Any time I come back from my travels I always get asked what was my favourite place to visit. And 9 times out of 10 I struggle to answer. ‘I loved them all’ or ‘They’re all so different and special in their own unique way’, are just two of my common reactions for this question. It is true that I have been to a lot of incredible places that I love dearly for different reasons and my recent encounter with Salzburg was no exception. It has truly left my heart in a spin.
Salzburg is famed for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Motzart and also recognised as the home of The Sound of Music. During the planning of my European adventure, Salzburg was a must see stop, mainly because of my love for everything Sound of Music. I had a picture in my mind of how I would spend my time dancing around the town singing the songs of the musical but I had no idea what a gem Salzburg would really turn out to be.
It was late April when we arrived in Salzburg and it had been an unseasonably cold Spring so far. My partner and I made our way by foot from the train station to the hotel and were delighted to discover that it had just started snowing. Now for two Australians who rarely see snow this was a truly magical moment. I’m sure that to a local we would have looked like fools stopping on the side of the road with our luggage to take photos of each other being snowed on but we were so ecstatic to see it.
Upon checking into our hotel we set out to explore a little bit of the city that, thanks to the snow, had made a very good first impression. It was early afternoon and the cool air had a bite to it so we sought refuge in a cafe with a hot chocolate until the bad weather disappeared. We crossed the Salzach River via the love lock bridge and into the Old Town. We meandered our way through the streets and walked up to the Fortress Hohensalzburg where we were met with some spectacular views of the town. Being close to closing time we didn’t enter into the fortress ground but there was a little walking track at the top of the fortress that we followed around which eventually led us back down into the Old Town. As evening was now fast approaching and an early start the next day for the Sound of Music tour, we headed back to our hotel feeling pleased with what we had seen and experienced so far.
I had been looking forward to the Sound of Music tour for such a long time. It truly was a highlight for me and I go into more detail about the tour here. When the half day tour had ended we set off back up to the fortress to properly visit it and learn more about its history. From there we set out for the Nonnberg Abbey to get a glimpse of the gates where Fraulein Maria was a nun in the Sound of Music movie. However, we got hopelessly lost trying to find it and decided that the giant pretzels in the markets in the Kapitelplatz were too appealing to ignore any longer, so we gave up on our mission and resolved that when we come back next time we’ll visit the Nonnberg Abbey.
Dinner that night was probably one of the best meals I had eaten on my whole European trip. We ate at the Sternbrau in Old Town and feasted on a delicious turkey schnitzel and potato salad, washed down with one of the local beers. A truly spectacular meal after an incredible day. As it was our last day in Salzburg we weren’t content with just heading back to the hotel after dinner and decided to walk up the Kapuzinerberg hill for what was undoubtedly the best sunset view of the city. It had been snowing on and off that day but the weather had eased and we were witness to a beautiful afternoon. It was a perfect end to a perfect weekend in Salzburg.
In hindsight the time we had spent in Salzburg was much too short. There is so much I would have like to have seen and revisit. The morning we were due to leave Salzburg we had enough time to wander down to the Mirabell Gardens one last time. Unlike the day before, it was no longer covered in snow and I used this chance to recreate some of my favourite scenes from the Sound of Music movie. My heart has well and truly been captured by that town and I know that I must go back and for much longer. As far as short breaks in Austria go I would say that it was pretty spectacular.
Have you ever been swept off your feet by a particular destination? Let me know in the comments below!