16 September 2012

Climbing Kapuzinerberg Mountain in Salzburg

There was a plan to my three days in Salzburg, though the weather made me swap some of the days around. The broad approach was to spend one day in the old town on the south side of the river, one exploring the castle and one climbing the hill on the north side.

I went to the castle on the second day when there was some light right and that left me with the hill to climb on the third day.

After only a few steps up the sharp incline and I was starting to get the views that were one of the reasons that I wanted to be there.

The view is very different from that on the south side where the old town lies before you. Here there is only a little of the old town and the rooftops are more varied and more interesting.

There is also a good view of the castle on the other side.

From here you can see just how narrow the escarpment that it is built on is and also how the castle has grown out from its original building as it has made its way slowly down the hill towards the town it protects.

The walk zig-zags around the hill and I took one of the longest routes to the top to make the most of the walk.

Most of the time I was deep among tall trees and only occasionally did the path venture towards the edge of the hill to let me get some idea of where I was.

On one of these occasions I was presented with this panorama as I looked almost due west.

The two stand-out buildings here are the lime green block in the bottom-centre and the Elmer the Elephant block near the top-left corner. The later is next to the main station and it shocked me as soon as I stepped off the train. It's bold and lovely.

There were three classes of path on the hill. I took the main tarmac path up and the more adventurous and shorter (hence steeper) unmade path down. I would have taken the even shorter and even steeper way down but that was chained off with rather serious looking warning signs.

At the top of the hill is a pub and what better destination could you have for a strenuous walk.

The sun was hot and bright by then so I had a leisurely pint (or 0.5 litre as they preferred to call it) before heading back down.

Again most of the walk was in welcome shade among silent trees. A few other brave souls went past but for most of the time the hill was empty. Even the wild goats were hiding.

The last resting point on the way down had the advantage of these views of the old town and the disadvantage of another way down that is blocked off.

The last part of this route down was a series of steps that found their way between the houses to drop me in the sliver of the old town that follows the river on the north side. From there is was a short walk over Mozart's bridge to Mozart's square where a latte and a cake were waiting for me in a posh coffee house that favoured the well-to-do locals just as much as the tourists spending holiday money.

The perfect way to end a good walk in a historic town.

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