The Statue in the Gardens near
The Old Town
Today we are leaving Salzburg to head into Prague.  When we first planned our trip I hadn’t planned on visiting Salzburg but the city was brilliant and I am very glad that we decided to come here.
The Fountain in the Gardens in
The Old Town
We started our journey out from Munich by train and as it was a last minute recommendation we had nothing booked at all.  We just decided to go and to chance it. An hour and a half by train later we were arriving in Salzburg and we took the chance to find the nearest Internet Cafe, it didn’t take us long to find a relatively cheap hotel close to where we were, so we set off.  It took us about 45 minutes to find our hotel even though it was 200m from the station.  This was not because of our inability to read a map but our ‘hotel’ was not clearly marked, nor marked at all for that matter.  In fact when we finally found what claimed to be the rooms, there was no reception in sight and the medical clinic next door was a little too reminiscent of a horror film and we decided to look elsewhere.
The Fountain in Old Town
(Also seen in the sound of music)
A ground view of the Fortress
We eventually found a room at the Achat Hotel closeby, a European hotel group that has very nice hotels.  After checking in we set off to explore the city.  Salzburg appears to be a city of two halves.  There is the nice half, the tourist half with shops, sights and cafes.  Then there is the area surrounding our hotel, the part that reminds me of organised crime perhaps a little too much.  We got to see this first hand when we set of for a kebab back towards the station…a very shady part of town but the kebab was a winner and at 3euro also about a third of what we pay back home!
The view from the top!
The view from the front of the Fortress
The tourist side of Salzburg is brilliant.  There are amazing sights everywhere, we spent the first day discovering the little nooks of the old town and wonderful gardens nearby, we saw the fountains and the many statues that grace this fair city.
The Torture room part 1
The Torture room part 2
Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart the renowned composer, and home to the movie famous Von-Trapp family from The Sound of Music.  Many of the hotels in Salzburg have the movie available 24 hours a day on demand, so when we got back to our hotel we decided to watch while we checked up on news from home it was great to be able to point out all of the sights that we had seen that appear in the movie.  That night we enjoyed a traditional Austrian dinner at the restaurant hotel. The next day we set out to discover the fortress that overlooks the Old Town.  It was this day that made me realise that there are not nearly enough castles at home!
The brilliant artwork on the roof
Mozart’s Statue
After taking a cable car up an almost vertical incline we arrived at the Salzburg fortress.  Construction on the fortress has started in 1077 and had originally been designed as a home for the Archbishops and Aristocracy.   As a result there were a number of state rooms as well as decorative art and gold rooms, literally filled with gold ornaments.  Given the   many hundreds of years that this fortress had been used there were many different renovations done at different stages.  If a new bishop got tired of a design he would simply put a wall in front of it.
We enjoyed lunch overlooking the spectacular view of the town below.  It was breathtaking.  We were treated with amazing views on all four sides of the castle a must do for anyone staying in Salzburg!
The Old Town backstreets
James controlling a marionette puppet
Salzburg River
One of the most interesting rooms in the fortress was the torture chamber.   Designed for ‘extracting confessions’ – as no one could be convicted without a confession there were some extremely painful looking tools and machines that would stretch your body as well as some masks that I am pretty sure would have been used for water boarding.  Interesting to see that interrogation has changed -significantly in some areas but like they say – old tricks are the best tricks.  Being a fortress and also being used as a barracks during the 1900’s there were also towers and turrets that could be fortified in defence.  One of the big observations that I made was how small people were back in the years.  Finding our way around the fortress was easy but we had to watch our heads.
Michelle with the marionette puppet
The Gold Room
After exploring the fortress we spent some more time taking in the culture in the old town and discovered a church with amazing artwork painted on the ceilings.  The artwork was spectacular as you can see from the pictures that I have included.
 The rest of the afternoon involved a lot of relaxing, did a spot of shopping before heading back to the gardens and enjoying the statues and the fountains after returning to our hotel we got ready to leave for our next stop, Prague early this morning.
Old Town People were short!
The puppet show set
The decorative stove in the fortress
As I am writing this next entry I note how beautiful the Austrian, and in fact European countryside is – another great call by our travel agent Bianca.  The ease of being able to catch trains everywhere is considerable!  I am very glad that we are travelling this way!
The Highlights:
The Fortress!  It was amazing, also the first castle that we have seen but the fortress has it all gold, turrets, a torture chamber even a marionette puppet show.
The view of the mountains was brilliant, and very peaceful.  Able to be seen from almost anywhere we went in Salzburg
The Funniest thing I saw:
The Lovelock craze
There are a number of people busking, either with music or as statues, but the gentleman dressed like Friar Tuck outside the fortress walls takes the cake.  Fun Tip usually people respond better to friendly characters offering roses rather than being hissed at like a snake!
Also horse drawn carriages everywhere brilliant, horse calling cards everywhere else…well that’s not so great.
The Photo says it all
Lovelocks – first spotted in Munich, thought it was fun my opinion has changed pretty quickly.
The prize for Salzburg definitely goes to the manufacturer of this T-Shirt.  A definite winner.
The Final Word
This city was amazing, I am very glad that we decided to come to Austria I would definitely come back, and would love to see a music concerto that is performed in the fortress.

 

A roman arch that has been ‘renovated’ over
Michelle, Lady of the Realm

 

Sir James, of the Realm
A beautiful display of art

 

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