Thursday, August 25, 2016

Salzburg, Austria

Prepare yourselves for pictures, because this trip was not short on them! We did so much and saw so many beautiful things that I don't feel like I can leave anything out! 

We had a long weekend, so we decided to make the most of it and spend a few days in Salzburg. We waited a day and a half until after we'd decided to go to book tickets and in that time, the price went up, so we decided we had to book quickly and for less time than we'd intended.

We took the 11:40 train from Marburg on a Thursday night. Undecided if it would be best to take a nap or do it without a nap, Carson and I chose the latter before our trip, choosing instead to "rest" by watching Netflix (have I mentioned that we have Netflix here? The offerings are a little different from the States but I feel like the movie selection in particular is great).

I didn't sleep on the train but everyone else did.

We got to Frankfurt a little before 1am, and our train to Munich wasn't until 2am. The train station was FREEZING and this is when I began to really regret the light jacket and wish for my winter coat.

We got to Munich at 7 something in the morning. My FitBit says I got a glorious total of 3 hours and 17 minutes the entire trip, but surprisingly, I didn't feel THAT bad. We had to jog a little to catch the train to Salzburg, because it left about 10 minutes after our arrival.

It was a lovely ride! Carson got his first glimpse of the Austrian Alps.

We pulled into Salzburg at 9:15am and headed to a cafe in the station for something to eat, then tried to figure out where things were and which buses and trains would get us there. We searched for a map, but couldn't find one (that didn't cost 10 euro), so we did a little research on the free wifi.

Here is a bike garage at the train station.

I show you this picture because I would be remiss in talking about this trip without talking about this backpack. You see, Carson left his in the States in favor of a rolling suitcase, and it turns out that a backpack would have actually been really useful. So he went to a thrift store in Marburg (you knew he'd sniff one out... it's his thing) and found this climbing backpack for 10 euro. He is PUMPED about this thing. It has a rain flap and a million pockets and is perfect and wonderful and he's sort of in love with this inanimate object. Ask him about it.

We could tell we were getting nearer to a touristy area when we started seeing lots of people and lots of things to eat.

Our first stop was the Mirabell Palace and gardens, a beautiful (and free!) site we wanted to experience. It was lovely there, and we wandered through the grounds, taking in the fountains, flowers, statues, and enjoying the people watching. 

Another thing about this place? A scene from The Sound of Music was shot there. Actually, a lot of the scenes from the movie were made in Salzburg. There are lots of tours and even the ability to self-tour and I really wanted to do one and see all of these places, but I was outvoted in this, sadly. 

Still, I found some stills from the movie that show where we did get to go. My picture of the same place (I didn't remember that this was the right angle of the picture; I just sort of got lucky when I found this later), is below.

Technically, Carson is next to the statues that are behind Maria and the Von Trapp children, but still, this is pretty similar (and if I'd thought to look up these stills before you better believe I'd have recreated some of them).

Mozart was also born in Salzburg, and we stopped by the place where he was born (but 20 euro for a tour made this only a brief visit. Sorry, Mozart!

We walked over this bridge, full of locks!

 And into this area that is mostly high end shopping, with a few souvenir stores, restaurants and even a Claire's store thrown in. This is the fanciest McDonalds sign I've ever seen.

One things Salzburg is "known for" (I put that into quotations because I feel like it is known for a lot more than just this), are Mozartkugeln, or Mozart Balls. They are made from pistachio, chocolate, nougat and a center of marzipan. Honestly they weren't my favorite thing ever, but they weren't too bad. We felt like we had to try some since we were there and all.

We saw some pretty things as we walked up toward the castle! When I looked at maps of Salzburg later, I realized that the building up there on the hill may very well be the Abbey from the Sound of Music. I really wish I'd looked at a map and done my homework here! With other people on the trip and not just Carson and I, I didn't want to be a control freak but if we were that close, I wish I'd made the effort. I'm not super obsessed with the movie (although I do really like it), but I think it's neat that we were there and theoretically could have seen familiar sites.

We decided to take the funicular up to the castle instead of walking. It was really hot and we didn't see a super clear pathway up there anyway. It looked like the price was the same to go to the castle either way, so we went the easier route.

Riding up! We were smushed in the car up there next to a family from the UK with the CUTEST little kids who kept asking all kinds of questions about the ride.

Yeah, the view was incredible. My camera couldn't quite get the contrast right on the mountains - they were a lot more visible than this!

The castle was impressive too! There are so many castles here that it's sort of like "Oh bother, another one of these things", but they're actually really neat!

I liked the color difference between the view from the castle in Salzburg and the ones we've seen in Germany. The German roofs are clay colored, but here it was a totally different color scheme and I liked it!

The tickets we had got us into the few museums located in the castle, but most of the lines were really long, so we went into the Marionette Museum, which had no line. I'll admit, these were cool, but I wouldn't have wanted to be alone in there. Maybe it was the dark lighting, but it was a little spooky.

Annnnd riding back down! We rode in the front of the car so we could see where we were going.

We went to this little exhibit outside the castle with seemingly random things - some scientific, some not.

A short walk away was this cemetery. It was brightly colored and many of the graves were centuries old, although we did see some really recent ones.

There was a monastery that was from the 8th century! Carson was really excited about this. I just took a picture from below. I thought it was neat how it was built into this rock.

Next, we went into the Mondsee Abbey, which is where the Sound of Music wedding scene was filmed! It was founded in 748!

The floor in this room was carved from some kind of stone - really intricate and neat.

Later on, we'd walk up to that building on the hill... but for now, we were looking for some lunch that wasn't a million dollars. It felt like there weren't a ton of options and the ones we saw were a little pricier than we'd have liked.

Saw this creative display in a store... those are dress shirts made into a dress.

We went to a place with Pho, because when in Austria, why not eat some Asian cuisine?

After we'd fueled up, we ascended the hill to the Kapuzinerkloster, which is a slightly younger Capuchin monastery.  

Spotted these signs in the train station. I can't imagine booking a ticket to Austria and arriving to realize you thought you were in Australia. On the one hand, that would be hilarious. On the other, well, that's pretty sad.

We took the train to Pfarrwerfen where we would stay that night. It was about an hour's ride south of Salzburg and we saw some beautiful sights on the way. I also bought Carson a KinderEgg. I had a friend in middle school who sometimes had these from trips to Europe and I used to think they were the BEST. Carson liked it a lot and appreciated the toy in the middle (he got a truck).

The train station was so tiny and cute!

Doesn't this look a little fake? Love the castle in the distance!

Carson and Jessie did most of the research for this trip, including finding this place. We decided to either camp (but there was the problem of carrying all our stuff in a city, plus the forecast had said thunderstorms even though they held off) or share a room and bring sleeping bags so that we could save a little, but this place fit us all in one room! We ended up in the middle balcony room and didn't pay extra for it. This was a MAJOR score, especially since the pictures online didn't make it look like anything special.

Our view.

As it got a little later, it got misty.

We decided to walk to the one grocery store because there weren't any restaurants. It was a short walk and we fed all of us for $15 and had leftovers for lunch the next day.

I don't know if you've heard anything about chocolate in this part of the world, but it's pretty serious.

I just thought these had such pretty packaging. Zucker is the German word for sugar!

Here was our spread. We spend the whole evening on the porch because it was such a beautiful view!

Just rolling my calves on a bottle... two long days of activity and this actually worked well (though if I'd known how much walking we were doing I would have packed my foam roller for sure!)

We went to bed at 8:30! Us girls slept in the big bed and Carson slept on the daybed in the corner.

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