On Meg’s final full day with us, we decided we were going to be as touristy as possible. We started the day by purchasing our 24 hour* Salzburg Cards from the hotel reception before heading on our way into Altstatt. If you’ve never seen a photograph of Altstatt (look at one…right now), it is quite similar to York in England, with it’s cobbled streets and buildings that look as if they’re going to tip over. However, times York’s beauty by ten, add a backdrop of a ginormous castle on a mountain, cover it in snow…and you have Altstatt.
*For those of you thinking of visiting Salzburg and getting a Salzburg Card – bear in mind that the 24 hours doesn’t start from the time of purchase, it begins from the time that you first use the card. This could give you a bit more time than you initally thought you had.
The first thing we wanted to do was use our Cards to ride the elevator (which is actually inside of a mountain) up to the Museum der Moderne but rather than go inside, we wanted to do a hike along the mountainside and back into the city. A hike that we found was highly recommended on all of the usual touristy sites. The walk itself was gorgeous, especially since everything was covered in a fresh layer of thick snow.
It took us over an hour to take a slow walk back down into the city – mainly because Jordan decided to pelt us both with snowballs the FULL way down. When we finally made it back down, we headed to the bottom of the Hohensalzburg Castle as the main thing that we wanted to do that day was to get the Festungsbahn (cable car) into the castle’s courtyard, as the walkway had been closed off due to ice. When you have a Salzburg Card and you want to use it to see a paid tourist attraction where you would usually need a ticket – there are usually barriers in place at the entrance. Simply scan your Card and the barriers should open for you.
Once we reached the top, we were able to walk around the grounds as we pleased and admire the unbelievable views of the city and the Alps surrounding it. If you’ve seen the Alps in person before, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say that I genuinely can’t imagine ever getting bored of them. The sheer size of them is incredible. If you come from somewhere that’s pretty much flat like I do, it’s something you can never really get used to seeing.
To be completely honest, the castle itself was quite underwhelming but I think this is because of the time of year that we visited. With it being winter, a majority of the rooms that are normally opened to the public, were closed off. The only room we were actually able to go in was this slightly strange marionette museum where we couldn’t read the German signs to tell us why on earth we were surrounded by puppets.
When we made our way back into the city centre again, it’s fair to say we were pretty freezing. We had heard that Salzburg’s Natural History Museum was a lot more interesting than the one we had visited in Frankfurt and since we wanted to go inside to get warm, we decided to give it a try. It ended up being so much better than Frankfurt’s! Every room you entered (and there seemed like hundreds) had so many different interactive exhibits, from a Mozart room where it makes it seem as if you’re viewing a live orchestra, to a crane lift you can step into and control. It is genuinely the perfect place if you’re big kids like we are, I ran around the place like a excited child the whole time.
Our final full day with Meg came to an end with a few games of pool and an enjoyable debate about life and everything to comes along with it. Does anyone else love it when you can have a deep conversation with people with opposing views to your own and it doesn’t end in an argument or tension? It’s one of my favourite things. Jordan and I apologised to Meg for being a lot more stressed out that she had probably expected us to be but as always, she understood completely. It was so strange to think of what it was going to be like without Meg with us and how things were going to change because of it. Although it was awful to think of not seeing her in so long, I knew we’d visit each other as soon as we were settled.
The more I thought about it, the more excited I was becoming over how real things were about to become for the both of us.