Wednesday, August 5

I couldn’t sleep last night – I don’t want to get sick…so I’d better work on that soon – I may have to resort to earplugs. Although, it wasn’t so much the noise as the lack of oxygen in the room that woke me up at 5am! After an hour or so of lying there I decided to go for a run – rain or no rain! And, it actually wasn’t raining at all anymore! I had a really nice run along the river – the world here starts so much later than our day at home, so there wasn’t really anyone to be found in the streets.
When I returned, the rest of the room, besides Sophie, was still sleeping (that would be because they were noisy until 2am or so!!) – I think I sweated more in the two minutes it took me to get my clothes and shower things than I did on the entire run!! In any case, we all survived…no problems!
Sophie and I went up to the main level of the hostel and enjoyed the included breakfast! Not anything deluxe, but it included buns and nutella as well as hot chocolate, so I was happy. There were also enough sandwich material that we were able to make meat and cheese sandwiches for lunch – which is also a good thing!
We headed out to visit the town around 7:30, which was a great thing because there were not more than a handful of other tourists around, which was really quite nice. We started by climbing up the various paths towards the Hohensalzburg Fortress. It is on a hill/plateau above the entire city…really quite majestic. It is over 900 years old and is the biggest and most fully-preserved fortification in Europe! It was built by Archbishop Gebhard in 1077, where is served to protect the clergy and the population.
We hiked up and up through the gates that surround the fort. The views were fantastic. Because we were visiting the fort before opening hours, we didn’t have to pay! We lucked out with that, because the cheapest option for visiting the fort when it is actually open was almost 10E each! That is a lot of food for Sophie and I! However, because it wasn’t really open, we only saw the courtyards and various buildings…but that was fine, because we mostly wanted to see the view from there! We were happy.
Instead of going right back down the hill we walked around the top. From the city, you can see various homes and buildings up top, by the castle – but, in reality, there were tonnes! We wanted to walk to the other side of the plateau before descending into the valley. However, we got lost…it was really quite humorous. We walked and walked – something that should have taken us about 20 minutes ended up taking us over an hour! It was a beautiful walk, however, with lots of trees and such, but it was kind of annoying being lost on a seemingly simple and small mountain. In any case, we finally got directions from one of the workers and he directed us towards the ‘exit’…however, even those directions didn’t get us close! Fortunately, he was going in our direction – and every time we made a wrong turn, he drove up a few minutes later, telling us we were going the wrong way! It wasn’t very obvious at all – and he must have had to correct us at least 5 times, but we finally made it down the mountain. Good exploration, however!
We sat by the river and had a snack – it was quite lovely – before heading off to the other side of town again. We’d seen most everything yesterday, so there wasn’t much left to see. We wandered around and went into a few stores and things, but both of us were so bent on not buying anything, that neither of us managed to make and purchases!
After about 5 hours of wandering, we sat in the Mirabelllgarten, where we had also visited yesterday, to have lunch. The garden was built by prince-archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau along with a palace as a token of his love for Salome Alt. They ended up having 15 children in total – 10 of which survived. It was a nice garden, but in my opinion, it lacked grass!!
We were in the process of returning towards the hostel when we decided we should get some groceries for tomorrow’s train trip. However, we didn’t want to back track at all, so we ended up choosing a relatively random direction and walking that way until we found the grocery store! Go figure that it actually worked too!
My plan for a nap was interrupted by the fact that I learned that my house didn’t have any electricity! That is always nice news when one is across the world! Well, a few long distance calls later, I think the problem is rectified, but I will have to check my e-mails tomorrow to verify! Ugg….
I successfully convinced Sophie to go to the Mozart dinner and performance, which made me really happy! It was “an authentic candlelight concert in a historic baroque hall” – and was actually awesome! We got there early, and had AMAZING seats at the group table as well as in the hall. We were literally the first table and had a perfect view of the players and the singers. The group all studied a the music school in Salzburg and were spectacular. I didn’t expect that there would be singing as well, but the two individuals that did the opera were fantastic. Being in the front also made a difference! It was like the performers were just for us!!
The food was quite good as well. It was typical Austrian dishes that were served. We had a lemon soup with a dumpling for the starter – which was odd, but still quite good, actually! Then, for the main course there was some type of meat and various veggies all in this awesome sauce. And dessert was lemon frozen thing that was also quite nice. And, to top it all off, we had really nice people at our table, so the conversation was good!! I was happy that Sophie was okay with going because the one night of entertainment cost more than both of our accommodation for both nights in Salzburg. It was totally worth it, though. Seems like listening to Mozart in his birthplace city is pretty cool!
A late night tonight, and it will be an early day tomorrow as we head off to Ljubljana!!



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