Salzburg, Austria

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By far one of my favorite places, I wish I had more time there. We woke up late Friday and it took forever to get there, a train broke so we were on a rickety bus through the Czech countryside but it was worth the effort. After a bottle of wine we arrived and found our quite, cozy Yoho Hostel easily. We freshened up, then headed to old town to Il Sole, our soon to be favorite Italian restaurant. There Lisa and I split pizza and a delicious penny pasta with vegetables covered in a creamy, sweet tomato sauce. It was to die for, oh and a hefty glass of merlot. From then we all walked up to the Aug bier hall, a huge hall complete with large kegs and men in lederhosen filling up steins to multiple rooms filled with Austrians enjoying their beers. After people watching and soaking up the environment we walked back down into town, where we laid eyes on this great roof top bar and thought let’s go! We get up there and sit on these comfortable white couches positioned right under the heat lamp, as we’re sitting there thinking life is pretty good we’re interrupted by the waitress who is asking if we’d like to purchase our champagne bottle service. Confused we say no thank you, only to find out that we are sitting in the 95 euro/bottle champagne bottle service area of the bar. This explains why so many people happen to be glancing in our direction, turns out they weren’t admiring us but simply confused why two twenty year olds are sitting in the most expensive part of the club. After saying a polite no thank you, we decide that we’ve had enjoy of this club and decide to head to the local O’Malley’s Irish Pub. There we walk in to American music, and a pub full of friendly happy people. We pick a seat at the bar and order our drinks, while starting to make friends with the bartenders. Before we know it and after a few too many shots, we are sitting at the bar complete with aprons on, paper birds in front of us and a laundry list of things to do in Salzburg tomorrow compliments of our bartender friends. Eventually we decide it’s time to go back to the hostel, and call a taxi home. Once back, instead of crawling into bed like we originally planned we convince the guy working the front desk to play Sound of Music to get us in the spirit of the tour we’re taking tomorrow. We explained that’s one of the reasons we chose this hostel, it plays the Sound of Music every night at 8pm and we were bummed we had missed it. He grudgingly agrees and puts the movie on complete with popcorn, too bad we didn’t last more than five minutes into the movie because we had passed out in the lobby with the Sound of Music playing. Needless to say, another great first night in a city.

The next day we wake up, shower, grab food and meet our bright eyed, dirndl wearing adorable Austrian Sound of Music tour guide- she turned out to be my favorite tour guide so far! We got settled on the bus, received our famous Salzburg lemonade and sat back to enjoy all of the sights. We hopped off the bus to see the lake, and home from then jumped back on the bus to drive through the hills and sing along to all of the songs. One of my favorite stops was in a small village where the church was, there we indulged in apple strudel from the same café the cast used to go during break. After we went into the church where there just so happened to be a wedding taking place, it was absolutely beautiful. We then walked around town and went into what soon became my favorite tourist shop thus far, a little locally owned shop with homemade gifts and decorated very shabby chic. After we returned to town and sadly our tour ended, but there was still much to do for the day was still young. We went and explored the gardens where we walked the grounds admiring the unique flowers and wishing that our moms were with us to experience Salzburg. We walked around the do, ray, me fountain in the spirit of the Sound of Music while taking photos. Then we got resourceful and instead of booking the tour took it upon ourselves to make our way to the salt mines. We asked a local and took the bus up through the mountains to the mines. There we put on our suits and joined the tour group, much to find out we had gotten a German tour guide. Regardless it was still incredible, we hopped on the tram and went down into the mountain where then we slid down wooden slides, learned how salt in made, went on a barge through salt water and even tasted it! When going through the mines there was a light show, where they illuminated the salt and water . . . it was pretty cool. All in all, it was a great tour, I really enjoyed it. Famished, we then headed back into town to Il Sole again. Yes, it was that good and we couldn’t resist forgoing the best pasta we have ever had. We got a great table near the kitchen where the cooks prepared hot, fresh rolls for us and served us the pasta. My mouth is literally watering just writing about it. That night we came back to the hostel, put on our sweats and watched Sound of Music a second time. This time we made it through the whole movie, recognizing all of the sites we had seen earlier that day. After we pulled out the chocolate and watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, it was a much needed chick flick movie night. That night we had a surprise visitor stay in our room, Hanna! She just happened to be in Salzburg too and didn’t have a room, what a small world.

We woke up the next day bright and early to go visit the very first bakery, much to our disappointment it was closed so we settled for Mickey D’s coffee and scrambled eggs instead, which were surprisingly good! We then took a train, bus, tram and walked up an extremely steep mountain to reach the world’s largest ice caves. There our tour guide led us into the mountain with only a few oil lamps, then our guide would light magnesium and light up the ice. It was one of the coolest sights, seeing the dark caves become bright white from the ice. We climbed hundreds of stairs as we explored the four caves. By the end of the tour we couldn’t feel our toes or hands but that didn’t matter, our tour guide managed to entertain us the entire time calling Callie Kelly Clarkson, me Jennifer Aniston and Lisa tall girl.

From there we went back down, hopped on a train and started our journey home. While all was going well getting to Cologne, we had a little mishap. We were no more than twenty minutes from home when we hopped on what we though was going to be the home leg train, and this is around midnight might I add, in the opposite direction from Bonn about two hours out. We were so tired from traveling we didn’t seem to notice that our train was taking particularly long, until a passenger overheard us talking about Bonn and informed us we were going the opposite direction. We hopped off the train, tired and frustrated, and tried to figure out the best way to get home before all the trains stopped running for the night. We lucked out, and found a train returning to Cologne. That night could’ve been much worse but we decided to just laugh it off and thanks to a very special people who offered moral support over texting, it all worked out and we finally made it home hours later!

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