Salzburg: Where Salt Is Sold as a Souvenir

While in Munich, I thought I’d also visit Salzburg for a day since the two cities were less than two hours apart by train. I was looking forward to this as I’d never been to Austria before and it also meant that I’d finally have seen the three main German-speaking countries.

Knowing next to nothing about Salzburg, and having had a very agreeable lunch at some restaurant whose name I’ve forgotten, I acquainted myself with the city by walking around in its centre.

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One thing I noticed was how touristy the place was. There were plenty of tourists from China walking about, and this was evidently a thing because I saw shops with signs written in Mandarin. So one might surmise that the souvenir industry in Salzburg does rather well during the summer.

Based on something I read about the major attractions of the city, I decided to go up to the local fortress, the Festung Hohensalzburg. One can access it using either a funicular or by walking.

It was all right. It looked old and mediaeval and there were tours of the interior and a café and restaurant outside. They even had some kind of marionette museum in there. Not one to immerse myself in local history, I simply walked around and admired the architecture.

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The fortress walls were white and made dazzling thanks to the summer sun.

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I’ve not much to say about making my way through Hohensalzburg’s walkways. (Frankly, you’d be better off googling if you wanted to know more about the fortress and its history.)

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What I can mention is the view of Salzburg from above. It really was quite spectacular. I enjoyed observing the historic buildings and the Salzach river winding its way through the city.

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While enjoying an Apfelstrudel at the café, I got to admire the views from another side of Hohensalzburg.

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Living in the impossibly flat country that is the Netherlands, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of regularly visiting countries with some degree of relief. Salzburg constituted a large part of my annual dose of hills and mountains.

Once I got off the fortress I continued walking through the city centre. As I really had to figure out what to do next, I sat on some steps and did some googling. These steps happened to be opposite a building that served as the birthplace of Mozart. Here follows an obligatory photo thereof.

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I have to be honest – I wasn’t particularly moved by the sight of the building. But apparently many people must be, because it’s a tourist attraction in its own right.

There was a building that did interest me, though, and this was also the birthplace of someone famous. On 29 November 1803, Christian Doppler was born in Salzburg, in the very building seen below.

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Well, fine, not much of a building as a goodly portion of it’s been cropped out, but still. I was pleasantly surprised to chance upon this place. I remember learning about the Doppler effect in an astronomy elective course at university and found the phenomenon interesting, so it was noteworthy for me that I should encounter the birthplace of the person who described it.

Ever seen those bridges where tons of couples have locked up their love for each other and then thrown the key into the river below? Salzburg has one such bridge.

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The end.

In the evening, I learnt that there was this hill in Salzburg called Kapuzinerberg which offered fantastic views to those who walked to the top. I did just that and, yes, the view was a nice reward for all that walking.

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At the summit was also a little castle called the Franziskischlössl. As an aside, the Austrians and Bavarians have this thing about creating diminutives with the letter l appended to the end of a noun. Schloss means castle, and therefore Schlössl means little castle. In places where regular German is spoken – i.e. everywhere else – the diminutive is indexed with the suffix -chen, as in Schlösschen.

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According to this website the castle is available for dining and, if one so wishes, getting married in. I wasn’t interested in marrying anyone then and, more importantly, the restaurant was closed. Dinner was thus a simple affair at the main station while waiting for my train back to Munich.