150,000 people call this place home. Mozart was born and raised in this town. The matriarch of the Von Trapp family, Maria, was also born here and the Sound of Music was based here.
I’m in Salzburg.
I left Vienna at midday after finding it really difficult to find transport here. Turns out there’s a direct train here but no buses so I treated myself to a little journey. I did have a somewhat major problem with the trains though. I bought a ticket from the machines for about £50 which was absolutely ridiculous, but it was the only way I could find to get me to Salzburg. I then found the train and before I boarded, I asked if I had the right ticket. I did not. I had to go get a refund from the customer service and then run back to my desired train. I boarded and found an empty seat just before the conductor came round. I bought another ticket, this time while I was on board, and for half the price!
Two hours after all this chaos, I arrived into the city and checked into the hostel. I chose to stay in one of those massive unsociable hostels so I could have a little quiet time and therefore I didn’t hang about for long, instead I went to have a look at the city. Unlike when I first started travelling, I chose to be unsocial, as the past month had been very draining for me, and partying almost every night can really take it out of a person.
As I didn’t know much about the city, I thought I’d just have a wander around. One of the first things I stumbled upon was Mozart’s first abode. It’s now a museum and frankly, every building in the street was milking this for all its worth. I passed places selling Mozart clothing, Mozart souvenirs, Mozart pie, Mozart music, Mozart everything. Even found a street, called Shmuck Passage (which means “foolish or contemptible person” in English) selling all kinds of jewellery, and gold. I then left this street and took a turn into the main square and from here I was able to climb up to the castle. By the time I got up there everything was closed but I was still able to get fantastic views of the mountains. I intended to come back the following day but apparently I’d seen most of the place. The only things that would actually be open, and that I’d have to pay for, would be a puppet show and a couple of museums. Not worth my time or money.
Later that night I looked into a couple of things to do on the Wednesday but due to the bad weather forecast, neither looked particularly plausible. Instead I took a walk through the other side of town.
I first came across the Mirabell Palace which is an old stately home with a large decorative garden out back and an orangerie. I strolled around here before setting off in search of food. As I entered the supermarket it started to drizzle a little bit so I stayed inside until that had passed. I exited the shop and headed out in search of a seat to eat my lunch.
I found a bench on a dirt road, ate my food, then continued up the path. Turns out I was actually climbing up through Kapuzinerburg forest. At 640m above sea level, I reached the very top of the mountain and could see for miles on either side. Climbing up and down through these hills I was surprised to read about a particular breed of deer that calls the forest home, apparently one lone buck arrived one day and didn’t find a mate until 4 years later and now there is a family of about 12 deer living in the wilderness. They don’t mind people or the noise of the city but unfortunately I didn’t see any during my hike.
6 hours of walking later, I found a bench on the far side of the mountain and sat down hoping to catch the sunset but it turns out I was a good few hours too early. Instead I set off back through town.
On a sidenote; when I was in Vienna, I kept trying to get people to offer me leaflets about the orchestra but nobody did. In Salzburg though, two different people approached me trying to sell a rock/metal cd. Is there something about me that says I enjoy metal over classical? (Ps. check out Illumenium)
I got back to my hostel after 6 hours of walking and relaxed for a while, sorted out the leg of my journey, and called it a night.