Last week I was lucky enough to snag another three day weekend. If it hasn’t become obvious to those of you who regularly read my blog, I have a bit of an addiction to traveling. Sometimes I need to take it down a notch and remember to appreciate the trip I just went on before trying to jump into another one. Living in Europe makes that difficult! I decided to go to Salzburg for a couple days because it’s only about a 3.5hr train ride away.
I actually ended up deciding the day of that I wanted to go, and booked my train and hostel in a matter of minutes. I had looked up options a few days prior, but didn’t pull the trigger until an hour before I was to catch the train. Sometimes last minute decisions are the best. I arrived in Salzburg around 3pm, which gave me enough daylight to get acclimated to the city for a few hours.
I dedicated my first afternoon to wandering the city, and the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The Fortress was built in 1077 and is the largest fully preserved castle in Central Europe. To access the fortress you can walk up a relatively large hill, or you can ride up in a Funicular. I’m always down for a walk, and I’m too cheap to pay for the easy way, so I walked up the hill and earned my view. The museum was closed when I visited, which I was more than ok with, so I only had to pay 4 euro to walk around the grounds.
The fortress was huge, and I spent about an hour walking around and appreciating the views. I can’t help but wonder what it was like living in castles like this when they were actively used by European royalty. I also wonder what the view was like back then. The view now is amazing, and provides an arial shot of the Salzburg Cathedral. The view walking up to the fortress was great too, and each twist and turn provided a different angle of the city.
After I pretended I was Salzburg royalty I walked around the city for a while before it got dark. Near the hill up to the fortress is a gate that leads into St. Peters Abbey and Cemetery. Never have I ever seen a more beautiful cemetery in my life. It was small, but the effort the families put into each burial spot was amazing. This cemetery was the inspiration for one of the scenes in the Sound of Music, when the Trapp family fled through the cemetery to hide before fleeing to Switzerland.
More on the Sound of Music filming locations later.
The dwellings in the cliff wall apparently served as both hermitages and burial sites. I didn’t discover the dwelling was accessible until after I left. There are stairs leading up to the dwelling, and the entrance is found at the foot of Mozarts sisters grave. Yea, the Mozart. Honestly I’m super bummed I didn’t know about the stairs leading up, looks like I’ll have to return!
From the cemetery I found my way to the Dom zu Salzburg, aka the Salzburg Cathedral. The large onion dome and two smaller towers in front of it are seen in a few of the above photos. The cathedral was destroyed and rebuilt multiple times by fires, but you’d never know by walking through the isles. It was beautiful inside, as are all European cathedrals. There is a lot of history inside the cathedral, but the one that resonated most with me was that Mozart was baptized in this cathedral.
The rest of my first day in Salzburg was spent preparing for the following morning. Day one was a mere four hours in the city, but it was already off to a great start. I stayed at the YoHo Int. Youth Hostel, and it was very close to both the train station and the city center. I stayed in a four female dorm, and my first night there were three Koreans in the room with me. Thankfully they were very quiet, as I needed a goodnights sleep for day two!
….to be continued!
Q: Can you make last minute decisions for an adventure, or do you need everything planned prior?