Despite spending 3 nights in Salzburg, we had spent 2 days on trips outside the town, so this last day at Salzbug was the marathon Salzburg sightseeing day. We’d already roamed the old town in the morning (Germany Austria May 2018: Salzburg) and gone on the Panorama Sound of music tour in the afternoon (Germany Austria May 2018: Revisiting the Sound of Music in Salzburg). We finished the tour at Mirabell gardens, where we roamed about for a tiny bit and then headed straight to our hotel, as the hubby and kid were tired. I was keen on seeing the city by night, so I quickly freshened up and headed out alone to the old town. Big mistake. I should have set off from Mirabell itself to save some time and a long walk.
This time I crossed the first bridge near my hotel so as to avoid the delinquents lolling about on our side near the river. The sun was lower now, a cool breeze was blowing and the unbearable heat of the afternoon was gone. Families were out and children were playing in a small park. Houses were built into the mountainside, the mountain itself being a back wall.
The opposite bank had a larger walking path and many more people. The setting sun lent a golden glow to the whole place.
I walked over my beloved love lock bridge and (naturally) took lots of pictures.
Walking along without much of a plan, I stumbled into a quaint square that led me into the old town.
It opened straight onto the well-lit Getreidegasse. With more time at hand, I enjoyed looking at the beautiful wrought iron signs above the shops.
Apparently, in the middle ages, people were fairly illiterate, so signboards had to represent what the shop sold. The street has maintained the same rule even in the 21st century!
I suddenly remembered that I had to see Salzburg in the setting sun from the Monchsberg elevator. I followed the walking route of Google maps but it didn’t show me anything. I hunted about the empty alley but found no signboards or people to talk to. I was about to give up when I saw a shady doner shop, and rushed in, but the counter guy didn’t understand the words elevator, top of mountain or museum of modern art. Finally, in despair, I asked if he knew the lift and he grinned and pointed the way to a glistening shiny building. I found it! I quickly bought a ticket and rushed up the lift to the terrace and this stunning view of Salzburg in the twilight.
The viewing terrace is a very narrow small platform outside the museum of modern art and there were very few people up here. The view of the entire town with the sun illuminating the fortress was well worth the effort to get here. The restaurant at a higher level was so tempting, but I was too full with the apple strudel.
I waited for the colours of the sky to change and just enjoyed the breeze ruffling my hair.
My heart satisfied, I went back down to walk through old town. It looked so different from the morning. There were a handful of people about, it was very quiet. A golden glow had settled over the town.
I wanted to visit the cathedral at leisure, but sadly, it was already shut.
Salzburg wasn’t a well illuminated town. Nor were there many people about. So, I started walking back out of the old town, towards my hotel.
I got a little lost trying to get out, so I took longer than I’d anticipated and it was fairly dark by the time I got out of the old town.
I knew that the path beside the river wouldn’t be safe anymore, so I chose to walk down a large road. Even that was empty and quiet, especially as I walked further away from the central area.
Once again, I felt unsafe, despite the numbers of cars whizzing by. I sped up and hurriedly reached the hotel, and admired the Salzach river and the reflections of the opposite bank in it.
Beautiful, yes. Scary, yes. Worth the walk, certainly. Yet, Salzburg somehow disappointed me. I found it a town more photogenic in the pictures than in reality. I can’t explain why, but that’s how I felt. But that night, I really couldn’t dwell on this, as we had to pack and leave for Munich the next day.
P.S. Salzburg is one of the safest cities in the world. It’s crime rate is very very low. It’s possible that my paranoia stems from the fact that I live in Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, and am used to a constant hustle and bustle. That can be the reason why I don’t enjoy European towns by night, they are way too empty for my comfort.