It all started in last December when I visited Vienna for the first time. I fell in love with it at the very first moment but was there only for 3 days with an injured knee. I was still eager to see tourist attractions (this was the least I could do) but I was in pain all the time so could not really enjoy it. Therefore I promised myself to return back there (asap).
Most of my friends suggested me to visit a new place that I have never been in before, which makes sense, but I had an unfinished business with Vienna. I am really passionate about things/people I really like. I would climb mount Everest, finish a triathlon, fight Voldemort, destroy the Ring, become a Jedi or finish La Sagrada Familia just for them. But nowadays booking a flight comes pretty handy.
So how did Salzburg join the picture? It just looked like a very nice place to be hence I added it to my itinerary.
I booked my train ticket online via Westbahn website and took the first train to Salzburg right after I arrived to Vienna. It is also possible to buy Westbahn tickets on board or from tobacco shops. The journey takes approximately 2,5 hours. There is free Wifi and in-seat electric outlets which lets you kill time. Otherwise you can just daydream and imagine you are in the Hogwarts Express on your way to Hogsmeade.
I had few hours before meeting my Couchsurfing host so I decided to discover the city a little bit. I am very bad at reading maps but I have a killer photographic memory and I navigate myself through eidetic images I got in mind so a short walk in advance always saves me later on (human brain is amazing!).
First thing I saw was St. Andräkirche (St. Andrew’s Church) on my way to Mirabell Palace. The palace and gardens is a listed cultural heritage. I spent quite some time here to smell each and every single flower and pretended I was Gaia.
When you exit the gardens, just keep walking and cross the bridge. Voilà! You made it to Aldstadt (Old City). Here you can visit Mozarts Geburtshaus (or just take a picture of it from outside just as I did); start your walk from Residentplatz (the very heart of Old City); visit Salzburg Cathedral (Dom); walk to Mozartplatz or go up to Hohensalzburg Castle. I did a very quick tour just enough to memorize it and met my host.
My super kind host Martin picked me up and we went to his place which happened to have a great view for my İstanbulite eyes. He also happened to be an amazing person (a software developer plus a basketball couch with advanced juggling and puzzle solving skills) so spending the evening at home with his company was perfectly fine.
It was time to discover the castle the next day. You can go up there by funicular but I just walked up by myself while listening to Run to the Hills which seemed like a proper thing to do (I must confess I listened to this as well because I went to the hill when my heart was lonely).
On my way to Old City, I was beaten by the rain. I was really cold and hungry so went to Cafe Tomaselli because breakfast is one of the few things that can make me happy at any time a day. My next stop was Hellbrunn Palace, and I walked there as per usual. It is approximately 5-6 kilometers away from the Old City but it was a very joyous walk.
Hellbrunn Palace is a must-visit place in my opinion. Again I was lucky to not have anyone around and had the best time there. I walked up (I actually climbed) to the city view point and the castle was there right across to me. Then I realized I had walked the whole town and decided to call it a day. I still do not remember how I found my way back home, but I was welcomed with a hot cup of tea and a warm hug (what else could a girl ask for).
The next day, which was unfortunately my last day, the weather was lovely (thank you for that, Mother Nature) so I switched to my pro-tourist mode and visited attractions such as Kapuzinerkloster, Salzburg Cathedral, Getreidegasse, Franziskanerkirche, St Peter’s Abbey, Stiftskeller and many other places I do not know about.
I was planning to return to Vienna as late as possible but the last train was departing at 19.52 (not as late as I expected) so I enjoyed a walk along Salzach and few giant beers at Augustiner Bräu – Kloster Mülln with a group of Austrians before finishing my day.
I live in İstanbul but I do not like ‘living’ in İstanbul at all (If you are interested, home exchange is always an option). And I always have this image of the perfect place I would live happily. Salzburg fits this description perfectly so even just being there made me happier than I ever was in İstanbul.
I did not have a chance to see Salzburg at night, and my favorite activity as a tourist is to discover a city at night time. So if I ever have a reason to return back there, it will be top on the list.
I always dedicate certain songs to my trips and when I think about my 2 days & 2 nights trip of Salzburg, I have two winners: First one and other first one. Thank you for reading this and hope you will enjoy the songs, and Salzburg!