I wrote up yesterday's posting after breakfast then headed off to find an internet cafe to upload it. I knew of one in the old part of town, but their prices were way too high. After only a brief search I find a place near the train station for a quarter the price of what they wanted in the old part of town. This just goes to show you that you need to be careful in these tourist places, some businesses are here just to make as much money as they can off unsuspecting tourists.
While I was near the train station I confirmed my options for getting to Innsbruck tomorrow. I going to do a quick one night stop there on my way to Fussen in Germany. Actually, I may do a quick stop in Munich as well, but I'll decide that as I'm passing through. The main attraction near Fussen is the "Mad" King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein Castle, Europe's most spectacular castle.
This afternoon it was time for a change of pace and I spent most of it bike riding. I picked up a rental bike in the old part of town at the base of the fortress then headed south along the Salzach river towards the Alps. I was planning to head to the Hellbrumn Castle as suggested by Rick Steves', but I didn't find the castle. Actually, I really didn't look too hard for the castle since I was just enjoying being out with the bike.
After my long bike ride I did a quick version of Rick Steves' old town Salzburg tour then headed off for dinner before calling it a night.
Today was a bit interesting in that I came across several folks, young and old, that knew no English - none at all. I was surprised to find this at some of the internet cafes. They are kind of geared towards tourist, so you would think they would know some English. During my bike ride I stopped out in the rural area south of Salzburg for a beer and the guy serving the beer knew no English, this however was less of a surprise given the location.
My beer stop reminded me of the water stop Bernard and I made in that little fishing community in Hong Kong last December, the one where the woman selling the water knew no English and tried to tell us the price by writing in down in Chinese. Today I did like Bernard and I did in December, I just gave the guy money until he was happy.
Here's a few photos from today.
This is the back of my hotel were I wrote up yesterday's posting. Mozart's wife's grave is at the bottom right of the picture.
Here's the Hohensalzburg Fortress from a couple kilometers to the south. I stumbled on this view by accident during my one and only attempt to find the Hellbrumn Castle.
Some of the scenery from today.
The bike I rented was a 3 speed. You don't really need more than that because the trails in the area and along the river are basically flat. They are flat because they used to be medieval tow paths. Cargo boats would be floated down stream and then pulled back up by horses along these paths. The weirdest thing about this bike was the peddling. I'm used to two hand brakes and the ability to freely spin the peddles backwards on my mountain bike. This bike had one hand break for the front tire and the rear brake was activated by peddling backwards. That took some getting used. Every time I was about to get going I would always try to spin the peddles backwards to get them in the right position, but by doing so I would put on the brakes and stop.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun even though it wasn't what I was used to. I'm just glad I didn't have the first bike I tried. That one had a really flimsy frame and when I rode it I felt as though I was Forest Whitaker chasing Robbin Williams in the movie Good Morning Vietnam. You know the scene, the one where he has no rubber on his rims and the bike is going all over the place.
Just some more scenery from today.
Kids can be found on skate boards even in the rural areas around here. At least these guys are in a skate board park, albeit a low budget one.
Some of the peaks up in the Alps still have a lot of snow on them. Makes me wonder what the snow situation is like in the mountains near Calgary. There wasn't too much back in April, so I don't imagine there can be much/any left now?
After I returned the bike I was basically at the starting point for Rick Steves' self guided tour of the old town, so that's what I did. The tour starts in Mozartplatz which contains the statue of Mozart I showed yesterday. Right near by is this Glockenspiel among other things. It has 35 17th-century bells that chime throughout the day.
This is the inside of the Salzburg Cathedral. Mozart was the organist here for two years.
This is St. Peter's Cemetery. Apparently the spaces here are rented, not owned. Rent bills are sent out every 10 years. If no one cares enough to make the payment, you're gone. Note the caves in the hillside. Legendary medieval hermit monks are said to have lived there.
This is the inside of St. Peter's Church.
Mozart's Birthplace (Geburtshaus).
Mozart's Birthplace and several buildings along the street have interesting doorbells. Each handle here is connected to a separate floor though a series of tension wires and levers.
Mozart's Wohnhaus, the reconstruction of Mozart's second home, where his family moved when he was 17.
A view of the Mirabell Gardens, the Cathedral, and the Fortress from in front of the Schloss Palace.
This Pegasus statue next to the Schloss Palace is apparently the site of a famous Sound of Music scene, the kids all danced around this statue or something like that.
Some medieval remains on the hill to the south of my hotel See yesterday's posting to get an idea where this is located.
As I leave Salzburg I can't help thinking the place kind of reminds me of Banff. There are things to see and do here and some good scenery, but the place is kind of overrun with tourists at least the old part of town (I make an effort to avoid getting too many of them in my pictures). And, it's not even peak tourist season yet.