Thursday, August 18, 2011

Keep Salzburg Weird!

So, Portland has a slogan that was unabashedly stolen from Austin. 
 You can find it painted, plastered and lettered onto walls, stickers and signs. Sometimes one can find a variation, such as "keep Portland beered!" or "keep Portland beard!" but usually we stick to weird. I love my weird city! This intro will absolutely make sense in a bit.

When we first arrived in Salzburg, we had a really tough time finding our hotel no thanks to the pouring rain and Google walking directions. We finally just bought a map at a gas (petrol?) station and used that, drinking really crappy, cheap vodka along the way. It was that kind of day. So, my first impression of Salzburg was not good.

And then it came time to explore it.

Our hotel was situated somewhat close to the city center, but you had to walk through a mountain to get there. It was eerie, but awesome. I should have known it was a sign of what was to come.
Upon our emergence from the tunnel, the very first thing we see is this cute little square. FULL OF PONIES.
I mean, look at those paintings! They're so magnificent. Obviously, I love horses. I had one of my own and I just FEEL right around them, even in art form.I just knew right then Salzburg was a million times better than my first impression. The building across the street from the pony square (as I lovingly call it!) did not escape the equine touch.

Salzburg's squares are somewhat spread out around one giant building, so we just headed for the one closest to the castle. Oh yeah, there's a castle!
Here are just some of the sights around the square. Salzburg is just so random. Everywhere you turn you find something new and exciting.
 After taking in the gold ball and giant chess set, we started to hike up to the castle. It is possible to take a tram to the top, but if you'd like to burn off the 4 beers (or 7 fry cones) that you're having later, I recommend the hike! It's pretty.
 The castle walls were SO TALL. I tried to put Jeff up next to it for perspective.
 The castle was not immune to Salzburg's weirdness. It houses a marionette museum, which turned out to be SUPER CREEPY.
 A wishing well....with dead marionettes?

 Some kind of dying statue.
After we shook off the chills and discussed our potential nightmares, we set out to explore more of the city. We wandered across the gross gray river (it kind of looked as if a whole bunch of washing machines exploded at once) and discovered a stairway begging to be climbed.
The stairway spiraled around another mountain and eventually led to a church. The path was littered with statues depicting scenes from the bible and very empty. A little spooky, if I must be honest. And then we saw a sign announcing another castle perched on the top of this mountain! We were the only ones making our way up through the forest, which was very nice. It was a much harder climb than the first castle due to steep, broken steps, but we soldiered on. Ok, I soldiered on, Jeff was fine the entire time.
 When we reached the castle, we were dismayed to find out it was actually a really expensive restaurant. Talk about false advertising. But the views were great!
On a final note, on our way back to the hotel we got hit by another rainstorm. Look at those nasty clouds hovering over the gross river. As soon as the drops started to hit, the crowds bolted for the closest stores and cafes they could in an attempt to stay dry.
I will admit to running for cover! We don't tend to get nasty rainstorms in the NW and I wasn't exactly up to getting soaked AGAIN. In our haste to get out of the path of the rain, we ran past this.
It's kind of awesome how we can find things without even looking!

Annnnnd that's kind of it for Salzburg. Most of our time was spent hiking up mountains and wandering the streets and while I took a shit ton of photos, I kind of feel that this post is pretty long as it is! I do have a couple more posts in store, do not fret my gentle readers. I also plan to have a wrap up on the beer/food aspect of the trip.


Saptilladerky said...

I love your story telling ability, Steff. You really draw your readers in and the placement of your pictures increases the intrigue your writing develops.

Looks very fun, and yes, weird! The freaking mannequins! WTF is with all those cut off appendages and the dead ones in the fountain?

Been wondering, how much trouble did you guys have communicating with people around the world as you were out and about? Was buying food or going to restaurants hard? And the places you stayed?

sgcorrie said...

Not much trouble at all! I actually barely speak any German. It helped that we weren't in very remote areas and I'm going to just say that most of Europe speaks English pretty darn fluently. We always know how to say "please," "thank you" and "do you speak English" because it's polite to approach somebody in their own language before you start mumbling in your own....I'm thinking I will address this in a wrap up post!