Monday, October 19, 2015

2015 - Eastern Europe Day 06 (Salzburg)

After arriving at the hotel last night, we were told about the Salzburg card. This card allows you to visit a lot of Salzburg attractions within a specified time frame and we figured that we would get the card for two days (24 € for 24 hours, 32 € for 48 hours and 37 € for 72 hours when we went) and in order to make the card worthwhile, we would try to go to the more expensive places on the list even ones that we didn't initially plan on doing. Our first stop is Untersberg, a cable car ride that goes up a mountain and provides you with great views of Salzburg and the surrounding area which is just a 30 minute bus ride from our hotel.

When we arrived, we realized how high the cable car actually goes and we were all happy with our decision to come. This will be the most expensive item on the list at 22 € and at this point, we were only 10 € away from making the card worthwhile. It was a good day for a hike, but we clearly didn't know what we were getting into. After arriving and slowly seeing other people come, we learned that people come here to do really long (6+ hour hikes and rock climbing).

Salzburg from Untersberg.
We got to the top, made it past the first hill, took some pictures, rested a bit, and headed back to a lookout point which is just a short walk from the cable car. As a warning, make sure you have some decent shoes when you go, Tracey had runners without much grip and was worried about slipping due to how pebbly the paths are.

Untersberg on the right, Salzburg on the left.
Well worth it in my opinion and it is actually a location that I wrote about here. We arrived slightly before 9:00am and we were at the base by 11:00am. When we made it down, there was a bus waiting, so we lucked out and headed to Hellbrunn castle without having to wait for the next bus. We arrived just in time for the 11:50am water show and did that. It was neat to go through but I think the costs of Salzburg attractions seem a bit high (10,50 €) but it made the Salzburg card seem like a great value.

Part of Hellbrunn's trick fountains.
At Hellbrunn castle, you only pay for the trick fountain portion of the castle, the grounds are free to visit which is something I like about all these castles that I have seen so far. The tour lasted roughly 40 minutes and I think that it is neat to see and not something that you would see very often. A section which is dedicated to splashing guests. We finished at around 1:15pm and got back to town at around 2:00pm.

Hellbrunn's water operated music theater. All those people you see move.
Art installation at Hellbrunn.
I ate at the Balkan Grill and the girls had McDonalds for a late lunch. Balkan Grill is surprisingly tasty for a hole in the wall joint. It is actually in a passageway between two streets, so you would probably miss it, we lucked out and found it while going through different passages today. There is no seats and there are only four choices, which is really just toppings for your hot dog which was two wieners in a baguette style bun. McDonalds had a Big Mac but instead of beef patties, they had one with chicken which is what Allison got. It was a disappointment. Imagine a McChicken but with another chicken patty and another piece of bread.

Balkan Grill.
Chicken Big Mac.
We went souvenir shopping after lunch and headed for a boat cruise which was also included with the Salzburg Card (14 €). I must have been pretty tired because shortly after the boat started moving, I feel asleep. Allison was up the whole time and told me that the cruise doesn't take you very far. I didn't mind going on it, but I'm not sure if I would have paid for it if it wasn't included. The cruise was roughly 40 minutes long.

Boat cruise in the back.
After the cruise, we wandered around for a bit and then went back to the hotel and rested and decided on where to go for dinner and Tracey picked Zum Fidelen Affen. Since everyone was tired of the meat and potato dishes, this was a bit different. The food was good, price was average at 4 € per drink and 12 € for an entree, ended up being 50 €. Service was okay, but I'm beginning to feel that we shouldn't expect North American service here. You should flag down waiters if you ever need anything since they don't stop by often.

Lock bridge.
The girls both got the roasted chicken and I got the affensteak (grilled pork saddle steak). We all found the chicken breast to be a bit dry, however I thought the grilled pork was good.

Zum Fidelen Affen.
Beer #7
Affensteak on the left, roast chicken on the right.
Note that everything here closes at 5:00pm. So, plan accordingly. Staying near the river allowed us to wander around at night which is a nice change from Munich.

Tomorrow we visit the Mirabell Gardens and wander some remaining sites that our Salzburg card takes us to.