Thursday, July 28, 2016

An Afternoon in Salzburg! Day 2 Part 3 5/27/16

After finishing up at the Ice Caves, we still had a full afternoon of sightseeing! Our guide left us off at our hotel, we dropped off our jackets and off we went! Our hotel, the Wolf Dietrich Alstadthotel & Residenz was quite charming. Our room was plenty big enough for both of us and the staff was very friendly. The hotel was located across the river from the Old Town, still in walking distance to pretty much everywhere we wanted to go. 

It was a short walk to the river and across to get over to the Old Town, and to where most of the tourist sites were. 

At this point we were hungry, and we didn't really have a plan. These GIANT pretzels really called to me, so of course this was my lunch! It's a bit difficult to get a perspective of their size, but I'd say they are about the size of a dinner plate.  

So then we wandered around a bit more, and our goal was to find the tourist office to exchange a voucher we had for the Salzburg Card.  This card grants you admission into most of the attractions in Salzburg for free, or if not free at a discount. It also provides access to their public transportation system.  We had purchased the 2 day Salzburg card, and for us it was a huge value!  We used it at several sites.  

For those of you who haven't heard much about Salzburg before, the city is famous for quite a few things.  Salt being one...the next is Mozart.  Mozart was born here and lived here for quite some time. 

And the next one it's famous for, we'll get to that later!

After we visited a small museum called the Panorama Museum with our card, which didn't allow photos, but had a very cool display of a 360 degree piece of art of the city of Salzburg, we decided that the Hohensalzburg Fortress would be our next stop for the day!

Some pictures on the way to the Fortress, which the whole way there, all I was thinking was..."please, no more steps!"

The kid waiting for his mom....

I was thrilled that the way up to the fortress was a funicular! No climbing here!

Once up there, we had to get our bearings and decide how to tackle this fortress!  There was a guided tour, there were rooms and courtyards to explore on your own, of course there was the amazing views, and then a restaurant!  It was all good!

This fortress is Central Europe's largest, completely preserved fortress, and it dates back to the 11th century! It was built originally to guarantee the safety of the archbishops, but also served as a barracks and a prison. Throughout the centuries the fortress grew in size to what we see now.

The views from the outside of the fortress

Once again, I don't think we could be enjoying ourselves any more than we are!

First up, we went into the courtyard and rooms we could visit on our own.

Inside there was a special exhibit of marionettes...had to check that out!

And a little bit of humor when you open the coffin, the skeleton of good ol' Wolf Dietrich pops up!  The kids here, and Alex too all really loved this!

The chapel

And excavations of the original chapel dating from the original section of the fortress. They had a video showing how the fortress expanded over time. It was quite interesting!

There was also an armory exhibit will various weapons dating from the medieval times to present day.

And then we went into the torture chamber....

We went on a guided tour of parts of the fortress and we got to go up onto one of the lookout towers, which provided us with even more wonderful views!

What was so interesting about being up there was as we were looking at these views today, was hearing the stories of hundreds of years ago and imagining what the land may have looked like then as compared to now. 

After we visited what seemed like every nook and cranny of this fortress we ate dinner outside enjoying the views...

Alex had schnitzel and I had brats.  This was our first true Austrian meal and it was delicious!  

It was time to head back, back down the funicular...

The horses were all lined up and ready to call it a day too it looked like!

It had been a perfect day and as we crossed back over the river, the sun was starting to set...what would tomorrow bring?

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