Salzburg was beautiful. No other way to describe it. It was a charming European city, in a picturesque setting; the hills were indeed alive with music (for you uncultured buffoons in the audience, Salzburg was where the Sound of Music was filmed).
We opted to spend a night, basically 24-hours in Salzburg, which is basically halfway between Vienna and Munich, with the expectation that it would be a great change of pace to the mostly city travelling we had been doing since we left France, which it definitely succeeded in doing. It was so refreshing to be surrounded by nature, mountains and green again – granted, most European cities are commendable for their green spaces, but that cannot compete with the raw nature Salzburg gave us. I can see how Mozart, the city’s favourite son, could have very much been inspired to write his masterworks looking out towards the Alps.
The city itself was full of charm with winding cobbled streets, its eclectic mix of Gothic and Baroque architecture, and of course, sitting atop the hill above the old town, one of Europe’s largest fortresses: Salzburg Fortress. After spending a couple hours wandering around the small Old Town, we made our ascent to the top of Salzburg and spent the rest of the afternoon taking in the great views that the fortress offered, not to mention the free tour and, average, museum that was included in entry. The princely medieval fortress offered a glimpse into the sweet digs and good views the Archbishop Princes, Salzburg was an independent Imperial City Archbishopric in the Holy Roman Empire, ruled their lands from.
After our visit to the fortress, we followed a local’s tip, and went to dinner at Zwettlers Stiftskeller, a place a few blocks from the tourist area and which offered up some amazing Austrian food, of giant portions, and drink. We had both ordered items we could not pronounce; mine turned out to be turkey schnitzel with potatoes, and Valentina’s a super delicious braised beef with bacon-wrapped asparagus. Following our hearty dinner, we wandered about some more until the stars came out, at which point we snapped some photos and called it a day, feeling refreshed, yet exhausted from our day in Salzburg.