Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sounds of Salzburg

It was my last night at Erik’s apartment in Amsterdam, I had been moaning to him earlier about having to get up at 5am to catch a train to Salzburg. It was now 11pm on the eve of my departure when I get a text from him saying “Important, Just found out the clocks go forward one hour tonight”


5am came round, when it was really 4am, and I quickly got ready and said a quick goodbye to Erik who had kindly got up to make sure everything was alright. I wondered down the quiet dart streets to my stop, and wasn’t long before the night bus took me to Amsterdam Central station.

I was really looking forward to some nice trains but my first one was just a basic intercity train. It still had soft seats and tray tables etc. But wasn’t as fast or as luxurious, and I had 5 hours before I had to make a train switch. I ate a couple of muffins that I had wrapped up and taken with me from Erik’s and curled up and went to sleep. The train was delayed by 30 minutes so when I got to Hannover I quickly got new tickets for my next two train legs which were just an hour later so was no biggie. I had a quick bite in.....McDonalds before jumping onto the ICE train that would take me to Munich. This was the train I was looking forward to.

Because my new tickets didn’t have assigned seats I wondered up and down the carriages looking for a non-reserved seat. I was being really picky, trying to find a seat that had a free seat next to it, and on the west side so I could enjoy the afternoon sun. I found one in the 21st carriage (the last carriage) at the very last seat of the carriage. It was even more spacious than the Paris –Brussels train and with bigger windows. My chair seemed to be stuck in recline and so I followed accordingly.  The train didn’t go as fast as the previous high speed train, it just stayed at 200kmph, but it is so quiet and so gentle, it feels like you’re floating along on a cloud. I don’t care that there are oceans between here and NZ, I’m coming home on an ICE train.

Salzburg Quick facts:
- Forth largest city in Austria
- Population 150,000
- Setting for the movie, The Sound of Music
- Birthplace of Mozart

 I arrived in Salzburg at 7pm, and decided to just walk to my hostel. It was a lovely warm evening, calm and clear. The hostel I was staying at is located right on the top of the main hill in Salzburg. It’s only really accessible by stairs so it was fun lugging my bag up, much more steps than in Paris!

Salzach River through Salzburg

The entire hill is covered in trees and parks, with a few historical buildings and walls. I made it up the hill to a lifeless building that stood against what looked like a fortress wall with towers dotted along it. I had to ring the owner as no one was at the hostel (was only like 8pm) who gave me an access code. I met a guy called Zami (Zah-mee) who had just finished his studies in London and was touring Europe before heading home to Kuala Lumpur, we had a laugh at how desserted the hostel was. It was just us 2, in our own dormitories up on this dark hill with Salzburg down below, no hostel staff, no one. We headed into town to find some dinner, but being Sunday little was open, and we ended up with some delicious Kebab burger things

The view from my bedroom 
I got up reasonably early, but not as early as Zami who had rushed off to catch his Sound of Music bus tour.
I popped downstairs and met the young girl running the cafe, she told me to just take a seat and she'd bring my tea and breakfast to me. I sat right on the edge overlooking Salzburg on a lovely warm morning.

Breakfast was...interesting...

Meat, meat, and cheese, extremely hot chillis. Tea (a drink with jam and bread) butter and more cheese.
I'm not sure what the meat was, some stuff I hadn't tried before, but I ate it all, and kept me full for ages.
Hostel on the left, it's mainly a cafe during the day

This is an old fortress wall, my hostel is just behind me

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Main shopping street in Old Town, you can see my hostel on the hill

It's great having the hostel in a high location, it's so easy to find. In the evenings I would look up to see if any lights were on because going back to a completely empty dark hostel wasn't fun. The left light mean't Lin was home, middle light was Zami, and if the right light was on, someone was in my room.

 Palace of Mirabell and it's gardens

I decided to walk up the other big hill opposite the hill I was staying on for a different view..

Mozarts Birth Place

Doe a Deer....

It's so nice, especially when I'm back at the hostel, when the churches all ring their bells at the same time. It sounds like a big battle to see who can ring the loudest and the sound bounces between the hills. It's very cool!

Just a few minutes walk from my hostel..

Every night I come home, no matter how freaked out I am walking through the dimly lit desserted park, I can't help but stop and look over the edge..

I visited the fortress on the second day. Was quite nice, you can take a cable car to the entrance or walk, the price was the same so I just took the cable car.

Salzburg was teasing me with the views of the mountains, I just wanted to go right into the middle of the alps...

I walked down the other side of the hill to a nearby lake that I saw on the map. It was so peaceful and quiet this side, less tourists.

Nice to eat lunch in the sun. The mansion is just a few meters left

The movies Von Trapp mansion

I walked back right round the base of the hill and along the river

I really enjoyed my visit to Salzburg, I was meant to stay more than 3 nights but previous arrangements didn't work out, but that's okay, I covered what I wanted to.
Hopefully you have all got some Sound of Music song stuck in your head like I have had the past 2 days!
Anyway I've booked myself another 8am train to Venice (why do I keep inflicting these on myself, the train goes every hour!) which is a 6 hour journey, not bad! Should be fun! 

1 comment:

  1. Forgot to comment on this one - was at work when I read it.
    Have returned here after reading Venice... and am quite impressed at how many musicals we are working through. Your musical roots are showing