From Munich we traveled to Salzburg, Austria. Here’s where I would make a Sound of Music reference, but I remain one of the few people in the world who has not seen it! Although I’ve been trying to remember to get to the library sometime soon to rectify this.
Before we arrived in Salzburg though, we took a short detour to Berchtesgaden, Germany. Berchtesgaden is a super quaint town, that had a notable Nazi presence during World War II, and is close to Adolf Hitler’s Eagle's Nest.
We didn’t see any signs of WWII or Nazi’s, but I’m pretty sure I spied Eagle’s Nest high on the hill while we drove into town. The town and area is more known today for mountain climbing and alpine skiing.
We were in town on a Sunday and everyone of the locals wore traditional dress including lederhosen and dirndl. We were told there would be a parade later, but we were leaving before it would start. I Googled the town’s festivals and learned we were there during Trachtenfest, a festival celebrated the second Sunday in July, meant to preserve authentic traditions and dress in Berchtesgaden. I’m glad we just happened to be there on this Sunday, because it was so neat to see everyone dressed up and the town decorated.
After about an hour’s drive from Berchtesgaden, we crossed into our final country, Austria, and arrived in Salzburg.
We grabbed lunch, pork belly for Mike, and calamari for myself, and wandered around Old Town.
During our trip we hung out a lot with a couple our age in our group and they were on the search for a Christmas ornament souvenir and we found a tiny shop called Christmas in Salzburg, except they were all egg shell ornaments, not the best for traveling back with. When I was younger my mom made some egg shell ornaments, so I took some photos to show her. Also, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to accurately describe the sheer volume of egg shells in this tiny shop – there were literally thousands of decorated egg shells!
Meeting back up with the group, we took a short walking tour through the Old Town, including Mozart’s birthplace, and Salzburg Cathedral.
We made are way outside of Old Town and crossed the Salzach River on the Makartsteg Bridge which is covered in love locks.
Ending in the gardens at Mirabell Palace.
We had signed up for another optional tour, this one called “Austrian Country Dinner”, which was so vague we were both a little concerned. Less than 15 people from our group chose this option, and we drove about 20 minutes outside the city to the countryside and arrive at a working farm, that added a restaurant and brewery called Raggei-Brau.
This wasn’t our fanciest meal, or most touristy outings, but it was one of Mike and my favorite memories. The group was small so we got a chance to learn more about our group, and the owner and his family were so nice. While the rest of us walked around back and chatted over drinks, Mike went inside and toured the brewing facility. It’s funny that even though the owner said his English wasn’t that great (it was fine in my opinion) Mike and him had no trouble communicating through brewing terms! We watched the sun set over the country and had a delicious meal of soup, ribs, and cake.
When we got back to the hotel, Mike was still excited from his impromptu beer tour, not to mention his several beer samples, we walked a couple blocks to get a night cap at a biergarten, Braurestaurant IMLAUER.
We stayed up way past our bedtime, but relaxing outside with some drinks and wandering the city with Mike was worth it, even if our 6:30am wake-up call to make our way to Melk came way too fast!