After a dreamlike train ride through the snowy Austrian Alps, I arrived in Salzburg. I had been very conscientious about utilizing public transit everywhere I possibly could, but at this point, I had too much luggage and it was far too heavy to handle alone. I’m stubborn, but this was just not manageable. I took a taxi directly from the train station, through a snowy canyon, atop a large mountain, to my bed & breakfast. Flash back to before I left for Europe, I asked my Bavarian grandmother what I should do in Austria, she smiled and requested that I stay the night at a B&B. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for the breakfast since I had my flight very early in the morning, but I very-much-so enjoyed the bed and view in my private room.
After dropping off my luggage and reducing my 110lbs of baggage to a manageable 5lb purse, I was off. I walked down a steep path through the snow and literally danced in excitement. I don’t get to see snow often, so on the rare occasion when I’m in the midst of a storm, I cannot contain my excitement. Snowflakes fluttered down as I strolled to the nearest bus stop and rode into town. I only had a German map and no expectations (or plan) for Salzburg. I simply waited until the bus arrived in a lovely looking area, close to where there seemed to be a fair amount of people around, and I hopped off.
I arrived in a courtyard surrounded by Dreifaltigkeitskirche, Schloss Mirabell, and Mozart-Wohnhaus. Or in English… A 17th-century palace, a monumental church, and Mozart’s house. I didn’t have more than just a moment to quickly pass by each structure, but it was amazing just to be there. I walked a little further, crossed the Salzach (river) and found myself in the oldest part of town. The streets grew narrower and the buildings were rich with history. Every corner unveiled another breathtaking view until I finally made my way to Fortress Hohensalzburg, the 11th-century fortress perched atop the city hilltop. It was getting late and I unfortunately didn’t have the time to fully explore the castle, but the view above the city was worth the climb. I continued walking and ended up at the Christkindlmarkt. At this point the adrenaline began to wear off and walking around in the snow quickly caught up to me. In addition, since it was a holiday, everything began closing extra early. I stopped for a quick hot punsch and a brätwurst before scurrying back to my bus stop to head home.
Of course, I didn’t study up on my bus time table and soon realized that the next bus wasn’t scheduled to arrive for another hour and a half. So… ha… now what? I looked around for the only open hospitality, Hotel Sacher Salzburg, a swanky hotel located right on the river. I wobbled my half frozen ass inside and requested a table, the maître d’ rudely looked me up and down and sat me in a corner table away from the fur-coated guests. I ordered a soup and a beer, for they were only items on the menu that I could understand. The waiter brought me my soup and a newspaper then disappeared. Shortly after the rest of the restaurant cleared and I was alone. I sat in complete, eerie silence for an hour, finally flagged someone down so that I could pay my bill and I left. I never got my beer. With barely a minute to spare, I found the correct bus and quickly headed home. I have to say, I’m used to traveling alone and don’t get lonely easy, but the bizarre silence in town and back at the B&B made me really eager to come home. I packed my life away and got to bed early, for the next day was about to be a very long, long day…
26 December 2014