September 28-29, 2009
A funny thing happened on my way to Berchtesgaden, Germany—I ended up in Austria. I was nearing the station to transfer between Munich and Berchtesgaden, they made an announcement that Salzburg, Austria would be the stop after next. In the span of two minutes I decided not to get off the train as planned and continue on to Salzburg. I was intrigued that I could spend even just a day in the land that my great-grandparents came from. As a family, we have done some research on them before they came to the States, but we have been unable to find their original towns. Our best guess is that the small towns changed names after WWII.
I pulled into Salzburg late in the afternoon and decided that after a trip to the tourist office, maybe I should find a hotel. I settled on the Best Western about 500 meters from the main station. It was a very decent priced hotel and the room was great, and just what I needed. I looked forward to a shower and bath all to myself. I got situated and immediately headed into the old town to do some general sight-seeing. Since I hadn’t planned on coming here, I had no idea about anything, other than the fortress and that Mozart was from here. I had gotten a couple of maps at the tourist office with some good information on historical sights to see. I took off on foot and walked around for a few hours. I ran into a guy from Southern Wisconsin that was living in Germany and vacationing with his family at the moment. He seemed a little too excited to be meeting someone from back home, so I indulged him in conversation for a bit. I tried to get some good pics of Salzburg at night before heading back to the hotel. I would explore further in the morning before heading to Berchtesgaden.
I woke up early in the morning and checked my bag in the hotel luggage room before taking off to explore. I decided to hit up a couple of the churches and plazas, but not either of Mozart’s residences or the fortress. I only had a couple of hours to play tourist, so I had to pick and choose the maximum I could do in the least amount of time. I also wanted to do some shopping along the Getreidegasse. I wanted to make sure I got some gifts for my Grandma, since it was her parents that came from Austria. I also wanted something for my Dad, Aunt and myself. I hit up all I wanted to get to, and I got a couple brooches made of Austrian Crystal and a couple of Christmas ornaments. I was glad about the gifts I got, but now I had to just be extra careful with my luggage!
While my time in Salzburg was short and unexpected, I enjoyed my time there and can’t wait for the chance to go back and explore the place in more detail.
Sights in Salzburg to hit up:
The Fortress—you can hike up or take the funicular. There is a Museum and gift shop at the top.
Mozart’s Residences—there are two places to get some insight into Salzburg’s most famous resident. Either at Getreidegasse 9 or Marktplatz 8. He also has a square named after him: Mozartplatz.
Salzburg Cathedral—an amazing dome. Its Sunday Mass is famous for its music.
Residenzplatz—Munich isn’t the only place with a glockenspiel!
Kapitelplatz—Home to the golden orb.
St. Peter’s Church and Cemetary
Mirabell Gardens and Palace—I enjoyed walking around here.
St. Sebastian’s Cemetary—Mozarts wife and father are buried here.