“Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could. So, somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good”. These gorgeous lyrics from one of my favorite Sound of Music songs aptly describe the gratitude and joy I felt getting to Salzburg, Austria. Not simply for the SOM sights, but because Salzburg has it. You know what I’m talking about – that quality we’re all looking for when we’re traveling. The air is musical here and it gets inside you and makes you feel like you’re part of the city and you’re all tingly like the city just kissed you softly on the forehead.
I got to go to Salzburg as part of an 11 day Globus bus tour that crossed Austria and Switzerland. Prior to getting into Salzburg, our tour stopped in Mondsee so we could first visit the church in which the films Captain Von Trapp married Maria. This was so so special. The church is a lot smaller than the film makes it appear and it’s just as beautiful as you’d think! Definitely worth a side trip if you’re a big fan.
We got into Salzburg mid afternoon and Globus had arranged for a local guide to take us on a 2 1/2 hour walking tour of the city. This would be the first big test for my Clarks walking shoes. I do much better walking than I do just standing – so during the walking tour, when the guide would stop to tell a story or anecdote I would slowly pace around the outskirts of the group. I mean, of course I could stand for a while, but when I started to get that feeling of “must sit, now!”, I would respectfully walk around a bit.
Our walking tour took us from the new side of town through Mirabell Gardens then across one of Salzburg’s famous bridges into the Old Town. We even stopped for dinner in the oldest restaurant in the world, dating back to the 1400’s called Stiftskeller. Having a tour guide was a joy and very informative – so if it’s in the budget I would consider one. However, Salzburg has an excellent Hop on/Hop off bus tour that makes touring around much easier for the fluffy folk. We had a full day open the following day, and that’s exactly what we did. These tours stop at all of the SOM filming sights, including out of town locations, like where the famous gazebo sits! The Hop on/Hop off bus had recorded audio in many languages that you could listen to during the ride. I adore these kinds of tours because it cuts down on walk times from sight to sight, which means I have more energy for touring.
Always make time for a revivifying cup of coffee and plan breaks often. See a bench? Cop a squat! Whatever it takes to get you out there and sight seeing!
No matter how you choose to tour cities like Salzburg, choosing the right shoes and breaking them in ahead of time is imperative! Some of you will prefer tennis shoes, some comfy sandals… I wanted something a bit fancier than trainers but also something for the cold weather of Switzerland. I ended up buying a pair of Clarks Wallabee’s in black, and thank goodness they were waterproof, because I did end up walking in a lot of snow. I bought some rubber shoelaces online and turned them into slip ons, which I would highly suggest. I made a huge mistake many years ago and bought new shoes and didn’t break them in. Surprise, surprise I got major blisters and couldn’t walk after day one in Florence. Then, being a bit of a moron, I made the same mistake a couple years later in Paris. Learn from my mistakes, and break in your travel shoes!!
If the Sound of Music isn’t your jam, don’t worry! There is way more to Salzburg than that film… Like Mozart for a start! Regardless, this is an amazingly beautiful city deeply entrenched in history. DO IT!!
PSG Rating Guide:
Salzburg with hop on/hop off – 3-4
Salzburg on your own – 5