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Day 29

Salzburg

Woke early and drove into Salzburg, We manage to park close to the old town, next to the river. A short walk through the old streets and passageways takes us up to the main square and the cathedral, where mass was just begining. We stay for the mass and two ladies sitting with the organist sang beautifully at various times throughout the rituals, lovely operatic voices sounding out through the cathedral, it was quite a treat. The Cathedral itself is so beautiful, it is one of my favourites.Unfortunately the day is a little bit misty and drizzly, but not to worry Salzburg is a beautiful place to be anytime! After mass we go in search of a coffee, the resaurants and cafes look very posh and the prices confirm that they are!! but looking around the smaller cake shops and outdoor stands things are priced much more reasonably and the coffee and cakes are just as tasty.

We buy our City Card from the information office €22 (details below) as there is so much we want to see here. Starting off at the Residenz Palace in the centre, we first visit the Art Gallery and then the Palace apartments. The art gallery houses paintings from many well known artists including Rembrandt, Titian, Rubens and Leseur. The Palace tour, with audio guide in the language of your choice, starts off in the vast main hall, 50 meters long. Huge doors lead into the other rooms, but the thing that strikes you most in all the rooms are the fabulous painted ceilings depicting wonderful scenes from the life of Alexander, angels surround the paintings, not just on the paintings themselves but also framing them in stucco. The state rooms reflect the wealth and power of the Prince-Archbishops who lived here and there are many beautiful objects on display. There are 180 rooms in the Residenz and it has been the seat of the Salzburg Prince-Archbishops since the 12th century to 1803, Outside the Residenzplatz is the largest square within the old town. The Residenzbrunnen (Fountain) is 15 meters high and is thought to be the largest and most beautiful fountain outside of Italy.

We take our pictures, along with a number of other visitors, with Salzburg’s most famous son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart before heading off to take a ride on the funicular railway up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress which stands above the city. It was started in 1077 and has been constantly enlarged over the years to become what it is today, a small town in size with so much to see – museums, churches etc. The fortress has been besieged over the years but never captured. The views from the front of the fortress are truely lovely looking out over the city of Salzburg below. After the trip back down to the bottom we take a walk through the grounds of St.Peter’s Abbey church nearby, here are the catacombes, but they are closed for a few days! The cemetery is the oldest in Salzburg and there are many famous names buried here including Michael Hayden the composer. St.Peters is a three aisled church and was built in the Baroque style in the 17th and 18th centuries, although the original church was built in 1130. Salzburg is crammed full of wonderful churches and museums and, of course shops, that there is so much to do and see. The confectionary shops are filled with tempting goodies such as the delicious Mozart Kuglen – marzipan, pistachio and truffle all coated in chocolate, not to be missed. Clothe shops display the traditional dirndls and lederhosen and cake shops are full of the most tempting pastries and cakes. Walking through the square behind the Cathedral we notice a large gold ball resting on a black metal frame I am shocked to see that a lad has climbed up and is standing upright on the top! on getting closer I realise that it is in fact a staute and that gives the rest of the party a good laugh at my expense! We pass a bus stop with a green bench and a large picture of the Trapp family. An audio tape tells the story of the real Maria Augusta Kutshera who sat on a green bench in a bus stop in the Residenzplatz debating whether or not to take a position as governess to the 7 children of the sea captain Georg Ritter Von Trapp or to return to the Nonnberg Convent and become a nun, the outcome is, of course, told in the film The Sound of Music. Well it has been a long and lovely day, time now to head back to the motorhome, we still have a lot to do and see tomorrow. Must make an early start!

Details of City Card – 24hrs €22 this includes entry into all the museums and exhibitions around Salzburg also use of all the buses around the city.

Day 30

Salzburg

Salzburg city card still valid till early afternoon. We head off towards Mozart’s birthplace on Getreidegasse as soon as they are open. We are the only ones to be making such an early start and have the place to ourselves. Situated on the third floor of the building above a food shop, it is interesting to look around and imagine a family living in these rooms. A small kitchen is the first room you peer into before moving along the landing into the family rooms. Mozart’s parents lived here for 26 years and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born here on 27th January 1756. From Getreidegasse we cross the river on the footbridge Makartsteg, along the sides of the bridge you can see the many padlocks that lovers have left here, bearing their names and symbolising that they are locked together! once on the other side of the river we make for the Marktplatz and the Mozart residence where the family lived from 1773-1787 after the apartment had become too small. There are many exhibits from his life here and the building has been rebuilt in 1994-1996 after being very badly damaged in the war. The work of rebuilding has been done with the help of Japanese investment through the Mozarteum Foundation. In the main living room there is the only known painting of the family Mozart, his sister, father and in the background is a painting of his mother who had died two years previously in Paris. The Marktplatz is dominated by the Holy Trinity Church with its beautiful high altar, outstanding dome and extensive stucco work.

A short walk takes us up to the Mirabell Palace and of course, the Mirabell gardens which feature in the Sound of Music. The gardens are, at this time of year sadly lacking in colour, although the spring flowers were being planted as we were there. Later in the year the gardens are a mass of colour in the beautifully kept flower beds, and it is a really wonderful spectical to see. Back over to the other side of the river and we hurry along towards the Museum of Modern at the end of the town, we still have so much to do before our card runs out! We take the lift that travels up through the mountain and try to gain entry into the museum, it is closed today! just our luck, but not to worry I am not that much into modern art anyway and the main reason to come up here has been for the wonderful panoramic views over the city. We take a walk across to the fortress before going back down and over to the Panorama Museum, Too Late!! the card has run out, oh well it leaves something new to see next time we come. We take a walk up the Nonnberg steps to the convent and take a look at the views at the far side of the city before leaving. Before leaving the area we decide to have a quick look at the house from the Sound of Music at Leopoldskronner, not being too sure what the house is now and whether we will be able to have a look, we cautiously take a peek inside the gates, there are no signs so we go a little further to look, we do not get far there is a hotel next door and a very irate man came rushing out to tell us to go away and shouting and waving his arms around! Oh dear! So sorry! oh well you cann’t win them all.

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