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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Salzburg: The Weird, the Wonderful and the Non-Existant

Hello people!

So today we've enjoyed a whole day in Salzburg, Austria! We've seen a lot of the city and taken plenty of photos... it's nice to be back to doing this kind of shit again rather than constant travelling.

Salzburg is a really interesting city. It actually reminds me of Canterbury quite a bit, and also places like York and Bath - it feels quite small for a city but has a lot of history and heritage, and is also quite easy-going.

Everyone that we've met so far has been so friendly. As we're in Austria, everyone speaks in German, but they all seem to know English quite well too, which is useful for us. They also do the thing that we've seen already on this trip where they say they speak 'a little bit' of English and then go on to have a massively detailed conversation with you using better English than you do.

I swear in England, if we said we spoke 'a little bit' of a foreign language, that basically means you can say 'hello'.

In terms of money, it's SO MUCH better here than in Switzerland...everything seems pretty cheap, probably the same if not better than Spain. This is good.

Ah YES, I only have one blog post to do tonight! Just one! And it's from TODAY. So if I start now I might actually get to bed at a reasonable time. Yay. Let's do this!

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What time did I get to bed last night? It'll be on the end of the last blog. I'll just check...

...Oh yeah, like 3.45am or something. Fuck that.

So I set my alarm for 10am seeing as we didn't need to be up early for anything in particular. Breakfast finishes at 10.30am here, so when I woke up the first thing I did was to head down to the breakfast bar and STUFF MY FACE.

With cereal. And yoghurt. And a bit of bread too.

But it was good - I had more than one bowl of cereal and plenty of bread, so I was completely full by the time I finished.

Sam met me at the breakfast bar after I finished and we worked out what we were going to do today by planning it on our city map and looking up places on the internet. On the map there were suggested walking routes already marked out, so our plan was mostly based on one of these along with a few extras that we wanted to do.

I then had a Jack-length shower (very very long) and we packed all the usual stuff to take with us for the day. We headed out at about 12.15pm or something.

Unfortunately, we had to do some boring logistical shit first before we went out and properly explored. We had to check some things about our train leaving Salzburg when we go home, and it was best to do this early just in case there were any surprises. So we walked to the train station (conveniently it only takes 10 minutes) and went to the tickets and information room/area/thing.

We waited in the 'Information' queue to start off with because we weren't actually buying tickets, and there was only one person in front of us. But once the woman at the desk finished dealing with that customer, she told us the position was closed, put a sign up and left. That was some bullshit.

So we waited in the fucking long queue (it is pretty much a rule of thumb that the longest queue is always the one that you need in the end, uggghh) which was moving pretty slowly. It didn't help when some woman decided to jump about 20 people in the queue because she wanted to buy a ticket and apparently there was something wrong with her legs and she REALLY REALLY REALLY needed to get a train. Really? You need to get a train? So what do you think everyone else is trying to do seeing as they are AT THE FUCKING TRAIN STATION. What kind of excuse is that?!

It was finally our turn after about 20 minutes of waiting, and we spoke to a nice person who spoke English, which was good.

So we needed to check which trains we could just hop on and off with our InterRail tickets, and which trains we needed to reserve (obviously we needed more than one train; there were changes involved, unless we missed something and there is actually a direct train from Salzburg to Canterbury...). She was very helpful and gave us a printout which clearly showed which trains required reservations, and she also gave us timetables which was handy.

It was definitely worth doing this, but it took like an hour in total to get this done which is more than we were expecting. Nothing we could really do about it though.

So the first stop on our walk around Salzburg was an engineering school.

Yep, you read that right.

It was another one of Sam's architectural excursions, because apparently there was something special about this building that was really worth looking at.

To get to it, we actually had to walk quite far in the opposite direction to where everything else that we wanted to visit was (as you can probably guess, this WASN'T on the walk marked out on the map...), so we walked in the sweltering midday heat to this random place.

We found the road that it was on and walked up.

We walked really far up this fucking road and when we checked on the map, we realised we must have passed it already. So we walked back.

No sign of it.

Sigh.

We've seen this before haven't we? Remember back in Sevilla...?

ONE DAY SAM YOU WILL TAKE ME TO A BUILDING THAT ACTUALLY FUCKING EXISTS.

So after this completely pointless journey, we actually did something sensible and walked on the route marked on the map.

So this is where things started to get good.

We were getting into one of the more historical parts of town. You could see all of the buildings were really well looked after and everything looked very clean and bright in the sunshine.




One thing we'd noticed on our map in the morning when we were making our plans for the day was that all of the best bakeries were marked.

Not gonna lie...can you get any better than that?! They should do that on every map, even like Ordnance Survey or some shit. Best thing ever.

When we'd seen these bakery symbols in the morning, we marked one of them that looked really impressive (there was information about it on the back of the map) that was on our planned route.

It just so happened that when we stopped to look at the map, we were standing right in front of this bakery.

I had a look in to check that the prices weren't ridiculous, and then me and Sam went in. We hadn't been able to treat ourselves to good food in any kind of public food place for a while seeing as Switzerland was so expensive, so we thought this would be a good time. Also it gave Sam an opportunity to get his fix of coffee.

As soon as I walked in, I fell in love with this amazing-looking cake in the display thing. It was three small layers of sponge cake with jellied summer fruits on top, all arranged in like the most perfect rectangle you will ever see in your life.

That cake was my destiny.

Sam liked the look of it too, so we got two of those and an espresso to have in the bakery.

I just need to quickly digress from the events from earlier, because some crazy shit is happened right now. I'm in the lobby of the hostel again, and there's a TV where some Austrian programmes have been on.

I looked up at the TV just now when I went to get a drink, and I noticed that the format of one of the programmes was really familiar to a programme shown on Friday evening in the UK.

HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU. THE AUSTRIAN VERSION.

This is some serious fucking bullshit though. It is actually the worst thing I've ever seen. I've heard the audience laugh once and the people on the show don't seem to be enjoying themselves very much. I'm still really surprised they have this over here!

Anyway, back to this incredible cake...

You will worship it.



Coffee + cake = Happy (but fat) Sam


This photo makes me laugh, you can see how utterly content I was. In that moment, my life was complete.


Austrians are well-known as good cake/pastry makers, and they seriously lived up to their reputation.

The sponge on this cake was so perfect. Even though almost any sponge tastes really nice, they are always a little dry or a little overcooked or something like that. But you could not find fault with this sponge. It tasted so good.

The whole cake together was one of the tastiest foods we'd eaten on the whole trip. It was quite big too so it filled us up. So worth it.

After we payed for our stuff, we left the bakery and continued our walk.

Right near the bakery was the church of St. Sebastian - the first main attraction of the walk. Here it is from the outside:


This was a nice little feature on the outside.



We aimed to do a quick visit of this place because there was a lot of stuff to see, and when we walked in we saw that there was a gate preventing you from walking around the whole church. You could still see all of the main parts though, and it was a lovely building, so we took a few photos.

Typically baroque, apparently.



The gate thing that we were seeing everything through.


After this, we carried on down this nice road to a bridge over Salzburg's river. Photos we took along the way:

There's a couple of big hills right near the centre of the town. So a few streets just ended with  a massive rock face.


One specific thing that we've noticed about Salzburg is that they love having decorative shop signs/clocks etc. above the doors on their streets.



Fountainzzzzzzzzzzz.


Here's the bridge that we arrived at and walked over.

Looking to the left...


Looking to the right...



Looking back to the riverside.


By crossing the bridge, we were now entering the Old Town, or 'Altstadt' as it is called here. This part of town is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is carefully preserved.

We entered the tall streets of Altstadt and walked through it the way the map showed us.




A sculpture embedded into the corner of a building. This is a bit weird, it seems like a cross between the Roman goddesses Liberty and Justice. Unless it's something completely different. Answers on a postcard.



After following the route around, we ended up in an open area which had a lot of important buildings in close proximity, including the cathedral and the Residenz (a palace).

The outside of the cathedral.



There was some kind of project going on in Salzburg involving the designing of different types of benches.


A fountain with the cathedral behind.


Following the route around...

A statue of Mozart, who was born in Salzburg.




 A fountain of Neptune with fortress of Salzburg on the hill in the background.


Gigantic chess...and two people were actually playing it.


An interesting statue-thing.


A statue outside the cathedral.


Interesting art near the cathedral.

The cathedral was free to enter, and we'd heard it was stunning, so we had a walk around the inside.

It is certainly very high on the list of all of the cathedrals we've seen on this trip. The detail was incredible and it was clearly very well looked-after.


I've always found it odd that you need to pay to light a candle in a church. I mean I can kind of see the practical nature of it...the fact that candles cost money and the funds need to come from somewhere...but at the same time, why should you have to pay to show your symbol of hope/faith, especially in a religious setting? It's probably just me, but I think it kind of goes against what this kind of thing is all about.




There were these arcades around the outside of the cathedral, each dedicated to one of the saints. They had these incredible ceilings.





This cathedral had two small organs on either side of the cathedral. This is one of them.


For the first time on the trip, we visited the crypt of a cathedral. In every other one that we'd been to, access was not open to the public.

It was interesting because this cathedral was actually built on the site of a previous one, so the crypt contained some of the stone and stuff from the previous cathedral, as well as small chapels and other things.


The altar area of a small chapel.


A small prayer chapel.


In one of the rooms of the crypt, there was a really interesting exhibition by an artist. It consisted of small metal sculptures which were lit by candles to cast shadows onto a wall, the same but for a sculpture of Death which revolved around the room, and the sound of the German speaking clock (from their telephone system) repeated over and over again. It was meant to symbolise the inability to escape death and Death's dynamism. Although of course it is open to interpretation, so see what you think.

The revolving Death shadow.


The metal sculptures. As you moved round these the candles flickered, causing the shadows to move - this was part of the whole exhibition.


 We came back out of the crypt and saw the rest of the cathedral.


This is the inside of the cathedral's large dome.



It was a spectacular place.

After this, we hoped to visit the Residenz seeing as they are so close to each other, but it was closed at the time. Not because it was later or anything, it was just closed. So that was that I suppose.

We did find something awesome nearby though.



It was a public display with a barometer, thermometer and hygrometer (humidity measure) on it.

It also showed graphs of the recent changes on one side.

I thought it was great how all of this information was available to the public in this form. I really like all of these instruments and stuff too, so that was cool.

We carried on following our route, and the next stop was the Franciscan church.

As it was another church, we didn't want to linger around too long, but we spent enough time to appreciate the decorative interior and take some photos.

The beautiful ceiling design.


The altar and ceiling.


The ceiling of a small arcade. That's a lot of babies!


Ok, they're cherubs. Babies with wings.

We stopped for a bit of a break after this in a nearby green area, which had a view over another church and contained a bit of nice artwork too.


We wanted a bit of food at this point. We'd brought half of a MASSIVE loaf of stale bread with us, as well as some granola bar things.

The bread needed eating, so we just tore at this for a while until we were satisfied. This is what we live like now!

Our walk continued...

We saw interesting wall design for a university building.


Now neither of us were sure what this was. It seemed to be celebrating horses a lot though. I tried looking it up on Google just now but there isn't anything convincing (at least in English) on the first page, so I'll leave it for you to decide what it is. Be creative.


This photo scared me when I was just flicking through the photos. But yeah, more crazy benches.


Many many arches.



What is it with benches here?!?!



The walk then took us to the riverside.

Churches by the river.



Looking across at the other part of town.


More decorative signs on the main high street of Salzburg, which we walked down. As we expected, there was a McDonald's.


We were getting towards the end of the walk now, and it must have been about 5.45pm. We hadn't done too badly.

We had to cross the river back to the other part of town. We crossed using the new bridge which was opened in 2001.


The bridge was absolutely covered in padlocks. I can't remember if I've talked about them in the blog before because we've seen them in a quite a few places elsewhere, but if you didn't know (I didn't before the trip) people use them to mark anniversaries and other stuff...they're symbols of love basically.

This is such a strong image for me. To think of the stories behind all of those people, and just thinking about the actual symbol itself...it's mind-blowing and beautiful.


A view over the old part of Salzburg from the bridge.


I need to say it now just to get it off my chest, I HATE the word 'Salzburg'. Whenever I type

From the bridge, we moved a short distance to some gardens, which had Roman gods and goddesses as statues and some nice flowers.

Roman gods:




 A nice view over the old part of town.




A view over the gardens and town.


We were basically at the end of the walk now, so our main objective was to get food for dinner in a cheap supermarket and get back to the hostel.

We did see a nice church on the way to the supermarket though.


It turns out that one of the cheapest and most popular supermarkets here is 'Spar', which we also have in England. So this is where me and Sam shopped for dinner.

We bought sausages, tinned tomatoes and two apples. Our idea was to cook the sausages with the tinned tomatoes and have it with the rest of the stale bread. Typical student meal sorted.

We got back to the hostel and chilled for a little while, and then we cooked our dinner in the kitchen.

The kitchen is in the basement of the building, and it's quite interesting down here because the walls are absolutely plastered with graffiti from guests who have stayed here. The stuff they've written varies from the disgusting to the emotional to the funniest shit I have ever seen in my life.

Some gems include "I can be googled, therefore I am" and that old classic "Ma friend is going the toilet she can fall down it & swim with fishy".

I regret to say that this is exactly how they are written. on the wall. The shit that goes through these people's minds...

Dinner was actually pretty nice, although we didn't think the bread would have lasted another day, so I had to eat loads of it to finish it off.

As Sam cooked, I had to wash up, so Sam went back up to the room while I stuck around and finished my dinner before doing the washing up.

I met someone else who was eating alone in this god forsaken basement, so we kept each other company. She shared some of her food with me because she didn't want to waste it, and she also gave me three eggs because she's moving on from Salzburg tomorrow, and eggs obviously aren't the easiest thing to transport. So that was nice; it's great how kind and helpful travellers are to each other.

And since then I've been working on the blog, so you're all up to date!

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It's a good feeling to actually be writing about 'today' again rather than 'yesterday'. So glad I finally caught up.

Soon I will sort out that fucking 'An Alpine Adventure' post because that's really pissing me off. I can't believe what Blogger did to that post. I would've spent longer trying to sort out the post before I posting it normally but I needed to keep you up to date. Sorry about that and I'll try my best to sort it out.

So I'm really enjoying Salzburg at the moment; it has a gentle, friendly atmosphere and it's great to look at.

Well it looks like I'm going to get to bed at about 4 tonight...how did that happen? I honestly don't know how I do it.

So anyway, I'll post more from Salzburg tomorrow, I hope you've enjoyed the post and thanks for reading.

Good night/morning!



Jack - 23/6/12 - 03:55 in Salzburg, 02:55 in the UK

5 comments:

  1. WTH is that man doing randomly standing on the golden sphere statue?! Great blogposts to read by the way! :)

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  2. Some graffiti for you to add to the basement wall Jack, "Glaciers leave me cold!" Love Mum x

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  3. Hey :) That something with and for horses is called Pferdeschwemme- horse well
    http://www.visit-salzburg.net/sights/horsewell.htm

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    1. Thanks, just read the webpage :) that explains it!

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