Thursday, September 13, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things...

For all of its faults, Salzburg is still a lovely city with plenty of qualities that make it worth a (short) visit. In keeping with the Sound of Music theme, these are a few of my favorite things:
1. The Weather.
Apparently Salzburg is one of the rainiest cities in Europe. I figure this statistic can only be right if the entire UK is taken out of the running. While we were there, we had some of the prettiest days I’ve ever experienced. We went 3 whole days without seeing a single cloud in the sky. There were several times when we just layed out on a park bench and soaked in the pleasure of a shady spot on a hot afternoon.
You don’t get many of those opportunities in Scotland, so we tried to take full advantage of the warm sunshine on our faces.

2. Fraulen Maria’s Sound of Music Bike tour.
It was fun, educational, and active which is just how I like my European vacations.

3. Coffee Ice Cream at Café Tomaselli.
I’m not saying that the waiters were pleasant or the bathrooms were free, but their coffee ice cream was good enough to keep me coming back for more.

Yep, three total stops for coffee ice cream during our trip. If nothing else this is a must do in Salzburg, and you can justify your indulgence by this cultural fact: Mozart used to eat ice cream here back in the day.

4. St. Peter’s church and catacombs.
Lately I’ve been having a heavy heart about a few things.  I won’t go into detail, but for the first two days of our Salzburg trip, I was pretty grumpy. I stumbled upon St. Peter’s church while wandering the streets by myself, and decided to have a look inside.  

A sign indoors said ‘No talking’ because it was a house of prayer, and suddenly a light went off in my head: “Duh! Prayer!”. I realized it had been about a week since I had humbly bowed my head, and so I helped myself to a pew.
I had a serious heart to heart with God, and before realizing it, I was having a big ole ugly cry…in public. But it was so cathartic. Afterwards I felt as light as a feather, and my bad attitude was wiped away. It’s so nice to realize that I don’t have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, because I can just hand my worries, fears, and grief over to God and he will carry them for me. Hallelujah! And to have such an intimate moment with the Lord in a lovely historic church made this simple experience one of the most memorable of my Austrian vacation. Who cares if I had mascara running down my face for the rest of the day?  
After lifting my spirits in the chapel, I headed next door to the Catacombs.
The price of admission was 1.50 Euros, and admission granted me access into a few of the tombs and stunning views of the Salzburg skyline.

5. Drinking beer on patios.
Yes, many of the restaurants and beer gardens close around 8 PM, but we still basked in the pleasure of drinking brewskis outdoors. It was perfect weather for it, and it’s something we've profoundly missed while living in the UK.
Something about drinking beer outside just makes it taste better. Kind of like candy bars when they come from vending machines.  

6. Mirabell Gardens.
One of my best friends Jill is pregnant with a baby girl. Before becoming pregnant, her favorite name for a girl was Lydia, so when she made the gender announcement, I thought I knew what to expect from her name reveal. Wrong. Her sweet husband had a different name on his mind: Mirabell.
I spotted a Mirabell Hotel in Bad Gastein.
The couple took a trip to Germany and Austria for their anniversary and when they visited Mirabell Gardens he started thinking about what a great name it would be for a future daughter. And well, I just  think that’s the sweetest story I have ever heard. I love when daddy’s help to name their little girls. I know it makes me love my own name that much more to know that it was one my one dad chose. And I’m sure little Mirabell will feel the same.

I just loved the experience of visiting these gardens and thinking of my dear friend and the inspiration behind her sweet baby’s name. And plus, the gardens are simply beautiful. I visited early in the morning so they weren’t yet crowded. I learned later that it is one of the most photographed places in Salzburg and gets quite busy, so I recommend an early visit if it’s on your Salzburg itinerary.

7. Hiking.

From my Bike tour I learned of two walks, the Monchsburg and Kapuzinerburg Hills, that offer incredible views of the city and the surrounding Alps.

We spent our Sunday morning walking these paths before heading home to Scotland.

8. Mozart Balls (or Mozartkugel).
Chocolatey, pistachio, nugget goodness. The perfect treat after long days of walking, hiking, biking, and bench napping.
9. Churchbells.

The city of Salzburg has a long Christian history, and within the Old Town alone there are 84 churches. When the bells go off, it's quite magical. It's hard to capture this beautiful sound in pictures, so instead I took some video. You're welcome.
And of course...

10. Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens.
Because when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad: I think of a few of my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad......


  1. Thank you for the beautiful words! No one else close to us has been to Mirabell Gardens, and I love that we share this experience. You are such a wonderful friend and a blessing to everyone around you!

  2. yay for coffee at tomaselli. i agree, waitstaff was not the best. glad you found some positives from the trip!

  3. It's okay to not like everywhere you travel and say so. It's still you precious time away from home and at least now you know, no need to go there again :) onto the next adventure!!