Salzburg

Tuesday 17/05

Late breakfast at eight am, with great hot chocolate (from a machine!), a nice selection of breads and spreads and homemade cake for dessert. It’s still raining (or raining again, it’s not clear) but we set out in good spirits. We’ve downloaded a pdf with two walks and are planning to hike up the Kapuzinerberg and visit the Festung Hohensalzburg. We talk the same route to the centre of town and cross the river to the other side. Here are some more medieval roads and houses and we climb through them (using an uncountable number of stairs) to the start of the Basteiweg. This is a walk along the old fortifications on the hill side, fortunately it stops raining though the sky remains overcast. The mountain proves to be quite a challenge, with steep slopes and muddy trails. We get a bit creative with the route to shave some kilometres of the total and walk through nice forests with enthusiastic birds to some viewpoints high up on the hill. There are almost no other hikers, except on the way down where we follow the main path.

We come out near an older area of town that now has mainly shops. We have lunch at the Organic Pizza, where the spelt flour pizzas are indeed very nice. We manage to get warm again, but cool down immediately when we start walking again, since it has started raining quite hard.  Via the cemetery where Mozart is buried (we don’t see the tomb, since we’re staying under the shelter of the cloister) we go to the Mirabelle Schloss. The building itself is used by public services, but we visit the nice gardens. It stops raining and even gets a bit warmer again. There are more and more tourists around, we cannot imagine what it must be like in the high season.

We walk back to the old town to talk the funiculaire to the castle high up on the rock. It’s strange to visit a town where the houses by the river are divided by outcrops of granite with sheer cliffs. Crossing to another part of town (like from our hotel to the center) can involve strenuous exercise or taking the pedestrian tunnels. The Festung Hohensalzburg on the inside looks more like a medieval town than like a fortress, since houses and barns have been built up to the same height as the walls, so in fact there is a street running between the outer and inner fortifications. We climb up one of the towers to get a nice view of Salzburg and the surrounding mountains, most of which still have snow on the peaks. It all looks very charming however it’s slightly spoilt by the droves of tourists hanging around (not even moving around in an orderly fashion, but really just standing in the way).

We take the shortest road to the B&B for a rest and a shower before going out to eat in Salzburgs best restaurant Ikarus. It is located in a hangar of the Redbull flying team, which is a museum with old and current fast driving or flying machines used by the teams owned by Redbull.

We choose the menu from the guest chef, who runs the best restaurant of Asia in Bangkok. The food is traditional Thai, sometimes quite spicy. It has a lot of flavours we recognize from our cooking at home, but of course in a much nicer way. Since we’re not used to this cuisine, I’m not sure we can grasp the quality, aside from ‘it’s really yummy’.

Today’s statistics: 22.200 steps, 16 km, 117 floors.

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