From Germany, we decided to head toward Romania for some research. The best flight we found, however, was not in Munich, but in Vienna. Which meant a bonus trip by train across the Austrian countryside.
Our first stop was to the beautiful city of Salzburg, where we spent half a day. The first order of business was lunch; we found a local restaurant (one Braurestaurant Imlauer) with some amazing burgers.
Next up, Mirabell Palace. Built in 1606, this centrally located palace was once home to a prince. The day we were there the palace itself was closed, but we got the chance to walk the gardens, which teemed with vibrant flowers and cool statues. For a snack, we stopped in at Aplz Gelato & Cafe (to which I give another glowing recommendation).
The Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church was short walk from Mirabell. While certainly not the coolest cathedral we’ve seen on our travels, the architecture is worth a look if you find yourself in the area.
Across the Salzach River, the Residenzplatz and its giant fountain were next for us. Off the square we found Salzburg Cathedral, a more impressive church than the Holy Trinity, in my opinion.
Near the cathedral one finds the famous cemetery of Friedhof St. Peter, a sombre vista and reminder of the many generations who have lived in Salzburg.
While we intended to climb up to Fortress Hohensalzburg, by the time we got close, evening had arrived and the castle had closed. Nevertheless, we managed to claim an awesome view from below.
We travelled across Austria by train.
We had booked a hotel two minutes away from the coolest spot in Vienna (itself one of the coolest cities I’ve ever seen), St Stephan’s Cathedral (in the Stephansplatz).
While there, we met a rickshaw driver who offered us a tour of the city. This turned out to be a fantastic investment as he provided a thousand tidbits of knowledge and, in addition to the highlights, took us to see a few sites we would not have even known to ask about. Plus, it was cold as hell and he had blankets. So.
Along the tour we visited the Hofburg, an ornate palace featuring stunning sculptures from Greek mythology, including many of Heracles’s labors. Given I was in the midst of writing about said labors, this proved a special treat for me. We liked the palace so much we actually asked him to drop us off there once more, at the end, so we could walk around on our own.
Vienna proved one of the most beautiful, most fascinating places we’ve visited so far, and we all three agreed we’d love to make another trip when we could give the city the time it deserves.