This morning I took the train to from Vienna to Salzburg. I didn't bother with a reservation because there were many trains heading to Salzburg throughout the day. Not having a reservation wasn't a problem and actually it was quite nice. With my first class rail pass I just walked straight on the train and found a good seat in the first class cabin and that's all there was to it - no waiting in line at a ticket window. When the train guy came by I did confirm my choice of seat was ok as I didn't want to move if some one else had it seat reserved. This type of travel, which there will be more of in the coming days and weeks, makes up for many of the trains I was on earlier which required reservations.
The ride to Salzburg was nothing special. As you will see later we took a route along the northern side of the Alps, where the scenery stayed basically the same for the whole trip. The train made about a half a dozen stops or so along the way and we encountered a bit of rain here and there.
Upon arrival in Salzburg I headed straight to the location containing a few hotels I was interested in. All the rates were basically the same except for a newer Best Western I encountered along the way (it was double the other places), so I ended up staying in the most interesting place of the bunch. The building I'm in is 500 years old and is located right next to the St Sebastian Church and Cemetery, overlooking the Mozart family tomb. Mozart is buried in Vienna, but his father Leopold and his wife Constantia are buried here.
After checking into the hotel I headed off to get a look at the old town and the best way to do that was to head up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress located about 400 feet above the town. After touring the fortress and waiting out a short rain storm, I headed for a short walk/hike through the Monchsberg area to the north west of the fortress in search of a good view of the town and the fortress. After the walk through Monchsberg it was time for a late dinner.
The first couple pictures were taken on the train ride to Salzburg. As mentioned above, the scenery didn't change too much along the way. We did encounter a few tunnels and plenty trees along the way.
The Hohensalzburg Fortress overlooking the old town of Salzburg.
If you look real hard near at top of the hill you will see a large tower and 3 hand gliders just above and to the right of it. They were up there most of the late afternoon and early evening, except during the rain of course.
While in the fortress I took a tour that brought me to the top of the square tower on extreme right of the fortress shown in the picture above. The following few pictures where taken from that tower.
This one was taken on the way down from the tower.
There are several panoramic view points around the fortress. This shot was taken looking to the north west. The whiter and larger building on the edge of the cliff is the Modern Museum and the place just to the left of it is a restaurant and the destination for my hike through the Monchsberg.
The following are a few more pictures taken from the fortress.
The is part of the long ramp you climb to get up to the fortress, unless you are lazy and decide to take the tram up. I did the climb. The building over the road is a house. Earlier, I saw a lady returning with some groceries.
Some of the scenery on my walk through the Monchsberg.
I found a little shop in the Monchsberg that was selling these posters of the Alps. I found it interesting as I never looked at the Alps this way. I will be going further into the Alps as I make my way west (right) to Switzerland before heading north through Germany.
Some more the scenery in the Monchsberg.
A view of the fortress and the old town from the restaurant mentioned earlier.
Looking just a bit to the left from the above picture we see across the river to where my hotel is located.
Here's the reason most tourists come Salzburg, actually it's the man honoured by this statue (erected in 1842) that's the reason Salzburg is such a tourist destination. Mozart spent much of his first 25 years (1756-1777) in Salzburg. The city contains many Mozart related sites like Mozartplaz where this statue is located, Mozart's birth place, Mozart's Wohnhaus (the restored house where Mozart lived), and a concert hall, numerous churches and other places where you can hear his music played. Many people come to Salzburg to see sites from the Sound of Music movie, but I'm not one of them.
Here's a view of St Sebastian Church Cemetery from a deck on the back of my hotel, where I typed most of this up while listening to the sounds of birds chirping and a regular series of bells ringing from the numerous churches and clock towers in the area.