Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 3 in Munich, Day Trip to Salzburg

I woke up at around 7:45 am to get ready for my day trip to Salzburg, Austria, the meeting time was 9:15 am, I needed to give myself time to walk to the train station, by my ticket and get breakfast.  I left my hostel around 8:30 am, bought a ham and cheese croissant, and went to buy my ticket from Radius Tours for the day excursion to Salzburg.

The train ride from Munich to Salzburg was 2 hours, the Radius Tour group was an older crowd, than the Sandemams tours I usually go on, parents with kids, married couples, I think I was one of two independent travelers.  I sat next to a Canadian, the other independent traveler on the way to Salzburg and back, we talked about his recent trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, his travels in Bangladesh and India and my European tour. I read my Kindle some,  we had 3 hours of our own time in Salzburg and I wanted to plan my day.

View from Train Approaching Salzburg 
When we arrived in Salzburg, our tour guide gathered us together and asked us to take out the maps he had given us when the trip began. The first hour and a half of our tour, our guide led us and helped orient us to the area, showing us the major sites.  We began in the Salzburg Garden made famous by the Sound of Music.  Our guide told us 30% of Salzburg tourists say the Sound of Music is the reason for their trip, the movie has been a huge money generator for Salzburg.

Lynnae in Mirabell Garden from Sound of Music Salzburg
From the Sound of Music garden we walked to one of the Mozart family residences in Salzburg. Along with the Sound of Music, Salzburg is famous for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Our tour guide explained, Mozart was a prodigy, performed for Austria's Empress Maria Theresa at age 6, but did the majority of his composing in Vienna not Salzburg. We walked across Salzburg to Mozart's birthplace, now a Museum.

Lynnae in front of Mozart's Birthplace 
From Mozart's birthplace, we walked down the street, our tour guide pointed out a cafe the Mozart family frequented, then we explored the churches in Salzburg.  We saw the Salzburg Cathedral and St. Peters Abbey, I cannot remember all the background our guide gave us about these houses of Worship.  As often happens, I reached the point of information overload, instead of absorbing every detail about the history of the structures, I enjoyed this sights, took pictures, enjoyed being in Mozart's hometown and where the Sound of Music was filmed.

Lynnae at Salzburg Cathedral
From the Cathedral we walked to the Salzburg Fortress, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses and castles in Europe. We got our first view of the Hohensalzburg Fortress as our train approached Salzburg's main train station, it was an impressive sight.  Our guided tour ended in front of the funicular station for the fortress, I momentarily debated whether I wanted to pay the 11 Euros for a ticket and funicular ride, I asked the tour guide what was in the fortress.  The tour guide told me there were spectacular views of Salzburg from the fortress, and a museum.  He said, I was fit, I could walk up to the fortress and see the views, avoid paying the entrance fee, but he thought the fee was worth it, I was convinced, I shelled out 11 Euros to see the fortress up close, I was not disappointed.

Lynnae outside Salzburg Fortress

Lynnae near entrance to Salzburg Fortress

After walking around the fortress, exiting fortress, I walked back in and went to the Fortress Museum. We were on our unguided tour time, I knew I wanted to go back to the Sound of Music Gardens, get lunch, walk around and take the pictures I had not taken during the formal tour.  We had about 3 hours indepent of our guide, it was plenty of time for me to see what I wanted in Salzburg, I debated going to the Mozart museum, in the end I decided against it, the Hohensalzburg Fortress Museum was enough for my trip to Salzburg.  I walked around Salzburg, went to get food at a local fast food restaurant that specializes in fish, I got their fish burger and fries, it was much tastier than McDonald's filet-o-fish sandwich and fresh too.  I also got my water bottle filled at a couple of restaurants with Salzburgs Alpine tap water, it tasted better than the bottled water I paid for, our tour guide told us it would.

Our tour ended at 4:30 pm, we gathered at the meeting spot near a bridge overlooking the river the runs through the middle of Salzburg. The train ride back to Munich was uneventful, and I had an uneventful evening.  I walked back to the train station for Curry Wurst, it is a Berlin speciality, but you can find it in Munich too.  I ate my Curry Wurst and spoke to a German man I shared to standing table with outside the Curry Wurst stand, we talked about my trip, the places I would visit and his favorite cities.  He said New York City is his favorite city in the world, when he is there he feels like he is in the center of the universe, he likes San Francisco too, comparing it  to Munich. 

I walked back to my hostel and now it is time to get about 4 hours of sleep before I catch my early morning train to Bern, Switzerland in the morning. 

Munich Day 3 Photo Album

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