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Salzburg and Berchtesgaden

AUSTRIA | Thursday, 10 January 2008 | Views [763] | Comments [5]

One thing about arriving at a new place in the dark is you have no idea what the countryside looks like, so I was gobsmacked when I woke up to see towering snowy mountains in every direction! This is Salzburg - the place where everything is Mozart and the hills are alive (with the sound of music :). What a place - fortress and castles on the hill tops, beautiful old buildings (again), flowing river curling through the valley, and the Mercedes rules the streets.

But before I go on, I went in search of a drinking hole last night and was put on to an Aussie pub across the river. So I was disappointed to see it closed on the only night of the week I arrive. Nevertheless I settled for second best - the Irish bar next door, hehe. I didn´t stay long - something about German conversation to the sounds of ´Whiskey in a Jar´ confused me.

I should also mention I´m travelling blind through Austria and Italy (and Germany) which means I don´t have any Lonely Planet or other tourist information to prep me. But this kind of info is easily available and it kind of makes it more of a surprise whn you get there :).

But today I sorted out my Eurorail pass for travelling to Italy tomorrow, then hit the streets. I was glad to find Mozart´s Geburtshaus pretty easily, and could imagine the young genius walking the same cobbled roads as I was. Maybe some of that genius will rub off on me, hehe. Salzburg relishes in everything Mozart so his name is used to advertise anything you can thing of. If only he could collect royalties! I also found the New Residence, the Franciscan Church, the Cathedral and the Collegiate Church - all lovely old structures which make up part of the Old Town.

I walked further and decided to go to the Hohensalzburg Fortress which looms over the city. A quick cable ride up the steep slope got me in, and the views from the top were incredible - towering snow-capped mountains guarding the old town below, and rooves covered in snow, were right out of a fairy tale. I though I heard Julie Andrews piping ´What will we do about Maria?´ but I couldn´t find Maria. The fortress was built in various stages from 16th and 17th centuries so would have been inspirational to the piano kid on his off days, hehe.

I had a few hours left in the day so after lunch I caught a train to a little place called Berchtesgaden about an hour away. It became famous as Hitler´s last retreat but I wasn´t there to see that. As the train approached it up the steep mountainous slope, my ears popped (twice) and the beautiful scenery of Austrian houses in the snowy foothills caught my attention. Then on arriving, I was blown away yet again at how picturesque this place is. Nestled in the mountains and all looking typically Bavarian (at least I think it looked Bavarian), Berchtesgaden is off the normal tourist route so I had free reign as a foreigner to walk around and take it all in.

Having done so, and taken my dose of clean alpine air, I headed back to Salzburg where I found this internet cafe (check for new pics), and will probably have an early night. The train to Venice leaves at 7am tomorrow but I´ll be going 1st class on the really nice train, so it will be worth it :).

Auf wiedersehn alles!

Tags: Mountains



sweet as matt..is all rockin 4 ya..hang on to ur passport bro in italy..and careful when u sleep on the train..cuddle ur ruck sack...lol...take care mon :)

  Chris Jan 10, 2008 12:57 PM


Beautiful enchanting Venice awaits you, our very favourite place. enjoy enjoy enjoy Love Trudi

  trudi Jan 10, 2008 1:58 PM


Alles ist so wunderbar!!We looooooved Salzburg, did you have a Pretzel? And was'nt it so bloody elegant???!!!
You'll love Venice,Trudi ,Jeff ,Rand and I were there when there was a high tide and it never stopped raining. They had to errect duckwalks [ boards ] for all to walk on.!! It was great fun but we nearly got washed away haha. absolutely fascinating place. Enjoy, can't wait till the next update, we're with you everyday! love barb xx

  Barb and Randy Jan 10, 2008 10:24 PM


Now you're coming to places we have been to. Salzburg was my favourite and we were only there for an afternoon and night. The food is speccy in Austria as well. You've enticed me to revisit these places in our own photos, though your pics of snow are great. I bet it won't take you long to get lost in Venice's canal area - very interesting. Enjoy!

  Julied Jan 11, 2008 6:10 AM


no salt mine tour then matt? no sliding down the scary wooden rails on your arse then? no views from obersalzburg and eagles nest? what about marmots????

well in venice -- make sure you go to the La Zucca for dinner!!!!! order the pumpkin flan and then the chocolate salami for desert....best meal in europe

  aberline Jan 11, 2008 12:24 PM

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