A Few of My Favourite Things: Photos from Salzburg
October 25, 2015
If you follow me on social media, you've probably heard me say at some point that Salzburg is one of my favourite cities. So you probably also won't be surprised to find out that it's been on my mind lately. Maybe it's because of the time of year, or maybe it's because of the foggy grey weather, but regardless, I decided it would be a good time to share some of my favourite photos from Salzburg!
One thing that immediately struck me about the city, is that many of the outdoor spaces are filled with horse art. This was seriously exciting, given that I had just completed my Masters research on representations of horses (but in Mughal art). So take a pretty European city and fill it with old equine statues and murals, and suddenly it's got a distinct advantage over all the others, right?! Ok, maybe that's just me.
If the artistic representations of horses aren't quite your thing, Salzburg also has a number of adorable carriage horses working in the old town. Whether you take a ride in the carriage, or just admire them resting and waiting for their next fare in Residenzplatz as I did, you can tell that the teams have been working together for awhile and some even are friends.
While you're out and about exploring Salzburg, you'll find that there's a surprise waiting around nearly every corner, especially if you take the time to really look. After turning a corner and glancing up, I noticed these roses drying on wires strung across the narrow street. This home-made decoration added some coziness to the city, as well as a touch of romance.
Of course, it's not all coziness and romance...there's also a mysterious spookiness to the city. One drizzly evening, Nathanael and I were headed back to our hotel when the light from the streetlamps caught something out the corner of our eyes. Along the side of a building, slightly recessed and cloaked in shadows, was this faceless statue. We made our way through the puddles to look at the figure more closely and found it both eerie and intriguing. Many statues in Europe have one or more areas which have been rubbed shiny from people touching them for good luck. I don't know if this statue has any lucky associations, but look at where the hands would be...the finger bones were the shiniest part of this work!
A walk through the cemetery and catacombs below the Hohensalzburg is another slightly spooky experience you'll find in Salzburg. The graves are very well decorated, but they are not all angels and flowers as we have in North America. Skulls and crossbones, a skeleton reading a list, and even a tray with glasses on it are some of the most memorable burial decorations we saw here.
Above the cemetery and catacombs is the Hohensalzburg. It really is worth visiting, both for the history and for the views over the city. There's a cable car you can take up there, but we decided to walk, set out in the general direction of the fort, and somewhere along the way, took the wrong street. We climbed up the side of the hill, but we were beside the fort. So, after a walk around the top, back down we went, found the correct street and headed up again. I would suggest giving yourself several hours to explore here - there's lots to see outside, as well as in the museums inside. Besides, you'll probably want some time to enjoy the view and take photos of the city below.
I'd be remiss not to mention Schloss Mirabell, site of Sound of Music fame. Whether or not you're a fan of the movie, the gardens are very lovely, and again there are horse statues here, although these ones are mythological - Pegasus and unicorns. There are a variety of other statues as well, and walking paths lead to the outdoor theatre where the von Trapp family performed.
After all that exploring, take some time to enjoy the amazing food and drinks. There are biergartens serving delicious Austrian brews such as Stiegl, pretzel carts, chocolate shops, and all kinds of restaurants. To this day, Nathanael and I still reminisce about the amazing pumpkin soup we had there - it was made with wild forest honey and fresh beer creme garnish. And if you are looking for dessert, of course you can have Eis Kaffee, or try Nockerl - a decadent meringue served with whipped cream and raspberries. We had this at S'Nockerl, which specializes in Salzburger Nockerl. One order includes a plate with three of these huge meringues, so it's perfect to share with friends as you linger over dessert and coffee.
Since Salzburg is only about 90 minutes away from Munich by train, I was hoping to make it back here for a day when Nathanael and I were in Germany this summer, but plans changed and we went south instead of east, exploring the small towns of Bavaria and Tyrol with friends. We had a fantastic time, and even took a day for a short roadtrip to Innsbruck. Besides, one of the most important things about travel is being flexible and adapting to changes in plans - if you can do that, your travel (and travel photography) will benefit. I'll be back in Salzburg at some point and in the meantime, I'll dream of a city filled with equine art and pumpkin soup.