace gardens first thing to read our books in the sun. We got there just after 9.00am, and spent an hour sitting on the benches in the gardens. We then spent some time exploring the gardens, and found the famous steps where Julie Andrews and the Vonn Trapp children sang Do Ra Mi on the steps with the fountain in the background. You can imagine our excitement, so a FEW photographs later, we returned to the hostel to watch the film in preparation for the tour we had planned in the afternoon.
During the film (which was amazing, as usual!!!!), the weather changed for the worst, the sun went in, and there was a huge thunder storm. Typical! We were picked up for the tour in the rain, feeling slightly sad that the sights would just not look as great in the rain. The tour bus was full, so 7 of us had to go in a minibus, and have a "private tour". However, this was hugley to our advantage. The guide was a funny, interesting Brit, who sang the soundtrack the whole way through!! She was full of interesting film facts, which I will not bore you with here, and showed us all the famous sites, oh, and the sun came out!!!! We saw the 2 different houses that the film was shot at and the lake outside the house, the famous gazebo where all the love scenes occurred, the church where Maria and the Captain got married (not as impressive as the film made out), the abbey, the setting for the majority of the song Do Ra Mi, and some of the beautiful scenery that was shot in the film. As you can guess, a LOT of photos were taken, and we may have known more than the guide about the film!!!!!!!!!!! Super fans!! We were taken to the Lake District (of Salzburg) where the scenery was breathtaking. The views from the mountain over the lakes were amazing, and we felt like we were in the film. We wish!!! We stopped off at a village inthe moutains where the church is (from the wedding scene) and had apple strudel and hot vanilla sauce! Yum! We sang the whole way back, badly, and all in all had a fantastic day!
We ended it in the palace gardens again, where we sat by the fountains and relaxed, reading our books and taking more photos.
That pretty much takes us up to where we are now. We returned to the hostel for dinner, and we now have to wait to 1.30 till our train takes us to our camp site in Venice. I think we can both say, that so far Austria has been our favourite place to visit, and definitley the most beautiful.
We hope everyone is well. Not long now beore we are back. Time is flying.
Lots of love,
Zoe and Rebecca