Interrailing - The hills are alive with the sound of music

Untitled Next stop on my trip was Austria. Now, I'd never been to anywhere in Austria before so I went for the two big hitters -Salzburg and Vienna. One thing I made sure to do before I left was not plan too much; with travelling alone I made sure to have my trains and hostels booked, for safety more than anything, but the rest I left to fate. Helpfully though, my wonderful pal put little guides together for me (lord knows how she still has the patience to do stuff like this for me after nearly 13 years!). These had a few polite phrases in and some of the more off the wall things to do. For me Austria was a blank canvass with plenty of excitement to be had.

Clever me didn't really anticipate just how far Venice was from Salzburg - seven hours of trains that's how far! The only saving grace was the exquisite views from the train window. I arrive at my hostel in the late afternoon, which was perfect for an evening stroll around town. Salzburg isn't very big and as with all the cities I visited, totally walkable. I made sure to note a few nice lunch spots and found myself in Gasthaus Zwettler's Stiftskeller late in the evening for schnitzel and potatoes - classic Austria!

I think my second day in Austria was possible one of the best days of the whole trip - I went on a Sound Of Music tour! I'll 'start at the very beginning' though. The Salzburg fortress looms over the city and I made sure to get up there early to catch the morning light, the views are spectacular and I'd highly recommend a visit if only for the ride up the funicular railway. Salzburg has plenty of museums and churches to visit if you're there for more than a day or so but I made sure to visit the Cathedral; it’s something I tend to do for some quiet time to remember those I've lost in recent years. The building was incredible because of the white glass used across the windows rather than colourful stained glass - I did ask why (because I'm sad and notice these things) and apparently it's traditional in keeping with the baroque styling of the building. The weather was especially nice so I made sure to take some time reading down by the river with a salad and massive marzipan and chocolate pretzel.

Now then, the Sound of Music Tour. Easily the best money I've ever spent (slight exaggeration maybe! Six hours driving around Salzburg to all the Sound of Music film locations for 30 euros. Some spoilers, the house and gardens are two totally different locations, Christopher Plummer doesn't sing in the film - he was dubbed after they realised he was really bad at singing and, in the closing scene of the film the little girl being carried isn't the same little girl who played Gretel through the film. The story goes that after she was given so many treats for behaving during filming, she was declared 'too big to carry' by Christopher Plummer during last scenes! After the Salzburg element we drove off into the mountains to the Lakes and Mountains region to visit the church where the wedding scene was filmed in Mondsee. We cooed and ahhed at the beautiful church and filled our bellies with apple strudel and custard from Braun - the best strudel in the area from all accounts. I made a lovely friend on the tour, a lady from LA who took great joy in singing the songs with me (yes, they put the sound track on the bus!!) and was super fun to natter away with all day. After our farewells and a few photos on the famous 'doe ray me' steps I hiked up to Kapuzinerkloster one of the many local monasteries, for sunset. To end the day I stumbled upon an incredible little restaurant on Pfeifergasse called Zum Zirkelwirt - the staff were delightful and the tradition Austrian food was some of the best I ate all trip but not expensive in the slightest - highly recommended.

The plan was to cover Vienna today too, but I think that’s enough reading from you already! Tomorrow maybe…

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