DAY 8 – Sunday, June 30, 2019 – Munich >> Salzberg >> Golling
We ate breakfast in the Hotel TRYP.
On the bus ride to Salzburg, we stopped at a convenience store with a view overlooking Austria. I had lunch at McDonalds inside the truck stop. I bought what I thought was “scharf” cheese in a tube for Forrest. It turned out to be mustard.
On March 12, 1938, German troops occupied Austria, and Hitler proclaimed its union with Germany, annexing it to the Third Reich. After World War II, the United States and Britain declared the Austrians a “liberated” people, but the Russians prolonged the occupation. In 1955, Austria finally concluded a state treaty with the USSR and other occupying powers and regained its independence. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the 1968 Prague Invasion, Austria granted asylum to the refugees. Today, Austria is one of the richest countries in the world. It is comprised of 9 states and joined the European Union in 1995.
The bus dropped us off. On our walk to the City Center of Salzburg, we passed a bar/café with an outdoor biergarten called, “Zwettler’s” – that’s my maiden name! The biergarten was empty at that time of the day.
Salzburg, which literally means “salt castle” is the fourth-largest city in Austria with a population of 145,000. It is renowned for its Baroque architecture and is one of the most well preserved city centers north of the Alps. With 27 churches, it’s been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. Salzburg is the birthplace of 18th century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and in the 1960’s, it was the setting for the musical, The Sound of Music.
It was about 100 degrees. There was limited shade in the City Center. While waiting for our tour guide to arrive, we stood next to the “Mozart Residence” where the family moved in 1773, and looked at the statue of Mozart in the center of Marketplatz Square.
Our tour guide arrived (late) on her bicycle. She told us about the baroque Salzburg Cathedral we were standing in front of. Vladya again insisted we enter.
Salzburg Cathedral is a sacred centerpiece of the city. There are many things to discover, including: 3 entrance doors, the baptismal font (from which Mozart was baptized in 1756), the crypt, the art installation “Vanitas”, the chest containing relics of Saints Rupert and Virgil, and the seven bells. There are three dates on the entrance gates: 774 is the year that Bishop Virgil came from Ireland and consecrated the first cathedral; 1628 is the year the rebuilt cathedral was consecrated after the original was demolished in a fire in 1181; 1959 is the year the cathedral was reopened after being destroyed by an aerial bomb in 1944.
Our guided sightseeing tour of Salzburg took us past the “Hagenauer Haus” at No. 9 Getreidegasse where Mozart was born in 1756. His family occupied an apartment on the third floor until they moved to the “Mozart Residence” in Marketplatz Square.
We ventured to the outskirts of town. We saw a brothel on the narrow streets where American soldiers visited in a tank – a corner of one building was damaged as the drunken soldiers left.
We saw Mirabelle Gardens where Maria and the children from the Sound of Music danced around the Pegasus fountain and sang DO RE MI. It stands in front of a palace where one of Austria’s kings kept his lover. On our way back to the City Center, we saw the red roofed Nonnberg Abbey across the river, the abbey that Maria Von Trapp attended in real life and in the movie.
We also saw Hohensalzburg Fortress in the distance, high above the city.
Before crossing Salzach River on the Makartsteg Bridge (Love Lock Bridge), Vladya took a photo of us with Nonnberg Abbey in the background. I never received a copy of those group photos
Back at City Center, our group split up. I had Italian ice cream. Barbara, Marlene, and I took a cable car to Mt. Monchberg (one of five mountains in Salzburg named after Benediction monks of St. Peters Abbey). We walked the ridge and toured the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The views of Salzburg are spectacular. We stopped to listen to a children’s choir. Marlene, Barbara, and I had a beer on the rooftop with Doug and Rita from our group. As we were leaving, we saw Ceceila, Jan, Ceil, and Ann were just a couple of tables away from us. We took a photo and headed back down on the cable car. We shopped on the way back to the City Center. We weren’t the last ones back to the meeting spot.
We walked back to the bus – past Zwettler’s. I really wanted to stop and have a beer – but that was out of the question. I did chat for a half minute with a waiter and told him that “Zwettler” was my last name. DickTator hurried me along.
We drove to Golling, Austria (population 4,200) and checked into Hotel Adler.
Barbara was passing through the hallway when the young woman from the front desk of the hotel was showing Dan, from our group, a secret room with a refrigerator where he could help himself to beer by putting Euros in an honor system container. Barbara noticed an empty ice cube tray in the freezer. She made a tray of ice. Before dinner, we stopped at the secret room, got a couple of the last beers and her ice. When we showed up for dinner, everyone was jealous of our beers. Unfortunately, we were the last ones to arrive and had to eat alone at a table for two. After dinner, the “kids” went off to hit the bars in the small town. We had just gotten beers from the waitress, so Barbara and I stayed out in the garden with Misa, Dick, Linda, and Ann. Shortly after we sat down in the garden, Dick went back to his room. A little while later, Ann went back to her room, and Linda followed. Somewhere along the line the kids came back and said there was nothing going on downtown. REALLY? The “kids” went back to their rooms. Barbara and I stayed outside with Misa. She told us her story about traveling with her girlfriend (at age 19) when the Nazis took over Prague. People warned them not to go back – they went back anyway and were under Soviet rule for 20+ years.
What are your favorite things to do in Salzburg?
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