Salzburg is a really beautiful place, the combination of traditional architecture and abundant nature make the sight of it in the early morning sun quite breathtaking.
I decided to start the day with a refreshing swim in the public pool just along the road from the hotel. As a Brit, swimming in an outdoor pool seems almost only for the gutsy or perhaps a bit mad, but as the 7 a.m. sun was already hot on my skin, I started to see the appeal.
The pool was so perfectly clean – another shocker to a Brit – and yet had no strong chemical smell of chlorine, I could even open my eyes underwater without its trademark sting. After spending a few moments marvelling at the sheer quality of the facility I set about enjoying the cool, clear water and got some lengths done.
Suitably invigorated, I walked back to the hotel for breakfast. We were staying at the ‘Pension am Eschenbach’, the service was really lovely, the two women couldn’t have been more obliging, especially at breakfast where we even taught them what a ‘dippy’ egg was.
That day the pilots were launching from Gaisberg Mountain, just east of the city. This meant a long steep drive up, but at least it the road was tarmac, in Australia, I often did similar drives on loose gravel which can be a LOT more stressful!
The view from the top was really beautiful, and busy too, there were lots paraglider pilots taking off as well as cyclists ready for the crazy descent and ordinary people enjoying the sunshine and beer at the pub on top.
Once my pilots had launched, I headed for a midway point on their planned flight route, so I wasn’t too far away if one of them landed early. The point I chose was the conveniently beautiful Fuschlsee lake. I was just debating a quick dip when a crackle on the radio informed me that one of my pilots, Kathleen, was landing. So no swim for Kaitlin, but in fact, they all landed incredibly close together, so overall a pretty cruisy day for me!
We then toddled back to our hotel in Salzburg, got washed up, and then made our way through the beautiful, historic streets of the city to Augustiner Brau, a brewery where we ate dinner. This place is an absolute must-visit when you’re in town, I am no beer drinker usually but this place has changed all that!
You walk up the entrance steps and find yourself in a huge open courtyard crammed with tables under the cover of dense horse-chestnut trees. Waiters wandered in between, taking orders and delivering large tankards of beer. I often find beer too bitter to really enjoy, but this was a Goldilocks kind of beverage – not too bitter, yet not too sweet – just right. The courtyard and the upstairs of the building were lined with food stalls selling schnitzels, wursts, pretzels and more. I’m not much of a meat eater so I went for some crispy prawns and some couscous from a different stall, not very traditional, I know, but yummy nonetheless. The others all had Austrian delicacies and loved them.
Fully fed and watered we set off back for the hotel. We took what started off as a short detour and turned into an amazing guided tour of Salzburg by night. The streets were deserted and beautifully lit. We wandered past cathedrals, Mozart’s birthplace and even up into the foothills of the castle and past the nunnery from The Sound of Music!
Salzburg is such a unique place and totally surpassed my expectations. There is so much to do there and I already have lots of ideas for next time! I’ll tell you all about them soon!