Next stop: Austria!
We woke up early Saturday morning morning to board a train to Salzburg, Austria. Famously known as the setting of one of the most famous movies in the world, The Sound of Music, Salzburg's lush green hills and mountains sits just an hour southeast of Munich, Germany.
We arrived at Salzburg Hauptbahnhof Train Station shortly after 11am. The weather was sunny and mild, and the streets were quiet for a Saturday morning. I think we lucked out big time with the weather that day. It was actually scheduled to rain according to weather predictions.
First stop on our itinerary: lunch!
After a long day of singing and dancing at Oktoberfest, we knew we needed to recover our energy somehow. Pasta was a relatively easy and obvious choice for us, which led us to Ristorante Pasta e Vino, an authentic Italian restaurant situated with in the quiet city.
Since the menu changes daily according to whatever is in season at the market on any given day, there was no menu. Sarah ordered a delicious, creamy mushroom pasta, while I ordered the white wine tuna pasta dish. One bite of my dish, and all my memories of Italy from this past spring flooded back. The pasta dish was fresh, simple, and unpretentious. The lightly seasoned white wine sauce on the handmade noodles, coupled with the thick slices of tuna, and small portions of sautéed veggies.
Shortly after lunch, we headed over to the Mirabell Gardens to meet up for The Sound of Music Tour.
We actually missed our tour bus across the street by five minutes all due to the delay or the bathroom attendant at the Mirabell Gardens. We literally ran across the street as the bus was pulling away. Sarah managed to track down a tour attendant who graciously said that we "weren't late" and to just wait. We're convinced he hailed the bus driver to pull back around the block, because they actually came back for us. Haha GOD BLESS. Thank you Panorama Tours!
At a quarter past 2pm, we were well on our way. Our tour guide was both charming and had a great sense of humor. He broke the ice with a couple of jokes, and passed around the Lonely Goat stuffed animal for "selfie opportunities".
A couple of key movie locations that we visited were:
Mirabell Gardens and the Pegasus Fountain (the dance scene with Maria and the children)
Schloss Leopoldskron (in the film, the house where the family lived)
Hellbrunn palace (singing scenes)
Nonnberg Convent (where the young Maria was a novice)
St. Gilgen / Wolfgangsee (opening scene of the movie)
Mondsee Basilica (wedding scene)
We also took a few off-beaten path stops along the way to embrace the beauty of Austria, witness the oldest fortress in Europe, and get a small glimpse of the Alps. Those extra stops were actually my favorite parts of the tour.
As that was our first and only guided tour while we were in Europe, we did fell a little bit rushed getting in and out of the bus between photo opportunities. If I had another opportunity to visit Salzburg, I'd definitely want to rent a place and just really enjoy the scenic beauty at a slower pace. Austria is definitely one of the top countries on my list to revisit someday. It was definitely love at first sight.
After a lovely four hour tour of the city, a couple of sing along opportunities, and a nap or two on the bus, we wrapped up our tour and our day trip to Salzburg, Austria. After a quick dinner stop, we were back on our way to Munich for the night. It was a magical day filled with lots of breathtaking sights that neither Sarah or I will forget. We'll be back!
Until next time...see you in the next post! You won't want to miss out on Berlin. There's so much to share!