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Published: September 11th 2017
Pretty much any view of Salzburg
includes the huge 11th century Hohensalzburg Castle
and Abbey, towering over the old city on top of cliffs rising up, as it happens, right behind the flat we stayed in for a week. We actually had skylights so we could look straight up at the castle!
Many locations in and around Salzburg are recognizable from The Sound of Music. While we stayed here, we downloaded and watched the movie again to remind ourselves of which local sites were actually in the movie. There are tours to just take you to each and every site, which we did NOT do, but we did visit Mirabell
Gardens (featured in the song Do-Re-Mi) and Hellbrunn Palace, where the gazebo from the movie is located.
We had a fun day riding the funicular up to Hohensalzburg Castle to explore it and walk around the abbey, then walked all the way down from it straight to our apartment. This is a HUGE castle with about 40 buildings and very well preserved.
The Salzburg Museum
is in a beautiful old building in the centre of the old city, and provided us with artifacts, documents,
models and films for an amazingly in depth account of Salzburg's nearly 1,000 year history.
It was fun checking out the many coffee houses, most of which are in buildings that were apparently Mozart's home at some point in time.
On another day, we hiked about 15 km up the mountain park across the Salzach River from us to see the Kapuziner Kloster
monastery. It was a tough walk, following inside the Ramparts gradually curving up and around the mountain in the forest. All the way up we looked forward to lunch and a BEER, only to find that the restaurant was closed that day!
We took bus #25 one day for a 40-minute ride out of town to Unsterberg
, to ride the cable car up what seemed an almost vertical lift of over 1,300 metres to the 1,800 metre altitude at the top. The view was spectacular! The top of the cable car run is just a starting point for many hikers and seasoned mountain climbers. But we were just there for the view.
On the way home from Unsterberg, we stopped at Hellbrun
their trick water fountains. Water can suddenly spring out of sculptures, rock walls and sidewalks, even the tips of deer antlers on the wall. This was the summer retreat of Archbishop Markus Sittikus from 1612 - 1619. The gardens are huge and beautiful although the palace does not contain much, and none of what little there is, is original.
On the last of our six days here, we had dinner with our Intervac home exchange hosts and their two teenage kids, in a great restaurant near their home. Our stay here was really nice, with a perfect location within the beautiful old city with its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements, and right below Hohensalzburg castle, we were able to walk everywhere. The city has a rich and colourful history and we felt like we were actually a part of it.
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