Simply Singing in Salzburg
After making a last minute decision to visit Salzburg, I woke extremely early in Vienna to walk to the train station and purchase a railway ticket. I advise you to always purchase your tickets online and in advance. This ticket cost me extra because it was last minute, but I had already reserved my space on The Sound of Music Tour, so I had to go.
I made it to the train station with not much time to spare, my train was arriving on time and I was all set. The train pulled up to my platform, I boarded and sat down. I had made it, or so I thought. The ticket man came around and took one glance at my ticket and told me I had boarded the wrong train. I was in shock. I had boarded the wrong train because I was in such a rush that I didn’t pay attention. I became very upset with myself and began to cry.
As I stood in between the train cars, I came to a realization that if this was the worst thing that happened on my trip (besides breaking my phone, having to purchase a new phone, and needing a new computer charger) then this was nothing in the big picture. Mistakes happen to everyone and if anything, this situation taught me to slow down and pay attention.
We approached the next station, I was fortunate enough to grab the next train back to Vienna and as soon as we pulled into the main station, there was a train to Salzburg. I boarded the train without a problem and explained to the ticket master what had happened and he said that there was no problem.
Unfortunately, I had missed my reservation for the tour so I called them and they said that I would be able to take the tour the following day. I booked a hotel for the night and decided an extra day exploring the city would not be a bad thing.
Walking Around the City
My hotel was located in the center of the city. Old town was right across the river and as soon as I dropped off my bags, I explored the quaint town of Salzburg. It was the most picturesque European town I had visited so far, and I fell in love quickly. There were little shops everywhere and a music festival happening in the town square.
My first stop was the amphitheatre the “Von Trapp family singers” in The Sound Of Music sung in before escaping the Nazis claws. Just around the corner was St. Peter’s Catacombs, which were located in the cemetery of the Abbey. The catacombs were carved into the side of the mountain and completely made from stone. If you climbed to the top, you were able to get a great view of the city.
I then decided to take the Festungbahn up to the Castle. There was an option to walk all the way to the Fortress, but my legs were already done for the day and a quick trip to the top sounded a lot more satisfying. The Fortress overlooked the entire city and mountains. It was breath taking. I wanted to catch the music festival so I headed back down the hill and grabbed a chocolate covered pretzel from a vender.
Everyone was dress in Lederhosen and traditional dresses, there was beer everywhere and the bands were playing traditional music. It was like a marching band competition. I stayed and watched for awhile, and then walked by the river. I even crossed the footbridge the Von Trapps sing on for Do-Re-Mi.
I found a traditional Beer Garden, Stern Brau. It was the perfect night to sit outside and have a traditional German meal with a beer. I ordered a Radler, which is a light beer mixed with lemonade. It was one of my favorite drinks to order the rest of my stay.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC TOUR by PANORAMA TOURS
I was blown away by Panorama Tours. The Sound of Music Tour was hands down, the best-organized tour I had ever been on. I was the only “single” passenger on the tour, so I was able to be on the main bus with the best tour guide in the world. He was hilarious, I am lacking his name but he started the morning off with a bang. He had everyone singing and laughing the entire ride.
The tour was about 4 hours long and we stopped at the “outside” of the Vontrampt home, drove by the Abbey, passed the road where Maria strolls down with Confidence, and saw the original gazebo where Lesil kissed Ralph. We drove out to the lake region right outside Salzburg and went inside the church Maria and Captain Vontrampt were married in and ate traditional apple strudel.
I highly recommend taking this tour, even if you hate organized tours. Try and get the men tour guides, Peter and Ferdinand, and sing your heart out on the bus. It is a wonderful way to see the countryside around Salzburg and the perfect morning trip.