Thursday, May 31, 2012


We got into Salzburg late afternoon. After a little bit of trouble figuring out buses we visited an Info Centre where a lady there pointed us towards the right bus and explained how to get to our hostel. We got off our bus at the bottom of a cliff, where we got on an elevator to the top of the cliff where our hostel was!

All did not go smoothly straight away though. The girl who was checking us in realised her boss had double-booked our room. We had booked a double room for André and me, and a dorm bed for Michelle. Somehow, they had double booked the only double room in the whole place. The girl was able to rearrange some bed assignments to at least have the three of us in the same room, and also offered us the first night free. With the offer of a free night-and the fact it had such a great view being at the top of a cliff behind the old town- we decided to stay. We didn't want to sit around looking for somewhere else to stay when we had somewhere cheap and interesting to stay anyway.

On our first night we took a bit of a walk around the park on the cliff where our hostel was situated. We found a small food outlet where we bought wurst hotdogs and André had a beer while Michelle and I shared something called an apple spritz. It turned out to be similar to appletiser, but not as sweet. We had other spritzes while in Austria and figured out they were just juices with mineral water. We had a bottled one that evening but often in restaurants they are offered as the juice alone or with mineral water as a spritz.

As we headed back to the hostel for bed we could hear music coming up from the old town below. Someone joked that it was the nuns rocking out, but we discovered the next morning that we had arrived in the middle of a music festival. It was all woodwind and brass bands playing a mixture of traditional music and covers of popular music like Queen. It was right in the middle of the old town, and meant there were lots of food stands set up. Our first day was also a Saturday, which meant there were the normal Saturday markets running. So we spent the morning looking through the markets and shops of the old town where we got an apfel bezel (apple pretzel) big enough for the three of us to share for morning tea, and then stumbled across the music festival while looking for the information centre. We stopped there and got lunch (wurstl, schnitzel, chips, semmel, beer and coke) from one of the stands and ate at one of the dozens of tables they had laid out in front of the stage. Clearly Europe doesn't have the same attitude to sun protection as Australia does- all the tables were spread out in the sun, which was actually a bit of a nice change after London and Paris had been so cold and drizzly and Florence and Venice's weather had been temperamental too. We also noted a lot of people in town still wear traditional dress. Most don't, but enough do that in a crowded shopping street you'll see several people walking around with lederhosen or drindles on, which we found quite amusing.

In the afternoon we went for a walk up behind the old town to see Nonnberg Abbey where scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed, and where the real Maria started her training. We could only walk around it, and didn't really recognise anything from the movie. We just decided we would have to watch the movie again when we get home! In our walk through the old town we had also seen the fountain where they filmed Maria's 'I have confidence' scene. Afterwards we crossed the river and walked along it to see Schloss Mirabell's gardens which Salzburg is famous for. A few other Sound of Music scenes were filmed there including the children and Maria singing 'Doe, a deer'.

We had a proper Austrian meal for dinner that night. André had Berner wurstl, which is a wurstl wrapped in bacon, while Michelle and I both had tirder gröstl, which is chopped beef and pork (we suspected these were beef and pork sausages) with chopped roasted potatoes served with a fried egg on top. Both meals came with a side salad which was served first (something we have found standard in counties with German influence) and was very tasty. It had cold potato in it too, and while that sounds weird with a green salad and I normally don't even like potato salad, it worked well.

Our first day in Salzburg already made it one of our favourite places.

1 comment: