Thursday, December 20, 2012

Salzburg, Austria

It was disheartening having to leave Rothenberg and it's ancient splendor, but I was looking forward to Austria and being in the Alps!


Upon arriving, we were all somewhat dissapointed. Salzburg has long turned from its "Rome of the north" days and is now just a giant tourist trap. Thousands of people were walking around everywhere, making it a nightmare to drive into town. I'm probably just bitter that we're not as high up in the Alps as I thought we'd be. I guess I have to wait for Switzerland then (THATS YOU TARAN AND JASON)

Once in the city square, things seemed to get better. Salzburg was home to the famous Amadeus Mozart, who lived here for 25 years and played in the grand cathedral. The biggest Christmas market we've seen so far was in full swing, with hundreds of people eating all sorts of sweets, meats and mulled (hot) wine. The cathedral was built in the 1600's, and the interior made it one of the most impressive churches I have ever seen - rivaling the sisteen chapel. It was really beautiful inside, it's impossible to comprehend that men made something so grand and perfect hundreds of years ago.

We followed a walking tour that led us to different important buildings and sites - the coolest being the graveyard. I am not kidding when I say it was the creepiest, scariest setting I have ever been in. Right on the border of town in the shadow of the gigantic castle was the catacombs of those long deceased.  Think of the graveyard in the haunted mansion. It was too dark to take pictures, and unfortunately I do not posses the vocabulary to describe it with any justice, but I can safely say that it was one of the most incredible places I have been. I will never forget it, that is for sure.
Not my picture - mine does not do the castle justice.

Castle on top, monastery to the right.
And finally, we reached what I had been waiting for. Waiting for years actually, ever since my dream to backpack Europe overtook everything else in my head. Exploring the Salzburg castle. The castle apparently was never put into real use - and that was the point. The king and pope decided to create a massive castle atop the hill overlooking the city to make it appear as formidable and intimidating as possible to stop any opposing forces from attacking. It worked well, because the city somehow survived from the 11th century, through the thirty years war and all the way up to WWII unscathed.

Salzburg from the Castle

The fortress was beautiful, and I can happily say that standing 400 feet over Salzburg within the outer fortress and inside the inner castle - just might be my favorite spot on Earth. 

My favorite place on Earth
Tonight we are in one of the coolest hotels I've ever stayed in. Tomorrow we head off to Switzerland, and France as well if we are lucky.

A hot girl in the bookstore, I was wishing she could speak english.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you have done a great job.
    Can't wait to see you when you return!