Okay. I’m pretty sure you may have expected this title from a trip to Salzburg, but I couldn’t help it. My stay in Salzburg was far too short and it rained through most of my stay, but I loved Salzburg. I wasn’t going to combine it with the Hallstatt trip, but I think it worked out. What I really wanted to do, especially since I spent the Thursday before the trip hyping up my stay with the movie, was do the Sound of Music tour. Unfortunately, I did not have time for the tour if I wanted to make it to the airport in time I think it would have been fine in the end given that it rained through most of the morning. Next time.
I will also say that I’m separating out a separate post on Hellbrunn Palace, mostly because I have a lot of pictures from the palace that would be better shared on a separate post. In any case, I spent the night in Vienna and took a morning train to Salzburg. I got there mid-morning and was able to check into my hotel and get into my room pretty early, which meant I didn’t have to lug around my backpack and bring it with my to Hallstatt. That also made it easy for me to do some mild touring before the Hallstatt tour was scheduled to leave at 1 pm. I was going to try to do a quick tour around the old town, but I ended up starting with the gardens of Mirabell Palace.
The gardens were beautiful, it not a little crowded. It used to be a palace but is now used for concerts and weddings (there were quite a few when I was walking around). More importantly, a lot of the scenes from Do Re Mi were shot in the garden. The Pegasus Fountain (above) is the fountain the Von Trapp kids march around during the song.
Once other thing I noticed while exploring the gardens was that there were a lot of Korean tourists. A lot. I heard more Korean than English and maybe German. My Korean food spidey senses went off big time and, lo and behold, there was a Korean restaurant literally right around the corner. Given that it was lunch, I decided to use the hour(ish) I had to eat instead of explore the old town. I got some chicken bokum. The food was pretty nice, except for the fact that they charged for kimchi like many Korean restaurants in Europe seem to do. The chicken bokum was good, though.
The food took a while to come out, so I didn’t end up having that much time between lunch and the tour. This meant that I, unfortunately, was unable to see the Dwarf Garden. It was fine, though. I ended up seeing it on Sunday.
When we got back from Hallstatt, it was raining pretty hard. Unfortunately, this meant that my plans of touring the old town during the evening were spoiled. It wasn’t an issue, though, because it was a good time to eat and I had read that I absolutely had to eat at Augustiner Brau. Google Maps had a little over a half mile walk to get there from our drop off point, so I figured the walk in the rain wouldn’t hurt. This, of course, is true if you don’t take a few extra turns and get lost along the way. Also, no taxis would stop, so I couldn’t catch a cab.
This beer hall is the largest in Austria and is housed inside of a former monastery that had been brewing beer there for hundreds of years. There are food stalls and walls full of beer steins that you use to get beer for pretty cheap. You just grab one of the steins from the wall, rinse it out, and get some beer from the tap.
The food was pretty good and the beer hall was warm and I even had an apple strudel, which much to my dismay was not warm. I actually had apple strudel twice while I was in Salzburg (don’t judge) and neither were warm. Julie Andrews lied to me.
The one downside to the beer hall is that, as you may expect, it is an incredibly social place. It made it a little awkward to be there by myself, but I can’t complain. It was an all-around fun experience.
Mirabell Gardens Revisited
I left the hotel around 9 am the next morning because I had about four hours to spend in Salzburg before I had to turn around and leave for the Vienna Airport. The weather report promised me no rain after 9, but I was sorely lied to. The good thing about it, though, was that I had a long wait for my bus to Hellbrunn and had a quick trip to a significantly less crowded Mirabell Gardens, where I did some quick wandering and saw the Dwarf Garden.
The Old Town
I ended up spending more time at Hellbrunn Palace than I expected in the morning, which really left me with only an hour to explore the Old Town. It wasn’t much time and meant that I didn’t have any time to visit the fortress or the convent. Fortunately, though, the rain had stopped by the time the tour of the palace had finished. I took the bus to the Mozart foot bridge and crossed over to old town to take my selfie with Mozart.
I spent the rest of the time getting lost around Old Town. I walked by the cathedral, got a glimpse of the fortress, and wandered around before heading back to the hotel and then to the train station.
I really enjoyed the almost haunting statue outside of the cathedral, too.
While the stay in Salzburg was short, it was a wonderful city and I’m glad I finally was able to visit it. The rain was unfortunate, but I feel like I got a lot more done than I expected I would in such a short stay. Hopefully, I’ll be able to come back again and geek out on that Sound of Music tour.