5 Reasons To Visit Salzburg

Last week I mentioned my incredible trip to Zurich in Switzerland which I took by train in Autumn. Now I want to share my experience of travelling to the equally beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg during the summer. Hopefully I may persuade you to visit Salzburg and see the sights yourself.

My blog often discusses environmental issues and this article is all about trying to avoid using aeroplanes when visiting Europe. I went to Salzburg via Brussels (2 hours on the Eurostar) and then Munich (about 7 hours with a stop off) with a final stretch of just over an hour before arriving at the main station. This sounds like a long time but the views were breathtaking and the food on the train was of a very good quality and affordable.

Have you ever wanted to go to Salzburg, Austria? Here are five reasons why you should.

1) The views

The mountains around the city are stunning and the whole place is situated in a scenic valley which has a very wide river, known as the Salzach, running through it. The city is divided into two sides, with the old town on one side and the newer part on the other. Many bridges cross the Salzach, including the MozartSteg which is built for pedestrian traffic.

The footbridge used in ‘The Sound of Music’.

2) Mozart and History

The city was especially musical when I visited in August because it just so happened to be the month that the well known Salzburg Festival took place. With theatrical productions and live music events held in the town square and prestigious buildings, the town was full of orchestras and a genuine buzz which was infectious.

The birthplace of Mozart is open to view as part of a museum called the Mozarteum. His music lives on all around Salzburg and the town seems very proud of its musical prodigy. The Mozart Wohnhaus is a second museum, where he lived for much of his youth, after the house he was born in became too small for his family. Along with two museums, there is a Mozart monument watching over Mozart Square. If there is one famous person you come to know more about after visiting Salzburg, I can bet it will most probably be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

A concert hall where we heard a lovely classical music performance.

Historical buildings such as the abbey and Nunnery (Nonnberg Abbey) are all within easy reach as the city is actually quite small and most places of interest are within walking distance of each other.

Another quirky place that we sampled was the intriguing Salzburg Marionette Theatre, where we saw a production of the Sound of Music usually exquisite puppets, much like those used in the film.

Some startling puppets from the marionette show.

3) Salzburg Castle (Hohensalzburg Fortress)

Up on the hill sits a large, intriguing castle which overlooks the city and is full of things to do. In order to get up there, we took the steep funicular railway which gave some stunning views and picture opportunities as we were whisked up to the castle itself. Inside there was plenty to see of the old fortress and there were shops and refreshments that included places selling local artwork, which was of a high quality.

Hohensalzburg Fortress overlooks the old town and river.

4) The Sound of Music

One of the main reasons that I was originally intrigued by this beautiful city was because it appeared in ‘The Sound of Music’ movie. I have always loved this movie and wondered what the places featured on it were actually like. So naturally I booked us onto the Sound of Music Tour organised by Panorama Tours. I was not disappointed as we went to all of the key locations.

I especially enjoyed seeing the Mirabelle Palace gardens which were used during the famous ‘Do-Re-Mi’ song in which Julie Andrews and 7 children danced around the fountain and raced through the hedge tunnel which was covered in overhanging plants.

The painted wall mural as seen in the film.
The Mirabelle Gardens
The tunnel that Julie Andrews ran through while singing Do-Re-Mi.

5) Mondsee and the countryside

Taking time out of the city, we got to see some of the incredibly beautiful sites of the surrounding hills. The Sound of Music tour took us to the huge church at Mondsee where Maria and Captain Von Trapp got married in the sixties musical. The town of Mondsee had a lovely market square with some wonderful shops and eateries which made the visit even better.

Mondsee Abbey

On the way we saw some of the popular lakes that locals flock to when the sun comes out, nestled beneath the mountains. As a geographer, I found myself marvelling at the landscape and enjoying taking photos of the green valleys and tranquil waters. The fresh air did me wonders as well.

A few things I have taken away from my visit are:

– a taste for sauerkraut (which it turns out is very good for your gut)

– a fascination with Austria with its traditions and Christmas shops, its love of music and intriguing history

– the satisfaction of visiting the locations of my favourite musical movie, ‘The Sound of Music’

– lots of knowledge about Mozart and classical musical history

– a desire to go back to Salzburg very soon

I hope that you enjoyed this post and it has shown how intriguing Austria can be. I especially loved that I could travel there by train from the UK. The scenery was impressive and the reception was welcoming. Salzburg is such a culturally interesting and friendly town where I felt totally at ease.

If you enjoyed my blog post please consider following my blog. Here is a link to a post about a trip I made to Switzerland:https://jamieadstories.blog/2021/06/13/5-reasons-to-visit-switzerland/

5 Ways To Get Motivated Again!

After a long year of lockdowns and stress related to an international pandemic, lots of people are feeling deflated and finding themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. The confusion and anxiety caused by a Covid-fearing world has left many people scratching their heads and completely out of sync with their families and lifestyles. This article is all about how to get motivated and back to something similar to ‘normal’.

Many are deflated after having experienced the effects of the pandemic firsthand, either by suffering from Covid, knowing others who were suffering from it or simply having their work worlds shaken by the effects of closures, furlough and financial instability.

Relationships have been strained and friendships have fizzled out as people have got used to living within bubbles and forgotten how to socialise in extended circles. Mental health has been affected and people are asking lots of questions about the world we now find ourselves inhabiting.

Here are my 5 ways to get yourself going again and reintroduce yourself to the wider world, by building your confidence and setting yourself realistic goals.

1) Reach out.

Too many friendships have been destroyed in the past year. Destroyed due to separation because friends have not been able to see one another. Friendships have also been strained as society pressures have been on and some have become upset with each other due to different attitudes to lockdown, mask wearing and general levels of cooperation with government measures.

We’ve all been there – One of our best mates has been putting pictures on social media of themselves meeting up with groups of people or socialising during lockdown while we have followed the rules and missed out on similar opportunities. These types of things have made friends less communicative and, coupled with distance, have impacted upon how much time people have been spending catching up with those people that matter to them the most.

Let’s not let these gripes grow. Instead we need to bite the bullet and make that vital move to reconnect with these important people. These incredible friends who would no doubt love to hear from us and rebuild the connections we used to enjoy so much. Reaching out is like re-wiring and can strengthen bonds as well as having positive affects on friends at a time when the world is unpredictable and knowing someone is standing in your corner can make such a difference to self esteem.

2) Get out!

It goes without saying that a change of scene has a massive effect on the way that you feel about yourself. It enables self-reflection and enables you to shake off the cobwebs that can otherwise swamp you if you allow yourself to fester in your own juices by staying at home all of the time. Of course, many have had no choice but to isolate and stay at home, but now that we have reduced restrictions, why not take time to go for a wildlife walk, a cycle into the hills or simply just a trundle to the local pond to feed the ducks?

3) Stay tuned in.

Music plays an important role in the lives of so many of us. We all have songs that resonate deeply and take us back to much happier times. Whether it’s ditties from childhood, pop music from our clubbing years or an instrumental that reminds us of a fond memory such as a holiday or special birthday party, music is often a cure to the doldrums and a stimulus which leads to a more positive mindset.

Having said that, the type of music which can motivate you will vary greatly from one individual to another. Obviously. So pull out that CD from the past which you could always rely on when you needed uplifting. Or explore new bands, listen to the Opera and maybe even get a meditation app which plays calming tunes to help get you in the zone and forget your stresses for a while. Switching off is the new remedy for overly dwelling on things. When you are stuck in a spiral of frustrations, meaningful tunes can settle you, calm you and even give you more enthusiasm for your everyday life.

4) Activate!

As lockdown has stifled our chances to go to the theatre, watch our favourite sports and attend festivals in person, some of us have got used to doing less out and about. Now is a perfect time to initiate a forward-thinking strategy and start finding ways to involve yourself in a new hobby. Those acting classes you always dreamt about could now become a reality. You always dreamed about riding horses? Book a session in and make learning to ride a personal commitment. From joining a book club to learning how to ski, make those ambitions start to become real and blow away those cobwebs by engaging with new people and making more friends as well as taking away that fulfilment that comes naturally with becoming a part of a new group of learning to make the most of your creativity.

5) Do something positive!

Making a difference is one of the best things anyone can do to improve not only their own lives, but also generate knock-on effects which could benefit others. For me, the Climate Crisis is important and problematic. I have already made simple changes to the way that I travel, to make sure that I am trying hard to reduce the impact my moving around has on the planet. I have decided no longer to fly anywhere and so actively find other ways to get around, concentrating on trains and buses while minimising the amount of trips I use my car for. It’s a small change to my routine and takes a little effort and sometimes more expenditure, but I feel positive about it.

Perhaps you can do something positive within your local community. Whether supporting a library or getting involved in a litter pick, looking after a protected woodland or offering to teach kids how to cycle safely (as a cycling proficiency trainer). Just making that effort to do something productive will inspire you, energise you and give you a sense of achievement.

I hope that you enjoyed this blog and perhaps might consider following my blog for more content. For another of my articles check out this.

Enjoy nature. Get out and about while showing consideration.