30 – 31 July: Salzburg…its not all about Mozart

Author: Mr A

Location: Salzburg, Austria

Neither of us had ever been to Salzburg, so with no expectations we caught the bus in to the city, via Mrs A getting a hair cut, and me getting passed Prosecco at regular intervals while waiting. A man can drink a lot of that stuff in nearly three hours.

A beautiful evening for a stroll along the Salzach River
Our first view of Fortress Hohensalzburg, the magnificent castle overlooking the city
The late afternoon sun shining through the water on the 16th century Residence Fountain in Residenzplatz Square

The city immediately dazzled us even with the low cloud hiding the tops of the mountains that surround the city. A wander round revealed a baroque lovers dream, so beautifully restored after being pretty much razed to the ground during World War 2.

Refreshing sprinkles from the fountain
Mr A is spat on by a horse
Meanwhile real horses wait for tourists to hire them to trot them on a tour of the streets
A grand entrance to Cathedral square
A fountain depicts Hercules fighting a dragon.
White buildings and green roofs dominate the city
A lovely atmosphere as we amble through the city’s many squares…this one boasting a statue of Mozart, complete with a string quartet busking…and doing quite well!
Strolling the cobbled streets to find some fine wine
Two glasses of Weingut Elizabeth Aurora 2015…very approachable…

We visited a wine bar where the waiters knew nothing about the wine they were recommending, and then ate a traditional Austrian dish from the menu of a random place I picked. Worst meal of the whole trip. In fact one of the worst meals I ever remember eating. Just a huge plate of pork, roast potatoes, a dumpling and some coleslaw. Not a single flavoursome part to it. Ah well…might be skipping meat for a while as it has put me right off!

Finishing off our evening with a stroll around the shopping streets, blissfully quiet as they are mostly pedestrianised (bikes allowed)

Today we had arranged to get our bikes serviced, so we rode over to the shop from our campsite, dropped them off and hit the sights again, this time going up to Fortress Hohensalzburg, the castle that sits perched overlooking the city.

A cool grey day, but the city still looks lovely from up at the fortress
The old fortified walls still remain in some parts of the city – visible in the wooded area opposite

We did the whole audio tour and are so glad we did. It revealed a fascinating tale of religious and secular power being so closely wed and of course exploiting the masses. Those masses rose up during the German Peasants’ War in 1525, when a group of miners, farmers and townspeople tried to oust Prince-Archbishop Matthäus Lang, fed up with their lot watching the rich getting richer and they barely fed.

Each archbishop had a coat of arms displayed on their specific amendments to the castle…this one had a turnip to reflect his family’s landowner status
Sitting at an altitude of 506 metres the cannons could shoot balls a substantial distance

History has a way of repeating itself and the current trend towards the concentration of money into ever fewer hands should be heeded. Australia for instance just had a near 10% rise in those living under the poverty line.

So the peasants were put down, and the archbishops continued to fortify against further threats, both domestic and international. They clearly commissioned well as there is no record of the castle having ever been breached. It was surrendered though on one occasion….to Napoleon. Well if you were going to surrender to anyone it probably should be him.

Now, that’s a pile of cannon balls….!
The benefit of getting to the castle early – avoiding the crowds
Stop us taking photos of the view, please!
The magnificent living quarters which house the museum
Glimmers of medieval history
Back down in the city, St Peter’s Monastery, cemetery and catacombs
The catacombs date back to 1178…fans of The Sound of Music may recognise this…
Bikes galore throughout the town

Our stomachs finally having recovered enough from our meal last night, it was off to my favourite food franchise…Nordsee!


They sell raw and smoked seafood, including my all time favourite thing in a bun – herrings and onions! Yum…Catherine joined as her Fear-Of-Missing-Out syndrome predictably kicked in. None too impressed, I was tasked with finding her a non-dairy hot chocolate. No easy task in this country let me tell you. In fact I failed, most cafe staff just looked at me horrified and I scuttled off. A pot of herbal tea had to suffice, although in my favour a vegan apple strudel was eventually located.

The rain threatened once again so we headed back to collect our bikes. A good job done by the shop. I think given the high level of cycling participation in the city it seems to breed a better standard of bike care. We now even have wing mirrors to stop having to crane round to see if the other is still in pursuit.

The rain thundered down and what is a couple supposed to do with time on their hands? Correct….Thank goodness for the BBC and its iPlayer providing the entertainment we needed to pass a wet afternoon in the 2 square metres of living space we are proud to call home.

One Reply to “30 – 31 July: Salzburg…its not all about Mozart”

  1. Hey ? you guys truly have a bookbof your travel life that will be with you forever. Go you two!!! Can imagine the brilliant times you’re having and the bike miles under belt. Amazing stuff!! ????

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