We fell asleep to thunderstorms last night and unfortunately woke up to rain, but it wasn’t pouring so we set out to see the city. I’ve secretly always wanted to do a Segway tour and the one here had great reviews, so we went for it. The rain apparently scared everyone else away so Grace and I ended up getting a private tour.
The Segways were so much fun! Even though they are ridiculous and extremely embarrassing, it was totally worth it. We laughed pretty much the whole time because it was so absurd. We saw the highlights of the city in a little over an hour, which would of taken all day to see.
We spent most of our time in the Old Town which was beautiful. Mozart was born here so we went to a plaza with his statue and even went by the house he was born in. Something both Grace and I loved about Salzburg was how all of the buildings were painted pastel colors and the historic style was maintained. On our Segways we went up to the abbey where scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed. (Throwback to summers spent at Grammie & Grandads)
We went by the oldest cafe, the smallest house in Salzburg and the markets, all in the Historic Centre. There was some interesting modern art projects in the city, one was a line of cucumbers symbolizing that each human is unique (out of all the unique things to pick in this world…) but the piece I enjoyed was a man standing on top of a huge gold ball. Looking at in the square it was kind of strange, but on the road going up the mountain to the fortress it looked perfectly like a normal man standing on this globe, it was a pretty neat perception trick.
We also saw huge fountains designed with ramps where people would literally ride their horses into them when they arrived in the city. We also learned that 25 monks stills lived in the original monetary and there was also another monastery in Salzburg. We rode by the huge Salzburg Cathedral and then ran by the Mirabellgartens at the end of our tour. Even though I was freezing afterwards because of the rain and wind it was definitely worth the fun and humor of riding around on a Segway. Tons of people were shocked, confused and took pictures of us- seriously so funny.
After the tour, Grace and I warmed up in a cafe for a while and then ventured back out. We went inside the cathedral, which was beautiful and mind blowing, as they all are in Europe. Then we headed up the mountain to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the castle overlooking the city. After a nice little hike we explored the castle which had awesome views.
We also ran into a girl that was in our room in Munich, such a small world- her great uncle Tuffy Clark was my tennis coach for years in Asheville, crazy. I’m starting to believe the whole ‘you know everyone in the world through seven people’ thing. Anyways the castle was really cool, we had fun walking around picturing what life was like hundreds of years ago in sweet Salzburg.
We really wanted to eat some authentic Austrian food and finally found a restaurant in the bottom of a hotel that looked good. Grace ordered the traditional Schnitzel, but the waffle with bananas, almonds, chocolate and whipped cream was too tempting for me. It was delicious and so nice to eat something hot on such a rainy afternoon. The Schnitzel was also tasty, especially with the cranberry sauce.
We ended our afternoon in the Mirabellgartens, which we briefly rode through on our tour. The flowers were absolutely beautiful, planted in swirly designs with a huge variety in color and type. The rain held off for a while which was wonderful to give us some time to wander around the gardens, exploring the ivy clad walls and fountains. The whole entire day flew by, despite the rain and cloudy skies. Even though it was gray most of the day, we both felt like it was a ‘warm gray’ in the sense that the city was still wonderful despite the rain. In fact it almost fit the classical like feel of the Old Town and the elegant atmosphere of the gardens.
We walked back to our hostel on the other side of town, laughing about our Segway adventure and reflecting on how incredibly blessed we feel going on this trip. When we got back to the hostel and wifi, I got a super sweet text from my dad with the quote “To awaken in a strange town is one of the most pleasant sensations in the world” -Freya Stark. So true. Despite the quick pace of our trip, every day and every place has been absolutely lovely. Experiencing new things, learning to be extremely independent and resourceful has been challenged, exciting and wonderful.