Salzburg Christmas Markets and Fortress Hohensalzburg

In case Christmas Eve gets too festive, I’m posting this now.

142 days of travel and we have winterized ourselves. Our EU Austerity Drinking Tour leaves icy, sober Dachau for the Austrian border and glorious Salzburg! Home to Mozart, music, and…salt.

EU Austerity Map SalzburgOur train digs into the Alps. We slide on icy rails, the brakes burn in our nostrils. But we can’t care, the words “winter wonderland” are painfully apt.

Austria Train SnowWe arrive late in Salzburg and wrench our war-torn luggage for miles across an unending sea of horrible, horrible cobbles.  Somehow, we are freezing yet sweating.  Hours later and a bit lost, we find our hostel, dump our bags, and head into the historic core.

Then we find the greatest Christmas Market booth of all: Champagner Platz No 1

CHampagner Platz SalzburgBut no! Bad Salzburg! This is an AUSTERITY drinking tour, where cheap and local matter. Stop tempting us with Moet!

We cross the river and enter the largest market beneath Salzburg Cathedral:

Christmas Market SalzburgShops glow with useless but adorable wood-knackery, pastries, and knitwear. But our goal looms above us: Salzburg Fortress, Europe’s largest: Hohensalzburg:

Salzburg Fortress HohensalzburgWe forgo the lift (too expensive) and climb the most troop-demoralizing cliff-side. The air thins, the wind whips. We sing the Monty Python Holy Grail theme to revive spirits, but doubt we will ever make it.

Salzburg Fortress StepsFinally, we arrive on top of the world.

Rooftop SalzburgThe snow-clothed Alps surround us. We go inside, but every window captivates us with that view.  Around the other side, we can see the city: small and jewel-like below:

Salzburg BelowRooms gradient from stark, white washed arches to the intricate, interior palace. Here archbishops ruled with a secular and religious sway over the Holy Roman Empire.

Grand Hall SalzburgFurther into smaller and smaller rooms, every corner now fills with gilt wood and grape motifs.

Intricate Salzburg PalaceThe museum retains arches from the Romanesque period, where even then they had no lack for flamboyance:

Romanesque Salzburg FortressRooms of Renaissance armor and daily wares seem exciting. But then we catch the last tower tour. A short clamber takes us to the top.

We stuff ourselves on doughy snacks at the Fortress Christmas Market (of course). Darkness somehow turns the city aglow as we stumble back home.

Our hostel plays the Sound of Music, while snow falls heavily outside.  Don’t worry, Austrian wine will be in the next post.

 

 

 

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2 Responses to Salzburg Christmas Markets and Fortress Hohensalzburg

  1. sand110 says:

    WHy all of the grape motif? Even the wrought iron door brace, seems more Bacchus than Diety bound.

  2. Pingback: Salzburg 2: Weingut Türk, Grüner Veltliner, Kremser Weinberge, Kremstal, Austria 2010 | WAYWARD WINE

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