November 13, 2009

Salzburg, Austria: Around Town

Each morning, Rocket Man and I would eat breakfast in our hotel (a decent included breakfast is usually one thing we look for) and then head off into town towards our first destination. Depending on where we crossed the river, we could see a variety of buildings and views. The first post on Austria showed you what it looked like if we took the bridge across to the old town further away from our hotel. This first photo shows what we saw when we crossed over very close to our hotel and then took a river-walk to the old town:

The buildings above are built halfway into the rock. I imagine that they have excellent temperatures inside. In Spain, people choose to live in cave houses because they provide warmer temps in the winter and much cooler ones in the summer.

On our second day, after we visited the gardens at Schloss Mirabel and the Baroque Museum nearby, we took some time to go here:

This building is where Mozart and his family lived. It is not where he was born (you can visit there as well; it is in the old town), but it is where he spent more time. There was a good presentation of family portraits, musical instruments, and general information about the Mozart family. Since most people only hear/know about Amadeus, it is a good way to learn about more members of the very musical family.

There are a variety of ways to get around Salzburg. One of the easiest is to walk. The city does experience something called string rain, which is rain that falls not in drops, but in never ending strings of water. We experienced quite a bit of it our last day there, and were very happy that there is an excellent trolley-bus system that runs on the cables pictured above.

One rather fun thing about being in Europe during the holiday season is the chance to see how other cultures celebrate; there are many different traditions and it is interesting to compare them to our own. I am sure you know that there are different versions of Father Christmas everywhere and that they travel in different ways and have different clothing.

An Austiran/German holiday tradition that we were able to witness was that of the Perchten and Krampus runs. On December 5th and 6th, these creatures roam through the streets. The Perchten come to scare evil from your home; the Krampus are there to scold the naughty.

The Krampus have horns, wear bells at their waists and are rather loud and scary looking. You can see the face of one here. They go through the city on the 5th of December looking for those who have been bad. Some even have baskets they wear on their backs: "The better to take you away in, my naughty child!" Kris Kringle walks through with them carrying a book that has all of the names of the good and bad for the year. The above photo was the best I could get as they were moving quickly through the streets.

Throughout Spain, cities and towns normally have a tile mosaic representation of themselves. Many of them are small, but some are quite large. This mosaic of Salzburg was inside the entry to the Mönchsberg lift. This is an elevator that takes people from the ground up to the top of the mountain and to the Museum der Moderne. As it reminded me so much of Spain, I had to take a photo.

We were immediately greeted by this fantastic view of Hohensalzburg Fortress overlooking the old town. As it was towards the end of the day, the light was fading fast. We ran into a couple of other tourists up there and we took each other's photos.

We did not go into the museum, but we did take a look at a couple of the exhibits that were outside. Then we investigated a few of the paths that lead away from the city. Only a couple of minutes in, and you'd never know that you are so very close to Salzburg:

In addition to the city and all that it has to offer, the environs of Salzburg are certainly worth seeing. We would spend our last morning in Salzburg doing just that.

But first, I simply MUST tell you about our dinner experience...

1 comment:

Britney said...

That's a great picture of you and Matt.