Monday, February 16, 2009

Salzburg, Austria

November 2008

My German friend, Christian Beil, brought me and his family to Salzburg, Austria. It was my first time to set foot in Austria! When I visited them in their place in October 2003, we were supposed to go to Salzburg too, but his son, Simon, got sick. So I ended up visiting a German public hospital, which was also a first time for me. I was so fascinated because the hospital was very clean, spacious, and has only a few patients, unlike public hospitals in the Philippines which are always crowded.

Salzburg is probably 100 kms. from Christian's place in Miesbach, Germany. But driving at probably 90-100 kph average speed, the place can be reached in a little more than 1 hour. We passed by the Innbruck exit. And when we reached the Germany-Austria border, I saw the marker, wow, I finally set foot in Austria!

The houses before Salzburg city proper seem smaller and less beautiful compared to average houses in Germany. I thought maybe the standard of living in Austria is lower than in Germany.

When we reached Salzburg's commercial center, we entered a parking lot inside a huge rock! Wow, they bore through this rock to create a multi-level parking!

The main commercial and tourist area is a narrow road, only for pedestrians, no cars allowed.

We passed by Mozart's house. With Christian, his 2 sons Simon and his younger brother.

Salzburg's famous attraction is the "Fort of Salzburg", a huge structure on top of a tall hill. The lift was not working on the day that we visited it, so we have to walk looooonggg uphill. I was wearing my leather shoes, not my rubber shoes, because I thought that Salzburg visit was just a walking tour of a flat, commercial area. So my feet were punished that day!

But the view at the top was really nice. The city proper, the cathedral, the river, the forest land from afar, small castles and other structures.

It was a long, tiring but memorable visit in one of Austria's great cities.

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