After my Anabaptist cave experience, I figured it was downhill from there for the rest of the trip. Emotionally, that may have been true. A walking tour of Salzburg forced me to refocus.
Even on a cloudy day, the city was beautiful. It was Mozart’s birthplace, after all. Though he preferred the livelier Vienna, the old town still claims the master as its own. The city honors the famed composer in numerous ways.
Our tour began in the lovely Mirabell Gardens. Filled with flowers, statues, and fountains, I could have wandered there much longer than we did.
The gardens were only one of several locations in Salzburg where scenes from the famous 1965 movie “The Sound of Music” were filmed. From the gardens, we could see the abbey where Maria served and then left for the Von Trapp family.
We dodged service vehicles delivering foodstuffs and materials to local cafes, shops, and restaurants in the morning. They have to vacate the pedestrian streets by 11 a.m.
We crossed the Salt River and stopped to admire all of the love locks fastened to the wire mesh fence on the sides of the bridge. Lots of lovers had stood where we did.
We wound our way through picturesque narrow cobblestone alleyways with quaint shops, cafes, and bakeries tucked neatly away. One old baker even waved to us from his second-floor apartment above his business. We strolled by Mozart’s birthplace announced by its flashy golden letters and bright gold paint.
Our local guide had lots to show us in a short period, so we tried to keep pace with her. She finally turned us loose in the 16th-century Residence Plaza and the adjacent Mozart Plaza, where we could relax and watch horsedrawn carriages pass by. I tried to imagine myself back in Mozart’s time and contemplated the untold persons who also lingered here so long ago.
For a light lunch, we found a cozy cafe with my favorite amenity, a water closet. When you get to be my age, you’ll understand. We always enjoyed the many opportunities to dine outdoors. We liked to people watch as much as we did the food.
All too soon, we found our way back to the bus and headed for our next destination, Munich. Many of my fellow travelers used the road time to nap. Not me. I didn’t want to miss anything.
We arrived in Munich late afternoon and again found ourselves following our learned guide around the old central city. We passed beer gardens and a marketplace and strolled through a beer hall.
We marveled at the size and beauty of St. Peter’s Church. Then it was off to Marien Plaza to watch and listen to the huge cuckoo clock that activates its wooden characters at 5 p.m. at the town hall. I was impressed with the universal display of the Ukrainian flags we saw in nearly every city center.
There we also saw the Marian column that dates back to 1638. It serves as a reminder that Munich was spared during the Thirty Years’ War.
I thought it would be nice to have dinner with my wife in a nice restaurant. And that’s just what we did. We enjoyed our fish dinners and an extra-large glass of wine.
It had been a day steeped in beauty, awe, and history. We also welcomed a comfortable bed for much-needed rest.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2022