We arrived in Salzburg around 9:30 AM on Monday morning. I got my first taste of European McDonalds in a €2.50 breakfast sandwich (It was essentially a McChicken). To make myself feel better about the food choice, I washed it down with a fruit & veggie juice from the supermarket next door. Now thoroughly nourished, we set out on what would be a long day of walking - 28,000 steps actually.
We dropped our main packs off at our hostel and set out with cameras in hand. Every corner was uniquely photogenic to our American eyes. We popped down many interesting alleyways that after the first several steps appeared to lead us to nothing interesting, expecting to find the back door of a restaurant or a dumpster if we were to find a similar passage in the States. Instead, however, the alleys would open up to reveal a small courtyard or square with a couple shops, cafes or bars. These little detours were refreshing breaks from the crowded city streets.
We visited three of Salzburg's old churches dating back to the 1100s (I think). I only wrote down two in my notes: Erzabtei St. Peter and the DomQuartier (Cathedral) I hadn't been in any old European churches before; The detail in every inch is incredible. Whether you are a spiritual person or not, there is a powerful presence in these old churches, the air feels heavy. Imagining the centuries upon centuries of worship, joy and hardships experienced by the churchgoers of old really fascinated me.
After the churches, we made the steep trek up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress. From there you get a sprawling view of Salzburg and the valley below. They have kept the structure similar to how it likely looked centuries ago. It was interesting to see how people lived in the castle back then. I can remember seven towers from Salzburg's many churches thrusting themselves upwards into the sweeping landscape.
The castle overlooks the city, and the walk up took a lot out of us. After descending back into the city, we browsed a few more shops, grabbed a beer at Augustinerbräu (a huge beer garden) and even had burgers for dinner at BioBurgerMeister. We felt like we got an authentic, after class/work happy hour experience the beer garden. The choices of beer were simple - half liter or liter sized mug, and then dark or light beer. The simplicity definitely added to the charm. Both of us were blown away at how good our burgers and fries were at BioBurger. Maybe we were just really hungry for something familiar, but damn, I'll never forget that meal was.
We were back in our room at YoHo Hostel by 10pm to get some rest before catching a morning train to Hallstatt the next day.