Salzburg, Austria (9.26.09 – 9.28.09)

So. Salzburg… about time, huh?! After a fairly long day of travel from Venice, I arrived at the Salzburg Hauptbanhof shortly after 9:30. I found the Lokalbahn and took the 10PM train to Anthering. I got off the train to find myself in a dark, poorly lit rural area just outside of the Salzburg center. I began walking in the direction of the house I sought, and in fact, the only direction I possibly could have walked. There is only one road that leads to and from the station. As I began to walk, I was offered a ride from a nice elderly couple. I declined, because firstly, I speak virtually zero German, and secondly, it was only a five minute walk away. I arrived at the house of my CS host, and was greeted by a teen with dreads. I asked for Andrea, and he said she wasn’t home just yet, and in return asked if I was the couch surfer, to which I responded that I was. He was Andrea’s son, Jordan; he showed me where I’d be sleeping, and before long, Andrea arrived home.
Andrea was absolutely amazing. We spent several hours chatting, asking each other questions, I about Austrian culture, and she about American culture. Before we knew it, it was past midnight, so we called it a night.
The next morning, I woke up, and Andrea had breakfast out, so I ate and we chatted more, and she told me all sorts about what I needed to see in the city. So, I dressed, took the Lokalbahn into town, and off on foot I went. Salzburg is a city of character, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Alps. It’s much smaller than Vienna, which I think adds to its charm. First, I walked through a park and past the Schloss Mirabell, which is where some of The Sound of Music was filmed! The view from the castle and the castle’s gardens is superb, because you see the length of the gardens, a cathedral and the castle on the hill in the background. From here, I walked over the bridge, across the River Salzach, and into the old town. I walked up and down Getreidegasse, a famous shopping street, where I passed Mozart’s birthplace, designer shop after designer shop, with restaurants, chocolateries and souvenir shops thrown in between. I stopped for lunch at a restaurant with traditional Austrian food… which really just means many different types of sausages… which is exactly what I had for lunch, accompanied by sauerkraut, potatoes, and a of course, a large beer. After lunch, I walked further into the old town to the Dom (Cathedral), around which a festival of sorts was taking place. It was somewhat similar to Oktoberfest, but on a much smaller scale. After several hours of wandering the streets of the old town, I crossed the river once more and walked to the St. Sebastian church to find the grave of Constanze Von Nissen, who was Mozart’s wife. She remarried after his death, thus the Von Nissen, not Mozart.
My legs were sufficiently tired at this point, so I headed back to Anthering. Andrea was making an apple strudel/crumble dessert, so I helped her with that. Soon, it was time for dinner, and we had a delicious soup that her husband had made. Dinner was delicious, and afterwards we spent another night talking; she was absolutely wonderful. So welcoming, so kind, and such an awesome woman/mom! Her youngest, Jordan, is 16 and will be studying in Portland for a while in the spring. She has three other children; one is a chef, one is a student in Arab studies, and the other is studying martial arts in China! So cool! She was just amazing… yet another really good person. Beautiful inside and out. The people who I’ve been lucky enough to meet and share experiences with have been solid gold. Life is nothing short of magic at the moment, and I get to appreciate beauty in every day.
The next morning, I had some of the apple crumble we had made for breakfast! And I think we did a superb job. We chatted some more, and I took my leave around 11, heading to the Hauptbanhof to catch a train to Munich for several days of debaucherous indulgences at OKTOBERFEST.

1.antering

The view from Anthering, just down the road from Andrea’s house.

2.schlossmirabell

The front of the Schloss Mirabell. I don’t remember too well, but apparently there is a scene in The Sound of Music in which the children dance around this fountain. It’s been a good while since I’ve seen this film.

3.mirabellandcastle

The view of the castle gardens, with the castle in the distance.

4.flowersinmirabellgardens

Flowers!

5.upriver

Up the River Salzach

6.downriver

And down the River Salzach

7.mozartsbirthplace

Mozart’s birth house!

8.getreidegasseshops

All of the shops on Getreidegasse!

9.stpeterschurch

St. Peter’s Church… one of many beautiful churches in Salzburg

10.stpetersandcastle

St. Peter’s with the castle in the back ground.

11.dom

The Dom!

12.domwithsun

Another view of the Dom, somewhat silhouetted… I like this photo

13.castleview

The view of old Salzburg from across the river

14.constanziegrave

Constanze Von Nissen’s grave in St. Sebastian’s Cemetery

15.holytrinitychurch

This is the Holy Trinity Church, another beautiful cathedral in Salzburg!

OK. So, apologies, apologies dear friends! I cannot believe that it took me this long to update, but I cannot promise that it won’t happen again. However, I’m getting right to work on Munich and Berlin, this minute!

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