The hills are alive with the Sound of Music
Yes, I am back in Austria, in the kitch town famous for salt and the Sound of Music.
I arrived in Salzburg late in the evening and just spent the first night at the hostel bar drinking wine and chatting with some folks. The next day, I wandered around town and then spent my final day in Werfen.
I woke up at 700am to the sound of 5 Japenese girls chirping away really loundly. It was hot, we were in a really small room, and needless to say, I was not thrilled about sharing a room with these girls.
Once I got up, I walked to Mirabelle Gardens, one of the famous Sound of Music spots. Following the gardens, I visited Mozarts residence and then crossed the river and visited three of the beautiful churches in town.
Then I headed uphill to the castle.
Once at the castle, I met two indian people: Tejas and one whose name I did not get. Anyway, we toured the castle together and then spent the afternoon having a coffee and a pastry. They also mentioned that there was a great indian restarant that they had been frequenting for the last 8 days (everyday!) – I had to try it.
We parted ways around 6 and I headed to see Nonnburg Abbey – another Sound of Music site.
I slowly made my way to the Bio Organic all vegeterian indian place. Along the way, I stopped for some ice cream, visited another church, and windowed shopped. Finally, around 830pm, I sat down for dinner.
I sat down at a table outside, and then Nirmal came to take my order. While my hindi isnt so good, I was able to understand him and he was thrilled to meet another indian person (as you can guess, there are not that many in Salzburg).
I ordered chole and roti, but ended up with chole, roti, bhindi, and dessert. At some point, the restarant had closed and I was the only one left! Nirmal offered to make me some chai so I would stay and chat with him while he cleaned and closed the kitchen.
After the restaurant closed, we went for a walk around the town. It was so nice to see the city at night, especially since I did not want to go back to my awful hostel and I didnt feel too safe walking alone at night (Salzburg dies down around 9pm).
I woke up to a much better situation – this time, there were 5 Australian girls, all traveling alone. They were much quieter and respectful and we all got up around the same time (9am). As we were talking, it turned out that both Sophie and I were planning to head to the ice caves. She was the first person I met that was not planning to do this as part of the organized tour, so we decided to go together.
We caught the train to Werfen, and then started walking up hill to the caves. Along the way, we saw Hohenwerfen Fortress. A few kilometers into the walk, the public bus stopped and let us know that we still had a 2 hour walk ahead of us. Since I planned on leaving for Munich that evening, I decided that it was best I jump on the bus, but Sophie continued the walk.
Once on the bus, I met Wolfgang, who became my friend and translator (he was from Germany but spoke some English). We got off the bus, hiked uphill for about 15 minutes, caught the cable car, hiked a little further, and then finally got to the caves.
The Eisriesenwelt Höhle are the world´s largest accessible ice caves and house eloborate ice formations. It is amazing that it can be so hot outside the caves, and below freezing inside. While I only had a small sweater, the 700 steps inside the cave helped me to stay warm!
Following the cave tour, I headed back to Salzburg, bought my train ticket to Munich, and ran around town to do a few last minute things:
1. Stop at the Apotheke and get some eye drops
2. Refill my cell phone – As it turns out, the cheapest way to have a cell phone is to get a new SIM card in each country so I ended up not refilling it. But I spent a half hour chatting with the guy in the store. Turns out he used to work at Microsoft at the same time I did, and he left to move to Salzburg, work at a store to learn the mobile industry in Austria and do IT consulting. Sounds like his lifestyle is much more peaceful that mine.
3. Swing by the indian restaraunt and say bye to Nirmal – I went in to say bye but Nirmal refused to let me go without eating. So once again, I had mango juice, roti and daal.
4. Stop by Yoho and pick up my backpack and say bye to a few friends.
And then I was off on the fast train to Munich. 1.5 hours later, Felix was waiting at the train station to greet me. (Here we are having Jägerschnitzel and beer).