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A Random day in… Salzburg
I remembered Salzburg fondly from my backpacking days, and it fit into our summer itinerary for 2013.
We took the 9:27 train from Munich and arrived in Salzburg at around 11 am. By noon we had checked in to our hotel and were ready to explore the city.
To the tune of groaning tweens, we started our Rick Steves' audio tour. It was hot and this turned out to be one of those days where flexibility saves the day.
When we reached the Cathedral (stop #4 on the tour) we were dismayed to see that it was closed. They were preparing for an evening concert - a common occurrence in Salzburg during the summer months! Surprises like this happen all the time when traveling: venues you think are always open suddenly are not. That is why I prep so much for a trip, because if you know the city and what it has to offer you can easily move to plan B.
Plan B turned out to be lunch as every one was fading fast. We found a nice little Italian place, near the Cathedral, with a small courtyard and a view of the castle. We soon found out that locals in this town are in no hurry and lunch took a long time. By the time we were done it was 4:00pm and our guide had the Mozart house closing at 5. We ran all the way over only to find out that summer hours go until 8pm! The house is a must see if you are in Salzburg. It is small and may take about one hr. There was no line, it has its own audio tour and the kids enjoyed it.
We all were kind of out of sorts because of the weird way the day was going, and it was too late and too far to continue with Rick Steves after the museum so we did what we do best: walk! The city is unpredictable: walk along a busy street, turn a corner and find yourself in a quiet street, or a plaza or a church. Salzburg has many day trip tourists so after 6 it is noticeably emptier, the stores close and you now have time and space to admire the architecture and the shop signs- one of my favourite things about the city! We had coffee while people watching and then a late dinner. Later in the evening we ran into the concert patrons coming out of the Cathedral. They were wearing traditional dresses and it was really nice to see.
This was one of those days that did not go according to plan A but plan B forced us to take a slower pace, giving us a chance to admire and get a feel for the city. I find that the kids really enjoy this. We did not get to see the inside of the Cathedral, but we had dinner at a restaurant where they had to practice a bit of German and we ran into a classical music concert on the street. There is a learning opportunity in everything you do when you are abroad, even if you the day does not go as planned!
Salzburg: Arrival/Failed attempt at audio tour/Mozart house/Dinner/Evening walk
Season: Summer Ages of the kids at the time: 10, 13, and 14