Europe 2012: Day 78, Rothenburg to Salzburg

View of the Festung Hohensalzburg (Salzburg Castle) from Capital Plaza in Salzburg, Austria.

08/23/2012 – Rothenburg to Salzburg

 Woke at 7am.   Looking out our window, I can see that it is sunny.  According to the internet, it is also cooler.  Too bad, we leave Rothenburg for Salzburg today — it is supposed to be in the 90s there.  I guess I will not need a sweater.

We pack our bags, have our breakfast, and check out of the hotel.   We walk to the train station and arrive 10 minutes before our 9:05am train is to leave.  We didn’t use our EuroRail pass for this trip so we are traveling second class today for all four legs of our trip.   The schedule will be tight!   If all goes well we will be in Salzburg by 2:45pm.

On our first leg of our trip to Salzburg, the train is not full.  These trains do not have a lot of luggage space so some luggage sits in a seat like an actual person.

On our second leg of our trip to Salzburg, the lack of luggage space  become a problem.  The ratio becomes at least two suitcases per person.   I guess we are all pack rats at heart and when your traveling, whatever you have becomes so precious that are willing to become rude and annoying just to keep your stuff by your side.

On the  third leg of the trip to Salzburg, there are large groups of college kids on the train — some drunk, some rowdy, but all with massive amount of camping gear!   Apparently, we are told, there is a Reggie Festival somewhere near Munich.  Some of their camping stuff is still in its original packaging.  I am glad I won’t be at the festival to see just how interesting this will all become.

On the fourth leg of our trip to Salzburg, we miss our first train.  Our train into Munich was delayed by the police (they were looking for someone) and we arrived too late to catch our connecting train.  Luckily for us, a train runs between Munich and Salzburg every hour so we just hang out in the terminal and catch the next train.  We catch a quick lunch — one of those famous Munich pretzels and some roasted chicken!     Once on the train, I grab a window seat and  I watch the Alps go by against a clear blue Austrian sky.  I have decided, I like being near mountains!

The train arrives on time.   The terminal is packed but we are able to find our way past all the fast food stands and to the street.   We turn left and walk for a few blocks.  We turn right and walk for a few more blocks.   We arrived at our hotel, ACHAT Hotel, without a problem.    Our room is ready, we settled our stuff in the room, use the bathroom, check the internet (nice connection) and go out to explore Salzburg.   Here are a couple of important facts about Salzburg that will set the tone for our visit here:

  • Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital city of the federal state of Salzburg.  Everyone is here!
  • Salzburg’s “Old Town” (Altstadt) has internationally renowned baroque architecture and one of the best-preserved city centers north of the Alps.  Everywhere you look, there is an Alp somewhere!
  • Salzburg was the birthplace of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  There are more Mozart Balls (Mozartkugel) here than in Vienna –if that is possible (and apparently, it is)!
  • In the mid-20th century (1964 to be exact), the city was the setting for parts of the musical and film The Sound of Music. For the next few days, we are all “I am 16 going on 17,  I know that I’m naiveeeee”

Here are some picture of our walk through the “Old Town” of Salzburg:

Our hotel is next to the Mirabell Palace and Gardens in Salzburg, Austria. We have to walk through this lovely place to get to “Old Town”.

This is the bridge the goes from our side of the river to “the” side of the river — Salzburg’s “Old Town”.

My DH said “get ready for the crowds!” Yep, this place is popular!

This is where we want to go, the Old Town of Salzburg.

This where we we are coming from — the other side of the river.

First thing we see is Mozart’s birthplace — it’s the yellow house.

One of the main streets in Salzburg.

At the end of this street is a church embedded into an Alp. This is the St. Blasius Church, the oldest Gothic Church in Austria

At the end of the street, we turn left and see this building with paintings of horses! As in Vienna, they like horses here.

Coming up on the main market square. That is the Colliegic Church up ahead.

Drat, the market is closed for the day!

But the Collegiate Church is open!

The main altar of the Collegiate Church of Salzburg.

Interesting floor in the Collegiate Church of Salzburg.

Look! A painting!

Just like Rothenburg, Salzburg stores display these wonderfully artistic signs!

The Salzburg’ Cathedral is the largest of the city’s 36 churches.

This is still the Salzburg Cathedral. If I can get a horse into a picture, I will.

These horses have wavy manes — so sweet!

We just can’t pass up of church without stopping to look around. This is the altar of the Salzburg Cathedral.

Mozart used to be the organist for the Salzburg Cathedral. This was the organ he played.

This is the dome of the Salzburg Cathedral.  Mozart claimed that this dome offered the best acoustics of any church he played in — and he played in lots of churches in his time.

There is no arch or corner of the Salzburg Cathedral that is not adorned in some wonderful way!

Next to the Salzburg Cathedral is the Central Plaza where there is a huge chess board. People of all ages play chess here with whoever happens to be around and wiling to play.

View of the fortress from the chess board. The golden orb with the man on top of it is a work of art. Every year, a new work of art is commissioned for this site. The art is usually modern and something I probably will never understand — my mind just doesn’t work that way…

Around the corner from the plaza is the St. Peter’s Cemetery. These are some of the best headstones I have ever seen!

According to the guide book, relatives of the deceased are billed for the up-keep of the grave (flowers and stone cleaning/mending). Once they stop paying, the remains are removed and the grave site is sold to someone else. Even though upkeep is expensive, most families continue to pay so to allow themselves to be buried there someday. This cemetery was featured in the movie “The Sound of Music” — it is where the Trapp Family supposedly hid from the Nazis while they were trying to escape from Austria to Switzerland.

St Peter’s Church, next to the cemetery.

While in St. Peter’s Cemetery, we noticed this house built into the side of the mountain. This is one of many homes carved out of the stone.  People still live there — where do they park their car?

A statue of Mozart in Mozartplatz next to the Salzburg Cathedral. According to the guide book, this is the ugliest of all Mozart statues and looks nothing like him.  But it was commissioned by the Austrian government so does it really matter?

It was getting late and it was beginning to rain so we ducked into the first restaurant we could find off of Mozartplatz.  Sorry, I don’t remember the restaurant’s name but it was a good meal!   My DH and I shared a dish of fried fish and roasted potatoes.

No time for a picture — we were hungry!

Around 9pm, we were back at our hotel checking emails and flipping through the TV channels looking for something in English.   Our first day in Salzburg was lovely!   We are tired and we think he have seen it all, but I bet we haven’t…

Quote of the day:  “Hey — there is a 24-hour ‘Sound of Music’ channel!”  — Anna to DH


2 thoughts on “Europe 2012: Day 78, Rothenburg to Salzburg

  1. You say “There are more Mozart Balls (Mozartkugel) here than in Vienna”
    Just how many balls did the man have?????? :o)

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