Monday, November 9, 2015

2015 - Eastern Europe Summary (Salzburg)

Duration: 3.5 days (arrived Wednesday September 16, 2015 in the evening and left on Saturday September 20, 2015 in the morning)
Cost: Star Inn Salzburg Zentrum ($712.64 CAD for 4 nights), manual transmission car rental ($108.40 CAD for 1 days), average meal was roughly 17 € a person for us, and admissions to sights and transportation.

Highlights (in no particular order):

Salt Mine (Salzwelten), initially, this was just something to see since we planned to visit Hallstatt and this is up there with the BMW Museum and Dachau as my highlights of the trip so far due to my low expectations. The slides are fun and I wish there were more, the train to get out of the salt mine was fun (watch your head due to the low ceiling), and overall, it was an enjoyable experience.

Hallstatt slide #1.
Hallstatt slide #2.
Hallstatt, this place is as nice and pretty as the pictures make it seem. If we had more time, I would have liked to have wandered around the area. It is a very quaint little town which may be ruined by all the tourism that happens here. It doesn't seem like there is much to see here, but well worth the stop if you like how online pictures look of this place.

Hallstatt.
Hallstatt.
Lowlights (in no particular order):

Ice Caves (Dachstein), originally we planned to visit Eisriesenwelt, but it made more sense to visit Dachstein due to its proximity to Hallstatt and the Salt Mine that we visited. I'm not sure if Eisriesenwelt would change my opinion of Ice Caves, but Dachstein was a bit of a disappointment. I walked in with the idea that we would be in enormous caverns that is covered in ice and we can wander around, but it was actually a guided one-way follow the path tour. Maybe if we did this before the Salt Mine, I would have appreciated it more, but I felt that I would have paid to do the slides again in the Salt Mine compared to coming here to see the Ice Caves again. But, you may think differently than I do about this one.

Dachstein ice cave.
Dachstein ice cave.
Must try food places:

Humboldt while it was our first restaurant, I think it was the best restaurant that we visited all trip. All three entrees that we had I thought were very good and for some reason, we never came back even though we tried quite a few restaurants here, none compared in my opinion to Humboldt, so do try to make a stop here.

Humboldt.
Humboldt.
Humboldt.
Humboldt.
What would I change?

Looking back at what we did, I think you can probably fit most places in Salzburg in roughly 2 days, with 1 extra day for Hallstatt, Salt Mine, and Ice Caves (which we did all in one day). I do feel that we probably could have squeezed everything into 1.5 days or possibly just 1 day depending on what you want to see. This part of the trip was a bit more relaxed, so, the extra .5 to 1 day is fine since we weren't rushing to see everything. Note that if you plan for a shorter stay that most tourist locations close at 5pm or 6pm, so you will need to plan accordingly.