On our second full day in Salzburg we had planned to take in the fort that sits on top of the imposing hill jutting up south of the old town. It’s slow going in the morning for the four of us but we had an uneventful (in a good way) breakfast at the hotel, and set out to walking to the funicular that takes you up the hill.
The first stop was the Mirabell Palace. More specifically, the expansive gardens featured in The Sound of Music. Mozart composed music here, a bunch of Dukes were probably married here, and it goes way way way back…but it was raining so we hustled through it about as fast as you can. After walking through the “tunnel” (R’s word) of vines we found a “hidden staircase” (R’s word) which led down to a playground. We stopped for a bit to let the kids have a swing.
Pressing on, we crossed the Salzach and made slow time towards Kapitelplatz, stopping to get R a pretzel and Erin a wurst of some kind. We finally came into Kapitelplatz and paid our fare to go up the hill on a route that has been in existence since the 16th century.
Festung Hohensalzburg was built by “the church” in the 11th century as part of the BSD contest that was the middle ages. The white washed stone, twisting alleys, and multiple rings of defensive walls make for an impressive fortress, but it was never really used as a combative military installment. Today it houses a marionette museum, which we went into, and an exhibit on “enhanced interrogation” which we did not. There are also a couple of cafes I guess… We were content with the incredible views that the vantage point offered, both of the city to the north and the Salzburg suburbs with the Austrian Alps as a backdrop to the south. This was also a good time to let the kids run around in the main courtyard outside some church of so-and-so-or-another.
We made our way back down the hill and over to the East side of the old town. The day before we had spotted a few nice cafes over here. A place called Zirkelwirt had the right combination of being open, serving coffee and beer, and being mostly empty so it earned our business. We spent a long time here resting because the kids were being (mostly) fun and because the food was good. Erin ordered some Spatzl and I had, you guessed it, more schnitzel…though this time around it had ham and cheese in it as well…like a Cordon Bleu. The kids hadn’t really napped and were starting to turn into demons so we decided to head back to the hotel.
So, you know that room in hotels that has the movie library that you never use and has all the tourist pamphlets? It also has that free computer that will almost certainly put a virus all up in your business? Well our hotel had one too, but in addition to those amenities, it had some toys for the kids to play with. We convinced R and L that it would be a good idea to just hang out for a little bit and play. The room also happened to have a few tables and chairs and was adjacent to the bar.
The bartender, bless him, had no problem serving us in the playroom so we hung out for a few hours while the kids, particularly L, came up with a whole slew of new ways to injure themselves. We put 3 “mommy and daddy” drinks down range and headed up to the room to put our kids down for the night and finish The Sound of Music which we had started the night before. Oh and then Erin sent me out for a Döner Kabab, so I wrote her a poem.
Wind blows and fire burns.
Seasons change as the Earth turns.
When beers have been had, the night’s not complete.
Until Erin gets her street meat.
Tomorrow we head for Vienna by train which means lugging our baggage around again. Wish us luck!