Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall break: Austria wrap-up

After our Sound of Music Tour, Jen and I spent the remainder of the day and evening exploring Salzburg, since we were leaving for Prague the next morning.

We were still following the trusty map that our hotel concierge gave us -- basically hitting up every marked monument. Salzburg is so tiny that it wasn't difficult to see everything.

We started the climb up the Imberg Mountain to get to Johanniskirchlein (St. John's Church), where Mozart and his sister used to frequent

Once I turned the corner and saw all of these stairs, I was wondering what could be at the top!

I'm glad I climbed them all (there were way more than are pictured above) because the view I saw was gorgeous!

After looking down on Salzburg for a while, I continued around the corner and found the Kapuzinkloster (Capuchin Abbey)...I even saw some monks walking inside

and I also found this cute little house...

I probably spent about a good 20 minutes up there just walking around, then decided to head back down. At the base of the stairs, there was a plaque dedicated to Joseph Mohr, the writer of “Silent Night." He was born in the house that the plaque is on

Next we stumbled upon St. Sebastian's Church...

...and its cemetary, which contains the Mozart family tomb.

Those were the main sights we wanted to see, so we decided to head back to Getreidegasse, the main shopping street in Old Town, and walk around before dinner. Each store on this street is required to have a hanging guild sign

We got hot chocolate because it was getting really cold outside and...just wow. All I can say is that all of the hot chocolate I've had in Europe is SO MUCH better than in the US -- it's thicker and richer...makes me scoff at the watery stuff I realize I've been drinking at home all these years ;)

We walked down and looked into some shops...this one sold handpainted eggshells. These are real eggs that have been drained and decorated...nuts!

And then I found my favorite shop of all -- Christmas in Salzburg! Anywhere that celebrates Christmas before Halloween is my kind of place

We were hungry at this point, so we decided to eat at a little place called Cafe Mozart

I got what were supposed to be baked cheese dumplings and pumpkin cabbage...well, they were definitely fried. But I can't say that it bothered me!

After dinner we decided to check out the Stein Hotel in the center of town. Our tour guide from our Sound of Music tour told us that we need to check out the lounge on top of the hotel at night -- he claimed that it has one of the best views of the city. So we decided to head over there and check it out...we took the elevator to the roof, and he was right -- the view was great!

The Salzburg fortress by night

After taking some pictures, we decided to get a ridiculously overpriced drink inside the lounge area so we could hang out and enjoy the view. The lounge was packed, but it was nice because there was music playing and it was very relaxed

We headed back to the hotel a few hours later...and the next morning we had to wake up early to catch our train to Prague. At the train station, I saw the mountains which were really pretty. Contrary to what many people think, the mountains are not in Salzburg -- they're actually pretty far away. So it was nice to at least see them!

After we boarded the train, we got to see more of the Austrian countryside on our journey to Prague. It was amazing

That train ride actually took us into Vienna, where we had to catch another train to Prague. We had a couple hours in Vienna, so we had lunch and walked around a little bit. Vienna is WAY bigger and more intimidating than Salzburg -- we got a map and were overwhelmed. I'm glad we decided to spend our time in Salzburg...it was more manageable for the timeframe we had.

We still saw a few things while there though...I wish I remembered the names of them! I'll find them. This church...

A modern art exhibit along the side of the street...


A pretty piazza outside of a museum, complete with a lake

And this really nice building, which I'm almost positive was a museum

After seeing these things we hopped on the train that would take us to Prague!

My trip to Salzburg was amazing -- it's not too hard to fall in love with that city! Everything there is so quaint and classic looking and the people were very friendly...it was definitely one of my favorite cities that I've seen so far!