Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Our plans to visit Austria has always been jinxed. Two years ago, I had planned Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruk and a new project landed on my lap . This time when we were planning our itiniery, Austria was a must do. Our orginal plan was to include Vienna along with Salzburg . A day trip to Salzburg from Munich and then we wanted to take an overnight train to Vienna and continue our journey to Italy from there ..However that was not meant to be . There were no connections available to Vienna and thereafter by train or by air on those specific days and so we had to be content with just Salzburg
It poured heavily on the day we had to leave for Salzburg . The weather report predicted a thunderstorm, but we could not let the weather jinx the plan again Salzburg had to happen .
The hills did come alive with the sound of music- but this was of rain and the wind which was howling . Our journey took alomost three hours.Two trains and a bus took us to the birthplace of Mozart where the historic film Sound of Music was shot . Awesome landscapes accompanied us, as we saw the first glimpse of snow capped Alps, only to be hidden by the ominous rain clouds . A bit of green , white and then gray -the colours tell the story of whats in store for us in Salzburg.
We landed in Salzburg station , too late for the Sound of Music tour. We were also advised not to wander too much as a storm was predicetd . So with umbrella in hand we decided to vist the Altstadt or the old town which is a World Heritage Site .
We went to the Residenz Square with its large baroque fountain and the Palace, the 17th century baroque cathedral where Mozart was baptised, the fortess Hohensalzburg ,a majestic castle atop a hill where some of the best views of Salzburg can be seen, the Nonnberg Abbey,immortalised by the Sound of Music film, Mozart Square and the house at no. 9 Getreidegasse , where Mozart had stayed .
These places were some of the locations where Sound of Music was shot, especially the square , the castle and the nunnery . We spent a long time in the Fortress which was one of the largest castles of the medieval times . The construction started in the 11th century and was the domain of the Archbishops . Stately and grand, we had to get there by cable car .
This citadel gives one of the best overviews of Salzburg. Its symbol is the lion , as you can see it holding a beetroot in its paws.Besides being used as a fort and a prison, it was also a residence of the powerful Archbishop . According to the official tourism site of Salzburg, it has managed to remain unconquered by the enemies- but history is always written by the victors !
Weather and time played spoil sport as we could not visit the other palaces and gardens that Salzburg is famous for . Even our pictures were very limited as we could shoot only when it was not raining . The winds were too strong as our umbrellas flew and we virtually felt that we were swept off our feet .The temperature was said to be around 5* C - there was a digital sign board near the station.But the Austrian jinx was broken as we shopped for souveniers and chocolates at Getreidegasse , where the iron sign boards of the shops add to the charm.
The torrential rain soon sent us packing into the warm confines of the railway station . As the train chugged back into Munich, we knew we were leaving behind two of the most beautiful countries in Europe , memories of which are kept alive through these posts
Coming up next - Italy - Venice and Rome