Our second day in Salzburg was possibly the best day of my life. Not only did we get to explore the city itself but we also experienced The Sound of Music tour, which was absolutely wonderful.
We started our day eating breakfast in the hotel's Marble Hall which was so fancy that even the chandelier has its own bloody crown! Unfortunately, the previous night's thunderstorm had left behind a lot of cloud cover with the odd little shower but the hotel provided complimentary umbrellas. Handy!
As we were a 25 minute walk out of the city centre and wanted to make the most of our day, we chose to get a taxi into the old town. I was keen to visit Petersfriedhof (St Peter's Cemetery) which was the inspiration for the cemetery scene in The Sound of Music, and Rich needed to go to a drugstore to pick up some bits we'd left behind. Salzurg's old town is made up of a series of courtyards and Kapitalplatz was next to both the cemetery and the drugstore, so we asked our taxi driver to take us there. Unfortunately he couldn't understand our attempts at German and he didn't speak English, so we compromised with going to the cathedral instead. As we pulled into Residenzplatz, I realised we were parking next to this fountain in the I Have Confidence sequence and practically started squealing with excitement.
Of course, I jumped up to the fountain and splashed the water. Well, attempted to splash the water. The water level is about a foot lower than it is in the film so only my fingertips could reach, even when I was on tiptoes. For some reason, there were a bunch of empty marquees which kinda spoiled my rendition. I mean, I'm sure they were there for a good reason and all but somebody should have told the Mayor of Salzburg that I was coming...
While Rich went shopping, I visited Petersfriedhof which was a real experience and will have its own post later. We then had a quick pretzel break in Kapitalplatz (which is right next to Residenzplatz as it turns out) watching the trains zipping up the hill towards the Hohensalzburg Fortress. We only had 90 minutes until our tour started but couldn't resist the opportunity to take a look at the city from the top of this towering castle.
We boarded the train and waited around 10 minutes before it started whizzing up the hill. I was surprised by just how fast it moves and it was fun to watch the city getting smaller and smaller through the glass-fronted carriage. Once at the top, we had the most wonderful view over the city and towards the Alps. Although our ticket allowed us entry into the fortress, we were wary of time so just walked around the exterior wall, admiring the view until it started raining, at which point I realised I'd left the umbrella in the train. We took the next carriage down- there are two, which alternately travel up and down the hill simultaneously- and asked the ticket office if they had the umbrella. The man hadn't seen it but, rather than sending us away, he phoned his colleague who took it upon himself to go and fetch it for me personally.
This experience perfectly sums up the Salzburg people. Everybody went out of their way to help and were so polite and patient, even when Rich repeatedly asked "She speaks English?" to everyone, no matter how many times I corrected him. Most people do speak English- in fact, most people would just assume we were English speakers and would communicate in the language without prompting- but those who don't, like the taxi driver, are really friendly and allow us to communicate in broken German without getting impatient.
Another wonderful thing about Salzburg is just how clean it is. I didn't see a single piece of litter, chewing gum or fag end on the floor. In fact, we only saw one person smoking in our whole time there. Hardly anybody drives and the city is filled with cyclists, most of whom don't even wear helmets, since the roads are so safe with such little traffic. Even the public transport is electric! It's an incredibly environmentally-friendly city and it really pays off in the quality of air and the entire appearance of the town.
We walked through the old town and over the Salzach river to Mirabell Palace, where our tour began. Like Petersfriedhof, this was so lovely that I'm going to need to dedicate a whole separate post to it. Needless to say, I had the most fun running around pretending to be a Von Trapp!
The tour bus returned to Mirabellplatz at around 6pm so we headed back through the old town to find somewhere to eat. Walking over Makartsteg Bridge, we realised this was Salzburg's very own love lock bridge. I'd had no idea this was here so we didn't bring our own lock, and in the evening nowhere was open to buy one, but I had a lovely time walking along and reading all of the locks.
As Austria is very popular with Japanese tourists, a lot of the locks had Japanese inscriptions which were interesting to see. I also liked the ones with photos printed on- this one shows a couple in front of Hohensalzburg. My favourite, however, was probably Harker & Journalism. That is somebody who really loves the media!
At the end of the bridge, I spotted a restaurant across the road called Burgerista which looked really cute. Inside, the decor was fun and bright, with a modern 60s feel and the most juicy, delicious burgers ever, served with crispy, seasoned chips. Yum! I fully recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, satisfying bite to eat in Salzburg (I also spotted one in Vienna so they may be all over Austria). They're missing a trick by not calling it Salzburgerista, right?
After filling up and chilling out for a bit, we took a gentle stroll back to the taxi rank at Residenzplatz, where our day had begun. Our adventure had been a huge 10-hour circle but an absolutely amazing one that I will never forget. I'm already planning my trip back...