Salzburg, Austria

28 April 2024 to 30 April 2024
I've been needing some holidays away from my apartment for a while and decided on a whim to visit another important city of Austria, Salzburg. Lucky for me, there are direct trains to Salzburg pretty often from Vienna so here I was on the morning train still half asleep after filling my cat's bowls to the brim with water and food. This was essentially my first holidays alone with absolutely nothing planned aside the hotel, pretty exciting but also quite stressful. I like my days planned ahead with a bit of surprise every now and then, not the opposite. So the plan ended being really simple, preventing myself from reading too much about Salzburg, packing my camera and walking around the city all day long.
So here I am, my phone tracking my location in the background and my eyes telling me where to go, heading to the eastern riverside of Salzach which was surprisingly quiet for a Sunday morning.
I end up walking a bit in circles and decide to go wherever OSMAnd shows there is greenery but further from the city center, which I am keeping for the next days. I am now somehow in the tertiary district, where I walk in front of Robinighof castle unexpectedly. This is also where I make the mistake of not powering off my camera while walking. Its settings can be changed from the touchscreen and I manage to configure it to take JPEGs instead of RAWs, making editing pictures a bit less forgiving. I then head to the Kurgarten and Mirabellgarten gardens, with a nice view on the Fortress Hohensalzburg and finally force my legs to the hotel, tired of the 22 kilometers they just carried me for.

Day 2

Now somewhat rested, I mentally and physically prepare myself to hike. Indeed, there are a few small mountains within the city, offering (I hoped) great view on the city and the (bigger) mountains around it. I start with Mönchsberg greeting me with the riversides and the old town neighborhood of Salzburg. I decide to head to Kapuzinerberg on the opposite side of the river and manage to lose about an hour trying to find a way to hike up from the South of it, but all entrances were closed private paths. I go up the mountain from the North East stairs of death (that's at least what my lungs told me), resembling what I was used to start hikes with in the Pyrenees or the Alps. The fact that this is literally in the center of one of the biggest cities in Austria is still mind-blowing to me. I stop to eat a sandwich on a bench facing the northern part of the city and give my lungs a break while observing the city from above, cars, buses and people looking like a futuristic anthill. The second part of the hike is calmer and offers better views on the south of the city. I can only recommend this hike, though the north-east stairs aren't really necessary. I go through the old town and St Peter's cemetery and go up to the Fortress Hohensalzburg by foot (and down by cable car, my legs convinced me that a free trip in the cable car would be a nice attraction). I finish the visit of the fortress by the panorama where I was given 2 minutes before they closed for the day.

Day 3

My legs would like those holidays to be over already, not agreeing with a marathon in two days while barely walking 500m a day during my everyday metro-boulot-dodo life. So I give in and take the bus to Hellbrunn palace with its trick water fountains and bizarre art. I don't tell my legs before going up another mountain, the Hellbrunnerberg and I find myself in front of a stone theater. Walking a bit more and my legs take a break while admiring the German Watzmann mountain peek. I then visit the palace and head back to the city center for more museums. I visit the modern art museum which I still do not get... until my eyes catch one specific abstract painting and I feel loads of emotions. That's a first time for me and that was a weird but welcomed experience, maybe I "get" (some) art now? I decide to walk my way along the river to the train station, stopping one last time on a bench, taking a mental picture of that really nice Maria Himmelfahrt church because I have about half an hour to kill. Well no, I misremembered the time my train would leave the station and now I have 20min left before the train leaves so here I am walking so fast it's probably not called that anymore, snatch a salad bowl from the supermarket because what's life without an additional challenge and finally arrive on the platform where it should be. It isn't there, but some train come back a bit later, I sit down in it hoping it's the right one and my body sighs, happy that the brain has finished abusing it. 3 hours later, my hand reaches to pet my cat who ignores me. Ah, it feels good to be home.