Before I even start writing I know that this post needs a disclaimer. It is completely unfair to travel anywhere after Venice. It should always be the last stop on any itinerary. When you travel to a new destination all thoughts of Venice should be treasured but distant. Otherwise, it’s simply not fair.
That being said, Salzburg is beautiful. Its natural setting is stunning, set as it is among sharply rising hills and mountains. Then, unbelievably, this setting is improved upon by the architecture– a medieval fortress looming above and baroque spires filling the valley below. There’s a winding river. There’s a verdant, misty valley. There are ample sidewalks and bike lanes. There’s schnitzel and beer. So basically you have everything you need.
Although I do enjoy a good stroll down a cobblestone street, I was most impressed with the ability to get away from the Christmastime crowds and into the hills surrounding the city. Take a random staircase and you are rewarded with a quiet wooded path and sweeping views. I had to be content on this trip to stare longingly at the not-too-distant mountains and just imagine all of the wonderful hiking opportunities. Alas, not all members of our party are keen (Radek) or proficient (Kalina) hikers.
For our little three-year old Disneyophile, the entire region is like waking up in a dream. Each castle, palace and fortress seemed to capture the mood of a specific Disney princess who surely resided therein. I was schooled on more than one occasion when my guess missed the mark. No, mommy, don’t be silly, it’s not Belle’s castle. This is where Ariel and Price Eric live. And here I thought I was the one who grew up in the 80’s.
Salzburg is the last stop on our adventure before we head to Poland for Christmas. And if you thought that gelato, pasta and beer were the enemies of arteries and waistlines, let me introduce you to a little friend called Christmas in Poland.