The Drive from Ljubljana to Salzburg through the wide valley’s of Slovenia and then into the lower Alps of Austria was very pictureqse and we stopped off for lunch at a big roadside restaurant that was massive and served a fabulous Goulash soup. Salzburg was easy to navigate and we were able to park right out the front of our huge apartment and once settled in we headed off to check out the old Town.
The Sale river splits the old and new towns and is pretty fast flowing for this time of year. The castle dominates the city from every angle and the compact yet highly constructed and vibrant town centre is where the action is.
The lovely Schloss Mirabell Palace in the New Town is where much of the sound of music scenes were filmed in the gardens and it was just a few hundred metres from our apartment and then just a 15min stroll over the river to the Old Town
Looking up from the Palace gardens to the Hohensalzburg Castle with the Dom Cathedral domes in the foreground where we walked though on our first night and then a few times day after that as it was the best route to take.
The Old Town along the river is beautiful at night and we enjoyed our wanderings and dining experiences in its tall alley ways and streets.
One of our first discoveries had to be the Castle with its dominate statement sitting above the city and its immense size we headed over and met the crowds lining up for the fenicular up th hill. it was not too bad but we squeezed in and off we went. We had arrived late morning and sat at the cafe on top outside the walls and had a strudel before venturing inside. The route was extensive and in and out of palace walls and corridors before being spat out at the other end. All good but just one way which did not suit ann so we had then reconsider the exit for her. we found each other and continued to discover the royal rooms which were fascinating and ended up in the puppet show.
The 360deg views across the plains and mountains on the North side of the Alps was picturesque and the insides of the castle were like a big town and could fit thousands of people escaping wars outside the city walls.
Inside the old Palace the medieval interiors have been bought back to life and they show a very grand lifestyle enjoyed by the Bishop-princes of Bavaria who controlled this region for the Catholic Pope for over 400 years.
The strategic position above the sale river and the massive salt trade the region offered made salzburg a highly desired prize but apart from various peasant uprisings the castle was never defeated as its fortifications spread across all the hillocks surrounding the castle so that attackers had to end up as defenders from multiple sides of attack from above.
Back down in the town we explored the cemetery of St Peter and its tomb cloisters where SOM was also filmed. We stopped at a delightful restaurant called “Saint Peter Stiftskulinarium” inside the side of the mountain and enjoyed a cocktail before heading back to the apartment.
That night we had booked a concert at the Schloss Mirabell Palace for an evening of Mozart and Vivaldi which was delightful and the setting was not too bad either..loved the staircase.
We had our first taste of rain so it was a bit chilly and we covered up and headed out for breakfast around the corner and who should be looking down upon me but the wonderful Sofia Loren in one of the best photos of her ever taken in Venice…yes i am a obsessed but not in a weird way i assure you.
And now let us embark on one of the resumes we are in salzburg…The Sound of Music has been a thing for our family for a long time and we have lost count of how often we have seen the movie with the girls so we had to explorers many film locations as we could without going on a crazy tour . The fabulous Von Trapp family palace was just out of town on a small lake and with the castle in the background the setting could not have been more perfect ( not the real home but that odious not matter)
Then there was the Glass gazebo, The bridge over the river, the horse fountain, the Palace gardens and fountains, The horse fountain, the stairs and the cloisters.
We explored as much of the old and new town as we could in our three days in Salzburg and when there is a palace on offer we tend to check it out so we dived into the Rezidenz Palace in the centre of town and it was a great experience. Firstly the route was well thought out and the windows were open to let the cool breeze in, so we were able to take our time and enjoy the views from the windows over the shares and hillsides.
The Mozart Platz and Residenz Platz adjoined the palace but it was the sumptuous interiors and the amazing heaters that took our notice. There was plenty of white as opposed to many other similar period palaces so the effect was far less fussy and light filled.
These fireplaces were different in every room and here is just a taste of the royal Gold and White theme.
below are just a random selection of photos, Ann at our Apartment window, John at a Neptune state and with Big Pickles!! and Ann with a headless Angel, The hillside below the castle had many buildings that were literally built inside the cliffs.
On our way to Innsbruck we stopped off at the Pleasure Palace and gardens of the infamous Archbishop-Prince Markus Sittikus who built Schloss Hellbrunn in 1615 and it was just used for day purposes by Royalty and visitors for fun. it was designed in the fashionable Italian renaissance style of the time and featured trick fountains and grottos around the gardens.
It was eccentric, eclectic and lots of fun plus the interiors were over the top which we loved
On our last night in salzburg we dined at the Bistro in the Hotel Sacher Salzburg which was very very nice indeed.
Where do we start in describing Hallstatt…stunning, sublime, breathtaking and beautiful is a good place but it is so much more and no wonder they call it the most beautiful village in Europe. We drove out from Salzburg for around 40 mins through the mountain valleys and past Lakes Wolfgangsee and Fuschlsee to arrive at the Hallstattersee and the Village around mid-morning.
We parked near the cog-railway so decided to head up high first and we are glad we did as it got more crowded as the day went on. The views over the Lakes and mountains was so impressive and we took it all in whilst enjoying a morning coffee at the cafe.
There was a popular Salt mine tour which a lot of people were doing but we passed on that and headed back down to the village before the crowds took control.
We noticed little electric boats plying the Lake in silence so we decided to hire one and after about a 20min wait we took off for for a lovely one hour jaunt around the pristine and quiet waters to observe the lake and surrounds in a really serene way.
From every angle the vistas, both natural and man made were stunning and everyone were having a grand old time. We enjoyed a nice Goulash lunch by the water and slowed down the day a bit to catch our breath.
The majesty of the Fjord like mountains and the alpine feel of the villages really set this place as something really special.