By the time I got on a train to Salzburg, I’d thrown away my guidebooks and was at the point of just turning up in a city and seeing what I could find just by wandering around. My Minga friends (that’s Bavarian for people from Munich) had told me that Salzburg is the “Munich of Austria,” but what would that mean? This was my first time in Austria, so would that mean like Munich but better? Like Munich but worse? Like Munich but smaller? Like Munich but kookier? Or would it just mean another wealthy European city on a river?
Well, Salzburg is one of those cities that if you visit with no expectations, you might just find yourself impressed by lots of little surprises.
There were chess games with the castle as a backdrop.
And beautiful flower gardens with the castle as a backdrop.
Everyone likes finding unicorns on their travels.
The Salzburger Nocken, a merengue like cake topped with berries, was a great discovery. We managed to demolish ours, famished after an afternoon exploring the city.
For our lack of research, even the fact that it was the Salzburg Music Festival was a surprise! This meant we saw men carrying strange instruments like this:
And we were treated to a music and interpretive dance concert in the window of what I guess was probably a university flat.
We also spent a morning in Hangar-7, the aircraft museum owned by the man behind Red Bull. We promised not to publish any photos that we took, but I can recommend it to anyone remotely interested in airplanes or architecture.
Although Salzburg was similar to Munich in that people speak German, sausages are readily available and delicious and beer is cheap and plentiful, it felt very different. It is much smaller and more condensed, has a castle presiding over it and felt like a friendly village by the Alps. As country that borders so many other European nations, I wonder if the so-similar-but-so-different vibe can be felt in cities, towns and villages throughout Austria. I can’t wait to go back and find out.