After a fun and educational (I rarely put those two together before becoming European) jaunt around Munich, we took a two hour drive southeast to Salzburg, Austria. And then fell in love. We dropped off our bags at this ADORE-able hotel, said ‘hi!’ to a familiar looking face, and strolled across the river to downtown. It was Christmas Eve, so everything was closed but all of the lights were lit so we navigated well.
Behind the downtown area, there was a hill with a castle-type thing at the top (we still have yet to learn what exactly it is). Backstory: I packed workout gear just in case the hotel(s) had a gym (just go with it, it makes me feel better). Climbing up the hill: J was the adventurer who wanted to see if we could get to the top and I was the one complaining about how steep it was when he reminded me about who brought the gym clothes. ‘but at the gym, there’s music to pump me up!’ So, up we climbed, him singing something he made up.
The views were stunning. The higher we climbed, the more lights lit up the city, the more we fell in love (with the city too). I wish the pictures did the view justice, but take our word for it – Austria is where its at, day or night.
On Christmas day we lounged around in our matching pajamas that J begs to wear more often, but I only let him on Christmas day…because it would be cheesy otherwise. Then J found this little city outside of Salzburg that he swears he just stumbled upon…..later we find out that he actually knows history about this (allegedly) random town. I’m telling you – this kid!
Hallstatt, Austria is tucked away between a lake, the Hallstätter See, and the Austrian Alps. It boasts the worlds first known salt mine. And, as such, one of the first places of human settlement (I mean, whoa.). When we were driving away, J tells me that he remembers reading an article about Hallstatt and how the Chinese recently built a full-scale replica of the entire town. I can’t decide which I find stranger – cloning a town or how much J can keep inside his head. I’ve already forgotten most of my French lesson from yesterday!
Back in Salzburg, Christmas dinner was at a traditional Austrian resto where our particular local fare was escaloped (which we’ve decided just means fried) beef and pork. I do keep meaning to take photos of our plates du jour, but then they’re devoured and my camera never had a chance. Needless to say – yum.
And if Austria hadn’t won our hearts over enough, as we were checking out and lugging our bags down the front steps, the front desk lady comes running outside to say ‘And Happy Birthday too! Do you have time for a glass of champagne?’ Why yes, yes we do.
Until next time, Austria – Auf Wiedersehen!