The fountain seen in the Sound of Music. All boarded up for winter...
Charles remarked that during this whole trip to Europe I really loved every city and yet he says I fell in love the fastest with Salzburg. He is quite right.
The bus ride wasn’t too bad as there was lots of nice countryside to see along the way but I ended up napping anyway. Once we arrived we were given some time to explore on our own before our actual guided tour to start in like a half hour. We made our way around the central square we had been dropped off at. All the fountains were boarded up for the winter so they wouldn’t crack, even though there had been no snow in sight. I did peak through the boards of the one of the large horses that you see in the Sound of Music. There wouldn’t be time to do a Sound of Music tour so that goes on the list for next time.
Charlemagne ate here in 803 but it has probably been around longer!
One of the things we found and thought was really cool was a large public chess set out on the ground with big pieces that were about 3 feet tall.
We also found the oldest restaurant in Europe
, Stiftskeller St. Peter's. The story goes that the site has been a monastery for ages with part of it serving as a restaurant. Warring factions usually left monastery alone so it survived. They have record of Charlemagne eating there in 803 ! It has more than likely been around much longer but that is the earliest documentation. 803 is still good enough to beat anybody else as oldest restaurant! We couldn’t resist and so after the tour we made a point of coming back for lunch before we headed home.
Our tour guide took us around to the Salzburg Cathedral, the site of Mozart's baptism.
St. Peter's Cemetery which inspired part of the set of The Sound of Music.
The church itself is really beautiful. I definitely love Baroque architecture. I think we also went by the Nonnberg Abby but we didn’t go inside. We did go through St. Peter's cemetery which was the one that inspired the look of a scene in The Sound of Music. There is a part where they are at her old church hiding from the Nazi's behind statues that are behind some bars. In some of the pictures you can see the likeness of that area. The cemetery was really neat and really really old. I liked the maintained yet overgrown with greenery look it had. Normally it is covered in 5 feet of snow so it was nice to get to see it.
From there we walked around to the market area and eventually The Getreidegasse or Grain Lane
Salzburger Nockerln (a meringue-like dish) is a well-known local dessert.
It is the famous street of shops that have by law old style iron hanging signs and Mozart's birthplace at the one end. It was a very pretty area with neat little alleyways and lots of stuff to look at. Once we left the tour we got some special Mozart chocolate balls. They were pretty good. I also took a picture of a pretzel stand. We bought some just to try them even though we had made reservations for lunch.
The restaurant was very stylish with out being elaborate. I think we were the only ones there at that time. They had a sign about concert performance dinners which we totally would have done if he had the time. The menu was extensive and our version was in English. The service was excellent as well. I dont remember what we ordered exactly but it was all very good. One note of warning! The dessert for two could feed far more! Based on the Salzburger Nockerln (a local traditional meringue-like dish) we had three small mountains of fluffy goodness with a ton of fruit and small cakes to eat it with! It also came with two sauces, a white chocolate and a raspberry.
Another thing I missed was the Hohensalzburg castle, one of the largest in Europe
. I have to come back here someday!