Sunday, March 10, 2013

Stalking the Locals in Salzburg

To nap or not to nap.  That is the question.
After our Sound of Music Tour, we went back to the room to regroup.
The clean white sheets were calling my name and we had that discussion that we
often have on a travel day at about 2pm.
"Should we nap?"

I will admit that occasionally the answer is a resounding "Yes."  And those are some of the best naps.
But, not on this day.  We decided that we just couldn't do it.
It would be a shame to leave Salzburg without experiencing
the views from the Hohensalzburg Castle.

I'm so glad we got up and out, because what came later was one of the highlights of the trip.

Salzburg, Austria

A funicular took us up to the Fortress which was built in 1077
and is one of the largest fortresses in Europe.
It also has the distinction of being one of the few that was never conquered in her long history. 

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

There are several tours and attractions including a Fortress Museum and a Marionette Museum.
As it was off-season, not everything was open but the views from the top are not to be missed.
Austria takes my breath away with its majestic mountains and medieval rooftops.

Salburg, Austria

Austrian Alps

Austrian Alps
Last week, I had the privilege of attending a travel bloggers meeting sponsored by BritMums.
It was an amazing day and I'm still buzzing with ideas and inspiration.

One of the guest speakers was from the Tourist Board of Costa Brava.
In his charming, Spanish accent, he passionately told us
"Don't just give me castles and cathedrals, give me a story."

When we travel, we try to hit the highlights of the city that we are visiting.
What will we regret not seeing or doing if we never get back to this place?
And in most big cities of Europe, that involves castles and cathedrals.

But, we also try to spend some time "stalking the locals."
Which led to one of the best evenings of our trip,
and hey, it involved beer.
Win. Win.

 Best beer hall in Europe Sazlburg, Austria

Our Sound of Music tour guide told us not to  miss the beer hall so we marked it on the map and headed that way.  It was late on a week night and once we got out of the main tourist district things quieted down.  After a bit of wandering, we found a small door that we thought must be the right place.
Matt tried it a few times but it wouldn't open.
We were about to just go back to the hotel when Matt tried that handle one more time and it opened.  

We followed the sound of laughter and smell of food through the halls
and eventually found the Augustiner Braustubl.

I'm sure in the high season many tourists find this place.  
It's highly rated on all the travel sights as one of the best beer halls in Europe.
But on this night, it seemed we were the only tourists there.
Beer Hall in Salzburg, Austria

 This is a traditional Austrian Beer Hall
that serves beer brewed by Monks in a tradition dating back hundred of years.

We found a place to sit and Matt sent me off to figure out how to get a beer.
You should have seen my beaming face when I returned a short while later with two frothy mugs.
Success!  I did get in trouble and there was some back and forthing but I figured it out.  

Here is a video from Samantha Brown that gives you the basics.  Take a look.
I had no idea what the fountain was for, I thought maybe rinsing between pints.
And the part she doesn't show is where you go visit the man at the cashier booth
to pay for your pints.  Or in my case, ask about the wine selection and get scolded in German.

Salzburg, Austria

I think it was probably the best pint of beer I've ever had.

Matt was sent on a mission to find food
and soon after he proudly plopped this massive plate of meat down in front of me.  

Augustiner Beer Hall in Salzburg, Austria

"Um. What's that?"
"Pork knuckle."
"I'm not eating pig's feet."
"It's not trotter."
"Trotter?  I'm definitely not eating trotter...  What's trotter?"
"Pig's feet."
"See.  I'm so not eating that."
"It's the knee, not the foot"
"I'm gonna find something else."
  Austrian Food in Salzburg, Austria

I came back with a baked potato and a pretzel, 'cause you can never have too many carbs after a long day of exploring.  (I did taste the pork and it was pretty good.)

This was the coolest place.  In the photo below, you see cabinets lining the walls with plaques.
The locals keep their own mugs locked up in the cabinets for when they visit. 
But it was really all about the atmosphere.

There are several big halls, each open and well lit,
completely different from a small, dark British pub.
Large family groups were laughing and enjoying each others company.
It was festive but in a relaxed way. 

Salzburg, Austria

I can't recommend a trip to Austria highly enough. 
We are still talking about it and it's a definite favorite for us both.
The scenery, the train rides, the food and the people all made for a very memorable weekend.

View from the Hohensalzburg, Castle

And I promise to remember those wise words
and to not give you only castles and cathedrals as we continue our journey.

What has been your most memorable trip?


  1. it's not Austria, but there's a German beer hall called Katzenjammer near Borough Market that's just like this! it's SO much fun.

  2. Betsy,
    Matt pointed that one out to me the other day! I'm going to have to make it a point to visit. We should meet there when you are in town. Although, I'm sure you won't have many moments to spare while you are here with all of the wedding planning. Let me know if you do! xoxo

  3. I've just told Ste that we *have* to visit Salzburg, those views from the castle are indeed stunning. And I would have spent a long time playing with those marionettes.

  4. You have to go. It's so pretty. I loved the feel of it. And the views! xoxo

  5. Great post Selena! I loved the view from the top but also enjoyed to local spot you visited. It was a good combination of photos and story. I've never been to that part of Europe and would love to see the Alps some day. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks, Jeanette! It is such a beautiful place. Salzburg and the lake district have much more to offer than we were able to squeeze in. I'm thinking it would be a great place to rent a cottage for a week. Have a great week!! xoxo

  7. I am drooling over that pretzel! And, those views are incredible! x

  8. It was just missing some orange, liquid cheese. :)

  9. Thank, Mo
    It was definitely one to remember. 

  10. I think you pitch it right with photos of wonderful buildings and scenery and then an interesting story such as the beer hall in this post. The conference last week taught me we can blog in many different ways and find our own voice. Your voice is enhanced by your fabulous photography :-)

  11. Thank you, Trish
    I've been thinking so much about blogging lately and what I want to do with my blog. I think what you said is key. It's about finding your voice and fulfilling your mission. I want to use all of the important technical stuff and gather as much information as possible. But, I don't want to lose the heart of my blog. I don't want "hits", I want connections. I think you do that perfectly! xoxo

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  14. Thanks a million! I'll take a look. Thanks so much for reading & commenting. 


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