Friday, April 2, 2010

Salt Mine in Salzburg

What, already one month since my last post? Better hurry before my next trip comes along.

Anyway, after our lunch in the old town of Salzburg, we visited an old salt mine just outside Salzburg, near the border with Germany. In fact when we were down in the tunnel somewhere, we were at the border underground; we were in Austria one moment and the next we were in Germany when we crossed the border. In fact we had one leg in Germany and the other leg in Austria while walking!

Before entering the saltmine, we put on protective clothing so we looked like some mad scientist in their lab gear. The visit was very interesting and we even crossed an underground lake in a boat. The most interesting and frightening part was when we had to slide down a wooden beam from one part of the mine shaft to another maybe at 45 degree angle. It gets literally hot in the pants on our way down!

After this, we took a leisurely drive into the countryside for some alpine scenery. Even though it was already summer, there were still some snow on top of some of the mountains that we passed by.

Finally we stopped near a lake (it is Lake Wolfgand and the village is St. Gilgen if I am not mistaken) for some scenic photos before driving back to Salzberg for our dinner.

Ronald Kwok

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Salzburg - The Town of Music

We were ready to explore Salzburg after our morning breakfast. Unfortunately, the weather today was not very good, cloudy with isolated showers. Nevertheless, we walked to the town centre with our umbrellas. Before crossing the Salzach River, we stopped at the Mirabell Palace and Gardens for some photos. Too bad, not much flowers as they were replanting them.

Some views from this side of the river before crossing over to the main town centre.

Below are shots at The University Church across the river.

Next was on to the Residenz and Square with the horse carriage rides.

There are many shops and boutiques on the Getreidegasse (also known as Grain Lane) in the old town that also spill over to the lanes and alleys along the way. Many of the shops have wrought-iron signs that signify what they sell, including the Golden Arch of McDonalds.

Since Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart, one of the tourist attraction is the Mozart House in the same street.
Another popular item here is the Mozartkugeln or Mozart Chocolate Balls. You can find this in many shops all over the town. You can get this much cheaper in the supermarkets instead of the specialised shop, especially when they are on offer. One such supermarket chain that sell this item is Spar and there is one just across the river.
Another item that is found all over town is the reference to the movie "Sound of Music". Even though it is more than 40 years since this movie was filmed in Salzburg, the hills are still very much alive with its memories. There are tours tied to places filmed in the movie and other memorabilia related to it.
Actually the single item that brought Salzburg up is the presence of salt (or salz, that what Salzburg is named for if you have not guessed by now) or white gold. What better thing to do then to visit a salt mine in the afternoon.
Ronald Kwok