I love landing in a foreign country. I can feel the excitement building inside me. Every country has its own personality from the air. Germany looked like a patchwork quilt of greens out my window. The pastures looked like velvet and fog hung over the lakes and followed down the rivers in stripes of silver. We landed in Munich early.
We decided so long ago how we wanted to celebrate our 25th anniversary (now 26th) and then I poured over websites and travel books planning our route that when we finally found ourselves and our GPS in the little white Ford Fiesta on the autobahn, it just didn’t feel real!
We started our 2 week adventure in Salzburg. The day was beautiful, the temps were around 80+ The sky so blue. The grass so green. Before crossing the border into Austria we needed to buy a vignette. It is a road tax or toll sticker to put in your window. It allows you to drive on the motorways in Austria. They sell them at gas stations near the border. Close to a gas station we came upon a little field of sunflowers and gladioli. I studied the arrangement and discovered it was a “pick your own” field with an honor system coin box. We saw these type fields many times during our journey in Austria. It was always sunflowers and gladioli. (maybe it’s just their season) Wouldn’t this be grand to have in your neighborhood.
Highly recommend the strawberry!
We stayed at the Art Hotel Blaue Gans. It was right on the famous Getreidegasse Lane. See the blue goose sign above that is our hotel. It is the oldest inn in Salzburg and so very chic. We had a hard time finding our hotel, and the parking was in the mountain, but it was a jewel when we did. I used reviews from trip advisor and booking.com to pick out our hotels. Happy with all our choices. Tickled pink with this one!
Cool room (A/C too) The mural was painted over the table for breakfast.
View out our window. We were upgraded upon arrival. Always a plus especially after an international flight!!
We didn’t have plans on what to do here. We debated going the tour route but decided we’d just explore on our own and we were quite successful. We picked up small map from the front desk and headed out the door.
We wandered into the Salzburg Cathedral. It was majestic.
Do you see the dove in the very top of the dome?
We always light candles in the churches we visit and stand side by side and say a silent prayer for those on our hearts. The lighting of the candles is so foreign to what we do in our church at home but here it feels so right. A quiet time that we are grounded and focused and one. It’s beautiful.
Our favorite thing we did was visit the Makartsteg Bridge. It a regular pedestrian bridge that crosses the Salzach River, but it’s covered in locks. Love locks. I first saw these in Moscow and Kazan 4 years ago. I was told that newlyweds place their lock on the bridge and throw the key into the river to symbolize unbreakable love. In Kazan we saw a metal tree “planted” by the river for the locks. One day in Kazan as we passed, a bride and groom were leaving the tree. I found a few miscellaneous keys on the ground under the tree and I brought them home as souvenirs and still have them. So when I read about Salzburg having this bridge we brought a lock from home.
We added our lock to the bridge.
We scratched our initials and date and 26 years and placed it by a large neat rustic lock and I threw the key into the river.
It was so awesome!! We went and visited it the next day.
I marked the coordinates of it with my GPS. (Yeah, I’m a nerd) So now you can find it too when you go visit. There was a geocache on the bridge that was hidden inside a lock!! It was crazy hard to find but it had a great hint on the outside. That is why I had my GPS,
There were so many and it was neat to look at the different ones and the dates and styles and see other couples lock theirs own. It’s really a sweet emblem that’s sure to make its way to the US.
We also visited the St. Sebastian Church and Cemetery, Mozart’s birthplace and home, the Hohensalzburg Fortress which overlooks the city, St. Peter and Cemetery, and the Collegiate Church. We picnicked overlooking the city at the Kapuziner Abbey and Church at a little picnic table. We had grabbed a sandwich from the market when heading out. This became our usual lunch agenda and we always came across a scenic picnic spot.
The St. Peter Cemetery was just fascinating with the most unusual grave markers. I spent a long time wandering the rows.
Everything is within walking distance in Salzburg so you can see a lot in a short amount of time. We ate delicious meals, our favorite at Zwettlers. We listened to street musicians, we bought a watercolor painting of the city from a Hungarian artist set up on the square.
We loved seeing Mozart’s violin he played as a child and some of his handwritten music and to stand in the room he was born and look out his windows. We loved hearing the bells chime at all hours of the day and night. I loved having illy coffee each morning and finding a little cafe to have another cup in the afternoon sitting outside.
Salzburg is a wonderful city to visit. So very charming, friendly. Everyone speaks English and very easy to explore.
Our next adventure was to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. I believe I will have to have 2 post to cover it! Thank you for reading.