(Yep……….. I’m still going with this travel series even though the dust has well and truly settled on the trip………. just roll with it…….)
Salty Salty Salzburg and Sourrounds
November 10, 2012
After the boozehaze of Sail Crotia lifted, we did Austria…. like a bosstria. This basically involved a buttload of wiener schnitzel (my butt is still loaded with it), being underground, crisscrossing strangely inconspicuous international borders and the highlight of (what I now understand to be) a previously unfulfilling existance: the Keltenblitz.
But let’s start from the very begining, a very good place to start….
Salzburg was named for its surrounding salt-rock desposits (salz) and a castle (burg) built from all those salty salt dollars. Nowadays, the city had two golden geese – Mozart (born there) and the Sound Of Music (set and filmed there). And those geese have laid their eggs everywhere – you can’t turn around without getting von Trapped in stores dedicated to only selling The Sound of the Sound of Music… Or Mozaaaasked if you’d like to upgrade to the Papagena Suite, which costs about half your kidney but is inspired by some feathery character from Mozart’s opera the Magic Flute so that makes it okay.
Yep, that happened…
This is the view from Hohensalzburg Castle – Look at all those cute ant people! Salzburg is one of the prettiest cities in Europe but seeing it on foot is akin to having Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser chasing your fat arse until you cry for your mother. There’s a lot of steps, stairs, ramps and alpine inclines… But at the end of every weight loss journey, there was a gorgeous view and an even better looking beer.
This is the Stieglkeller beerhall and garden. We discovered it by accident because it looked pretty inconspicuous, sitting pretty in a deserted cobblestone street – with no one ever seeming to leave or arrive. It’s actually a deceptively large venue because its carved right into the rocks of Mönchsberg Mountain. They serve ice cold beer, delicious traditional Austrian dishes (in huge helpings) and you get to drink in one of the prettiest vistas of Salzburg while you drink in all those amber-hued carbs.
We did a segway tour of the Sound of Music sites. It was particularly satisfying zipping passed and lapping Frauline Maria’s Bicycle Tour who all looks like they were going on ‘sweatsteen’ cause they were climbing ev’ry mountain with only pedal power. Here on the left we have my manfriend and I posing in front of the Mirabelle Palace Gardens where the Von Trapp kiddies “Do-Re-Mi-ed”, then in front of gazebo from “Something Good” and “I am Sixteen” (located in Hellbrunn Gardens) and finally in front of Leopoldskron Palace which was the Von Trapp’s residence and backdrop to the scene where Maria and the children all tumble into the lake.
Eventually we ran out of money and were forced down into the Salzburg salt mines. I got a big kick out of completing an international border crossing 200 metres underground. Look, the giant slides were also pretty great. And sailing across a subterranean salt lake. All in all, I’d say there’s nothing to the defeated phrase “Back to the salt mines” because being a salt miner looks like a pretty sweet gig.
Another weirdly inconspicuous international border crossing that seemed to be in some guy’s backyard. Maybe it comes from living in a country that’s also it’s own continent but whenever I cross international borders on foot I always want to do this Homer Simpson dance.
Unsatisfied with just one underground adventure we also did a tour of the Salzburg Ice Caves on Mt Hochkogel. The cave system is INSANE with huge ice formations that look like waves snap frozen, standing 20 metres high. It’s the largest cave system in the world and spans 42 km… Thankfully, the tour is only the tip of the Ice(cave)burg and you complete a 1 km circuit – which is all you can take after the backbreaking climb to the cave entrance. Man-friend captured our alpine deathmarch perfectly with this shot. Can you see me?
Another day, another mountain. In winter Mt Dürrnberg (about 20km from Salzburg) is a tiny ski resort with one ski lift. In summer, the mountain becomes the home of the Keltenblitz, pretty much the new centre of my universe. After buying tickets, the ski lift floated us up the mountain slowly so we could take it the views.
At the top of the mountain we came face to face with the Keltenblitz, a 2.2 km long taboggan run on rails.
The descent takes around 3 minutes if you floor it. It was like being on a tiny one man rollercoaster and the hills were alive with the sound of my shrieking. (Seriously, I have video – but I’m too ashamed to post and also I don’t want your ears to bleed.)
Salzburg, how did you ever get rid of me?!
(Next time for the last time: Bavaria)
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