July 9, 2018
The first of two rest days in Salzburg. Yesterday I had picked up a free city map from the Tourist Information office at the Train Station. While Ralf was in the shower I checked on-line to see what the top ten things to do and see in Salzburg. We are within walking distance of the Old Town and all of the Top Ten Things to Do!
A relaxing breakfast of cheesy omelet and good coffee.
At 9:30 we headed out to be tourists. Our plan was to do this side of the river today – Mirabelle Palace and Gardens, Mozart’s House and wander the streets and do the other side of the River tomorrow.
That didn’t quite work out. We had a lovely walk through the gardens of the Mirabelle Palace.
In the movie, The Sound of Music this is where the kids were hanging from the trees after Maria taught them the Do, Rae, Me song and there father came home with the Baroness. We didn’t see any kids hanging from the trees, but we did see the dwarf garden.
The gardens were beautiful and very peaceful. The nuns did not burst into “How do you solve a problem like a Maria?”
As we emerged from the gardens, almost directly in front of us was the house where Mozart lived in Salzburg. It is a museum, and is supposed to be really nice. However, it was a little expensive E11.00 each (about $33.00) and you cannot take photos inside.
We continued our walk through the city streets.
We realized that we had plenty of time to get to the top of Festung Hohensalzburg castle. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the street to get up to the top and took a lift to the Modern Art Museum and a smaller castle in error. It was a “nice” mistake, we were able to walk across the ridge to the Hohensalzburg castle.
Salzburg was a highly fortified City in the 15th Century. The Hohensalzburg Castle is the highest point and is protected by walls and the mountain. There were other smaller battlements and fortifications that enemies had to overcome before getting to the Hohensalzburg Castle.
During the thirty year war the castle was besieged and the inhabitants of the castle were down to their last oxen. The Commander paraded the oxen on the city walls, then he painted it black and paraded the oxen again. The enemy assumed that the castle inhabitants had lots of food and it would take a long time for them to surrender, so they left. That is why the nickname for people from Salzburg are called oxen washers – “Stierwascher”
The walk across the ridge bought us to about half way up to the castle. The road was very steep and when we got to the entrance there was an entrance fee of E18.60 for the two of us ($30.00). That included the price of the funicular going down. The castle inside is massive. It could hold a small town and did during the various invasions. It was originally built as a church for the Archbishop in the 10th Century. He must have been a pretty fit guy to hike up the mountain everyday with his shopping.
We took the funicular down and emerged at the Dom Square – the main cathedral in Salzburg.
We sat and had a coffee and a bun and watched people for about an hour, before slowing meandering our way back to our flat.
There is a lot of art throughout the City. Often created by famous artists. The Man on the Sphere – represents the ordinary man. The Gherkins also represent the ordinary human – some are tall and skinny others are short and fat!
Back to the apartment at 4:00 with more wine and dinner of pasta, smoked trout and bread. It is nice to stay in a small apartment in Salzburg and have the time to cook and relax after a day of being a tourist.
July 10, 2018 – Walking 7.6 kms
We could have left Salzburg today but it was nice to have more time to clean the bikes and be tourists.
Breakfast today was avocado with poached eggs and good coffee. We cleaned the bikes before leaving for another walk of the City.
This time Ralf wanted to walk up to a “castle” on this side of the river. The Kapuzinerkirche and Kloster was closed for filming for a murder mystery. The Austrian Crime Series – Stockinger is filmed in Salzburg and the Kloster was the setting for an episode.
As we walked this side of the river we noticed some small plaques on the ground. They are called Stolpersteine or stumbling blocks, they denoted the houses that Jews lived in and what happened to the family. So many people did not even notice these small brass stones.
Here lived Karl Sonneleithner – born 1897. He was “deported” a euphemism for being sent to a concentration camp and murdered in the camp – Castle Hartheim.
The Zweig/Winternitz family were Jewish, by family history, but did not follow the Jewish faith – not even high day and holy days. However, that would not have made any difference to Hitler – if your Grandparents were Jewish then you were Jewish. Stefan Zeig was a famous author in the 1920’s in Europe and the U.S.
Olga Zweig hid Jewish families during the war. She was arrested by the Salzburg Police in 1941 and released in 1942. She was “deported” in 1945 to Theresienstadt where she survived.
After negotiating a very steep road down from the schloss we wandered around the new part of the city for a while, trying to decide what to have for lunch. We eventually went back to where we had lunch yesterday. Then it began to rain. Not again, we are going to get wet. However, we found a Kitschy tourist place that was selling E5.00 umbrellas, which seemed a little extravagant to buy umbrellas for one rain storm. However, they did have plastic ponchos for E2. Donned in the height of fashion we headed back to the apartment.
One little boy said to his Mom “Mama what are they wearing?”. We made quite a few people smile with our bright yellow and red plastic ponchos and our own very large grins! We are keeping these ponchos for future use, I am sure they will come in handy. I will keep them in my bag for when we are next caught in the rain.
On our way back to the apartment, I spotted a phone shop. We have been having a few problems with the phone, because it is in German and we couldn’t get it to switch to show in English. I was the “stupid” tourist and asked the nice young man if he could help me. Lickety split, he switched it to English, now I think we will be able to send text messages and maybe even call people if the need arises.
Tomorrow we are heading south to St. Johann im Pongau. A few hills to climb and hopefully the cycle path will be paved. This is the projected elevation for the next few days!