14 September 2012

Up, down and around Salzburg

The first place that I usually head to when visiting a new place is the Old Town, and Salzburg was no exception.

Salzburg sits astride the Salzach River with most of the Old Town squeezed onto a narrow  the strip of land on the south-west side between the river and the castle.

The Old Town is cute enough and has a couple of stand-out buildings, such as the Cathedral, but it lacks the wow-factor of, say, Prague and lacks the space of most cities to let you do some strenuous exploration.

The upshot of this is that the town does not take that long to explore and I did not take that many pictures when doing the exploring.

The area is aimed at tourists in a nice way and while you hear far too much Mozart music the commercial activities are generally low-key and up-market. No sticks of rock or funny hats here.

The old buildings on the south-west side are substantial if not grand whereas the small part of the old town on the north-east side consists of narrow dark lanes lined with modest houses and (mostly) closed shops.

Having tramped the lower streets i was left with no option other than to start to climb the steep hill leading to the castle.

A mix of slopes and steps soon took me above the roof tops and I was presented with some great views of the town. These I did take lots of photographs of.

I made it all the way up to the castle but decided to leave visiting it for another day when the weather was expected to be less summery. Climbing down to the town along another route I came to the Stiegl Keller with its bewildering collection of beers. I took some advice and went for the seasonal bear. It was good advice.

Back in the town and looking for what to do next I decided to climb up again. I started on the same steps as my previous ascent but this time when presented with the choice I turned right (north-west) rather than left (south-east).

Again the views looking down were worth the effort of climbing up. The different angles gave different perspectives, including views of the hill on the other side of the river. Something to climb on another day.

It also let me see the town and castle in relation to each other.

The path there was well looked after and there were a few other people making the same journey.

A few of us rested at the bar by the old city wall with more splendid views.

The bar was at the top of a sadly disused lift from the town that looks as though it could have been the model for the one used on The Wall in Game of Thrones.

Further on the path arrived at the museum of modern art which would have attracted me day with less sunshine but on this day I paused just for the views and moved on.

The path then headed downhill past more buildings, walls and ruins from olden days before taking me back to the river and a short walk to my hotel on the other side of the river.

One day proved to be enough to see the main sights in Salzburg (apart from inside the castle) and it was a grand day filled with sunshine, hills and just a few beers.

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