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Category: Austria

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

Monday morning we met our pickup at our hotel lobby to take us to the Wien train station to head to our next destination…Salzburg, Austria! Known for the famous American made movie, Sound of Music. At first, the driver took us to the wrong train station (luckily we checked and we had plenty of time to get to the correct one-ALWAYS CHECK!!!).

Once we found our train, we hopped on the wrong coach thinking we could make our way to the correct one via inside the train. This was not the case. We met another lady who was in the same boat, and needed to get to the same coach as us. She was from Switzerland and she was willing to help us! We stayed and talk to her for 45 minutes until we were able to get off and switch train cars.

  • She told us that she has lived all over the world including the UK and Vietnam. She has 10 children, and I would have to guess she is only in her 50s!!! We exchanged emails, and she told us we could stay with her anytime we travel to Switzerland. She even gave us two essential oils that we could smell when we become stressed during our trip. She recommended the Sachetorte and the Mozart chocolate marzipan balls when we arrive in Salzburg. We took her advice, and they were delicious!
Festung Hohensalzburg
Festung Hohensalzburg 

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We also forgot to get our EuroRail pass stamped before getting on our first train. So technically our train ticket was NOT VALID. They let us go, and we ended up getting it stamped in Salzburg before heading back to Vienna. (ADVISE: check everything ahead of time to make sure everything is completed & valid).

Our second hotel was even better than the first! It was a rainy, cold day in Salzburg but we still did our daily walking. We walked around the city and then made the hike up to the Festung Hohensalzburg (fortress). We paid 9 euros for the basic tour pass and saw so much! We also got a great view overlooking the city from the top of the towers.

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Before making our way back to the hotel to get dry & warm, we stopped by Mozart’s House! The only thing that was left that was still the same was the doorbells which when rung, you could see it go all the way from the door up to the respective apartment.

We looked up a cheap meal for dinner and found a place on trip advisor that got great reviews. We were the only people in the restaurant the whole night (probably because we went at 6 at night). I got a beef hot dog with cabbage with a mustard/horseradish sauce. It came with lettuce and tomato and a side of fries. Kristin got a chicken dog with a mango-ketchup sauce. Each came on a toasted bun. They were both absolutely amazing and probably the best hot dogs I have ever eaten.

~Jordan

Next stop: Prague, Czech Republic!

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Marzipan Mozart Balls
Marzipan Mozart Balls

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FACTS:

Salzburg translates to “Salt Fortress” in Bavarian which is what the city is known

Salzburg is the fourth largest city in Austria

Birthplace of the 18th century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Setting for the musical play, The Sound of Music

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

Friday we headed to Perugia to catch our train to Rome. On the train, we met a really nice Italian guy who was studying in Rome. We communicated in English and Italian so we both could practice our lesser-known languages. He helped me with my bags, and once at the station, he showed us exactly where to catch our next train.
We exchanged numbers, and I plan on keeping in touch so I can continue to use my Italian!

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Danube River
Danube River
Schonbrunn Palace
Schonbrunn Palace

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We took an overnight train from Rome to Vienna that took 16 hours. The train was very cool; it was just like the Harry Potter movies. There was a tiny room where 6 people could sit (3 on each side facing each other) but then 3 beds per side could be pulled out (bunk bed style). Luckily for us, we only had one other couple sharing our room from Austria. We had some late night conversation that consisted of their thoughts of Americans. They didn’t want to comment!

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Austrian Parliament
Austrian Parliament

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When we arrived there was German language everywhere!!! I can understand some Italian and Spanish, but German is very different. There were still some people we met who spoke Italian, and on Sunday night at the gelateria they spoke Italian, which made me feel right at home!

Saint Stephen's Cathedral
Saint Stephen’s Cathedral
Staatsoper (State Opera)
Staatsoper (State Opera)
Karlskirche
Karlskirche

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Saturday and Sunday we went to a winter carnival in front of City Hall. They had a ice skating in front of the Hall, but instead of a big rink, they had it in the form of a running path! So ice skaters were skating on a path in and out of the trees. The festival had the best food! I had Raffaelo roasted nuts, Spinatspatzle, a form of bread pudding, and hot chocolate (which was said that it would be the best). I got caramel in mine and it was delicious.

Spinatspatzle
Spinatspatzle
Vienna Hot Chocolate
Vienna Hot Chocolate
City Hall
City Hall

Sunday we got up and had an amazing breakfast in our hotel. We left at 9 am and didn’t return until 8pm. We walked through this ginormous park where they were hosting a Half marathon, 10K, and a speed walking competition! I have never seen a speed walking competition and it was quite exciting! Then we exited the park and walked along the Danube river. We walked 44,000 steps/17.5 miles around the city!!! I wore boots (which I don’t advise for a 17 mile walk). We ended the night in an Austrian restaurant where we enjoyed Wiener Schnitzel and roasted potatoes.

FACTS:

Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria with a population of 1.8 million (2.6 million within the metropolitan area).

It is the 7th largest city by population within city limits in the European Union.

Today it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin.

Apart from being regarded as the City of Music, it is also known as the City of dreams because it is home to the world’s first psycho-analyst Sigmund Freud.

Vienna is known for its quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, it was ranked first (tie between Vancouver, Canada, and San Francisco) for the world’s most livable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second behind Melbourne, Australia.

The English name Vienna is borrowed from the Italian name Vienna. The German name for it is Wien.

~Jordan

Next stop: Salzburg, Austria!