Tuesday, August 4

I am in the most amazing hostel I have ever stayed in. It is only 15E per night for a room of 8 people and we are located right in the middle of Salzburg and have a view of the castle up on the hill! It is a very busy hostel, but the accommodation is fantastic: great rooms, showers, toilets, sitting area – and even includes breakfast! Pretty awesome for that price, I do say so myself!!
It rained and rained and rained today! It was not good. We woke up this morning at 7am – Ralf and I had decided to go running this morning. However, when I made it downstairs, it was pouring rain, and therefore we decided not to go. It was really too bad, but I didn’t want my new runners to get all mucky, and I really didn’t want to lug around wet clothes all day long.
Ralf dropped us off at the train station and it was sad to say bye! Just like it was with his parents; we were welcomed so openly, I feel as if I have known them for a very long time! I guess that is a better thing than not liking the people we stay with, however.
The train ride was fine. It was only a 1.5 hour trip to Salzburg. It was raining the entire time, unfortunately. When we arrived, the lady at the tourist information centre in the train station was very helpful, which was a nice change. We got extra maps of the central area of Salzburg and she mentioned the different concerts that were available to us. I really want to do this Mozart dinner concert one of the nights we are here, but it costs 36E, so I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to convince Sophie to do it (*I still regret not being able to go to the Vivaldi violin concert when I was in Venice 2 years ago, so I really, really, wanted to go to this one!!).
We found our bus and got to our stop without any difficulties – except that it was absolutely pouring rain. Actually, the bus stop was a lot closer to the train station than we thought it was. The map of the centre is on a large scale, so things end up being a lot closer than we think they are! Better than the opposite, I guess! Anyway, we got off the bus, and organized our plastic coverings and coats to best cover all of our things as possible. A bonus for always carrying Air Canada plastic bags around! They are sure useful. The bus stop was really close to the hostel where we were headed – but the 10 minute walk to the hostel still managed to soak us completely. We were walking puddles when we arrived.
Check-in was interesting; the only unfortunate part being that we weren’t allowed to have our keys until 2pm. Actually, it ended up being okay, because we were so wet and unorganized that it gave us a while to dry out and chill before getting our keys so that we could leave our things before heading out again. It is possible to carry our backpacks – just not so great in the rain when it is nice to keep things dry!
After dumping everything in our dorm room, we headed out to visit Salzburg. Thankfully, the perpetual downpour had changed into a sprinkle, which was much more manageable. We followed the maps and sites that the tourist information office had provided for us at the train station. We went into an absurd number of churches – I don’t even know how many. They were all beautiful. In one of them a lady was playing the organ. We wandered around inside for quite a while to listen, because it was just beautiful. The main Cathedral in the central plaza was stunning. It was simple, with fewer colours than many of the other churches, but it was beautiful. In most of these churches there are various performances that happen on different days. I can see why they do that because the acoustics are awesome and there is always a lot to look at!
We walked through the central square – the carillon wasn’t nearly as beautiful as the one in Munich. We saw Mozart’s museum and birthplace – however, didn’t want to pay to go into either of them. Sophie and I work well like this; we have the same price point on most things! Not too much on attractions and not too much on food!
Food: We were walking through the central square and found a Pretzel vendor who had all different types of pretzels! We bought a chocolate covered one. It was actually only shaped in the pretzel shape, when it was actually a pastry! It was an excellent lunch, however! He he he…when we were busy eating, it started raining quite hard again, so we ran into the nearest shelter we could find! It ended up being some random person’s entry to their home! Thankfully, that individual didn’t come home while we were sitting there, but their neighbour did and he sure gave us some weird looks!
We explored a couple of cemeteries – I have to check with my “Sound of Music” list, but I think the cemetery where St Peter’s Church is located is the one they used for the flight scene. We didn’t want to do all of those sights today, because Sophie doesn’t know the movie, and it was relatively painful site seeing the “mandatory” sights in the rain, never mind music ones!! However, it IS going to be nice out tomorrow. That means we are going to go up the hill to the castle and up the other hill to the park, as well as explore the Sound of Music sites. We didn’t want to visit another castle in the rain. There should be an amazing view of the city and surrounding areas from the viewpoints, so I want to be able to see them!
After almost 4 hours of exploring, we went in search of real people and a grocery store for dinner. Salzburg is an absolutely gorgeous city, but there is definitely a high tourist population! I have a feeling Prague will be like that as well. We did find a grocery store and bought some cheese and tomatoes for dinner. Makes for quite the affordable dinner, really! I dropped a pudding/yoghurt in the fridge isle and it broke open – but I didn’t know what to do with it because there aren’t typically garbage cans in grocery stores, so I just put it beside the isle where this happened – but Sophie just couldn’t stop laughing! It was kind of funny…but I felt bad!! Nothing much I could do!! By the time we walked back to the hostel and found a good location to sit for a few hours, it was already 7pm!! The day in the rain sure went by fast! I really do hope it isn’t raining tomorrow.
I am in the search of a nice Swarovski crystal as my main purchase here – because it seems fitting that I buy one in the country where they are made. I haven’t found anything that I have fallen in love with, yet, however…so I’ll just wait and see! Not crucial!!
And Sophie’s line for the day: “We are going to eat Mozart’s balls” – in context – there are these famous chocolate balls here (EVERYWHERE) called Mirabell chocolates that look like Lindt chocolates, but have marzipan and some other paste thing on the inside. Maybe you had to be there, but it was funny!
Night. AJ

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