Monday, January 19, 2015

Salzburg. Swoon.

Sorry I've been MIA. First it was the craziness of the holidays, and then I had the flu, which knocked me out for a solid week. Since then, it's been catching up and more catching up. Here is a quick summary of the last month of my life: Christmas was wonderful. The flu was not wonderful. The end.

I'm in a bit (more like a trench) of a sports depression today after Green Bay's loss yesterday. I needed something to cheer me up, and I thought reminiscing about Salzburg might do the trick. I'll be back soon with some non-vacation life updates. Hang tight.


Before we left on our trip, I had a sneaking suspicion that Salzburg would be my favorite stop. I tend to like smaller destinations where you can walk everywhere and see everything. It turns out I was right. I love being right, and I love Salzburg.

We arrived in Salzburg in the evening. We stayed at the Sacher Hotel, which was my favorite hotel of the trip. The room was on the smaller side, but it was beautifully decorated. It didn't hurt that it overlooked the river and one of the pedestrian bridges that connects to the heart of the old city. We dropped our bags and started exploring. All I wanted to do was see what treasures were hiding on the other side of that bridge.

i want this wallpaper. 
a tv built into a bathroom mirror? ok, cool. 
room with a view.
We wandered through the city to the Cathedral where we caught the last bit of a choir rehearsal. We enjoyed the main Salzburg Christmas market in the square outside the cathedral along with several others we stumbled upon along the way. Much like the city, the markets in Salzburg were my favorite. They were smaller, more intimate, not nearly as crowded, and full of charm. We ate dinner standing up at Walter's sausage stand. Walter is the man. He literally cooks his sausages inside a tiny cave hidden in an alley. It was the perfect vacation night.


this market had animals. i died.

The next day we were total tourists and went on the Sound of Music tour - after sleeping in and almost missing it (another total tourist thing to do). It was a perfectly fine experience and a good way to see the city and surrounding area without freezing. If traveling in the summer, I probably would have planned our own walking tour, but sometimes it's just easier to follow the crowds. But by the end of the tour, I wanted to poke my eyes out thanks to our cheesy guide and his terrible jokes. It's probably the first time I've never tipped a guide. He's lucky I didn't leave him with a parting punch in the face. Apparently corny tour guides bring out my hidden rage. ;)

thee gazebo.

where they filmed the wedding scene.
this guy also made it into the movie. he was my favorite.
In the afternoon, we did some more wandering, shopping, and cafe dining. That evening we went to my favorite Christmas market of the entire trip at Schloss Hellbrunn. This is where the Sound of Music gazebo resides, but don't be fooled, the gazebo has no connection to the actual palace. It was built just for the movie and moved to the grounds of the palace after it's original location tired of the gawkers. I loved this market because it had a beautiful palace backdrop, but was soooo cozy. They also really brought it in the lights department.

schloss hellbrunn market. 

That night, we had dinner inside a mountain. I'm not kidding. It was an old WW2 bunker turned high-end restaurant. It was an incredibly cool dining room experience, and the food was awesome to boot. Win/win.

dinner in a bunker!
Our last day in Salzburg (happy Thanksgiving!) was all about the fortress. We picked the perfect day. After zero sunshine since arriving in Europe, we finally saw the clouds lift just in time for some great views. I really loved the fortress. It's one of the oldest and most well-preserved ones in Europe. It was first started in 1077 and expanded by each subsequent archbishop. It was also a very successful fortress because it was never successfully invaded. The overachievers walk up to the fortress, but we happily took the lift.

oh hey, the alps.

this is how you'll find Jon during 90% of our vacations. 
inside the fortress.
riding the lift.
I was so sad to say goodbye to Salzburg. Not to mention we were over halfway done with our vacation. We took a late afternoon train to Munich for the third and final stop of our Christmas market tour.

bye bye salzburg.