After a fun visit to my former home, we were ready to see the city of Mozart. Salzburg was a salt trading power for over 1000 years. The wealth from that trade and the massive fortress on the hill above the city made Salzburg an island of peace for most of its existence, even though it was surrounded by war.
The peace and prosperity allowed Salzburg to become one of the most beautiful places in Europe. The lovely baroque architecture, friendly people and idyllic location in the foothills of the Alps combined to make this the favorite place we've visited so far.
We arrived around 2pm and immediately caught a bus out to our B&B which was a little outside the city. It's called Haus Am Moos and is run by a lovely Austrian couple. The B&B was adorable and our room was quiet with a lovely balcony and view. If you go to Salzburg, I can't recommend this place highly enough. Vicky and I already can't wait to go back.
Once we got checked in, we went and walked around the old town for a while. We saw some lovely churches and learned that the entire city seems to close around 7pm. We finished the evening at the Augustiner Brau having dinner with locals outside under the chestnut trees.
Our only regret from day one was that it was overcast all day and we really wanted to see how beautiful Salzburg would look under a blue sky. The next morning our wish was granted. Around 9am the sun came out gloriously. The true beauty of the city was revealed. And wow.
We caught the bus into town and hiked straight up to the fortress. We wanted the best views available while the weather was good. Boy did we find them.
The Hohensalzburg fortress has overlooked the city for the last millennium. It was almost never used in battle and was never taken by force. And that was the point. It's position was so commanding and its walls so strong that it acted as a deterrent, preventing battles and saving lives. The fortress was peacefully surrendered only once, in 1800, when Napoleon invaded with his army. Salzburg wisely chose not to fight.
Once we finished exploring there, we took a break and then headed for the Mirabell Gardens. This is a lovely spot with pretty flowers and great views of the old town. We had a funny moment with an older Korean couple there. They asked us to take a picture of them. We had heard them speaking Korean earlier so when Vicky counted for the photo, she counted in Korean. The woman was so surprised she completely forgot about the picture and had this hilariously shocked look on her face when Vicky took the shot. After giving them a moment to recover, she took a second picture where they were both actually smiling. I liked the first picture better.
This day, like the one before it, finished at the Augustiner. We slept well that night and in the morning we were ready to catch the train to Munich and then on to Neischwanstein Castle. More Alpine beauty awaited us.