Prior to leaving for Austria we made one last pit stop at another palace in Munich. Nymphenburg Palace was a summer home for the royalty of Bavaria and like every palace we got to see on this trip, was absolutely and positively stunning.
I wish we had better weather, because there was a garden located behind the palace that I would have loved to had a chance to walk through. Also, there were at least three other palaces situated around the lake out back that you had to walk to see. But we had another country to get to, so to Austria we went!
At this point in the trip I started to really crave vegetables. So once we got to town, we found a local Thai restaurant with really good ratings, we muddled through the menu and grabbed takeout to head back to the hotel. It hit the spot (although it couldn't stand up to the Thai food we've had in Bloomington... we're really fortunate with amazing restaurants back home. Also, it was lacking in heat.) After lunch, we set out on foot to explore.
It was love at first sight. Salzburg was absolutely breathtaking and by far our favorite place we visited on this trip. The old town charm, the old fortress overlooking the city, the love for music, it all came together for an amazing experience. Plus, there's a ton to do in the surrounding area, most of which we didn't even get to consider. To say we hope to return is an understatement.
One thing that is boasted about around Salzburg (aside from being the town The Sound of Music was set in) is that it was the birthplace of Mozart. You can get your fill of Mozart memorabilia. In fact we came back with a Mozart toy for my niece, mozartballs (a famous candy... or so we were told) for family, and a painting of young Mozart by a local artist for our collection. You can tour both his birthplace and the home he had built if that suits your fancy, and they also host concerts of his music at the local theatre, which I think would be a blast.
After walking all around downtown and doing some souvenir and art shopping, we worked up an appetite. We went to Gasthaus Zwettlers and it did not disappoint. Matt started off with a potato soup, that was incredibly tasty from the bites I snuck (Matt was a little upset I didn't get my own). For dinner, I got the Spinach Parmesan dumplings and they were nothing short of amazing. Matt got a steak because that's his food of choice and also found it to be delicious.
We we were encouraged to try the local dessert (which was a monstrosity) by the waitstaff and it was okay, but incredibly sweet. It was raspberries topped with egg whites and it was impossible to finish. After dinner we thought of walking around but decided because it was getting dark to start head back. Matt (who was not a fan of the dessert) grabbed ice cream and we went back to the hotel.
The next morning we woke up and after a breakfast at the hotel (more fancy cheese plates!) we were off to the famous Mirabell Gardens.
The gardens were dreamy and I found yet another place I could have stayed all day.
These gardens are well known in part because they were pictured in The Sound of Music during the song Do Re Mi. After dragging my feet for a while, Matt finally convinced me that there was more city I wanted to see...
It was impossible to find a bad angle of this city.
After we felt like we had walked down every narrow cobblestoned street we hopped the festingbahn up to Hohensalzburg Fortress. They say you haven't really been to Salzburg until you've been to it.
We took the available tour and learned about the development and growth of the fortress and the history of the "torture tower" within it. The tower was never actually used for torture, because it was not given the jurisdiction to do so, but was rather a place where prisoners were kept.
We had lunch and continued to walk around until it started to spit rain... then we took a nap and went back out and walked around some more, returning to the Mirabell Gardens and the river side taking in the city one last time.
The next day was our last full day prior to leaving and I wanted to get a hike in. The weather hadn't really cooperated most of the trip but I was determined.
By some miraculous force, the weather wasn't terrible. It sprinkled a bit in the morning but the temperature was absolutely perfect for hiking.
We managed to get lost in the best way possible. I have zero ideas what trail this was... all I know is we had plugged in Lammerklamm in google maps and ended up on a trail that led to multiple waterfalls along a path with lush greenery and wildflowers, with towering mountains and pines.
Not a bad kind of lost at all. We returned to the car and I still had a desire to see the dark gorge, so we decided to drive a bit further up the road and managed to shortly run right into Lammerklamm.
To get to the Dark Gorge you have to walk straight down numerous steps and a man made board walk tucked tight against the gorge wall. And it is amazing. We had the gorge to ourselves and did not see another person until we walked out of the gorge. My favorite kind of hike.
This was the perfect end to a great trip... Now to plan our next adventure! What are some of your favorite places you've visited?