It’s on to Salzburg

and we just keep flying through.

View from lower part of Eagle's Nest. Eagle's Nest, Germany.  June 2015.
View from lower part of Eagle’s Nest. Eagle’s Nest, Germany. June 2015.

While this trip both felt and really reads quickly as a whorlwind adventure, I will admit I’m glossing over some of our longer travel and slightly more restful days. Our first day reaching Salzburg was one of them.

We spent the day wandering the town, hitting some of the local sights from the famous fortress to the many horse statues to the shop and water spectacle-clad side streets.

Gherkins by Erwin Wurm. Salzburg, Austria. June 2015.
Gherkins by Erwin Wurm. Salzburg, Austria. June 2015.

This really is a great city and well worth a day to wander. Alas, I’ll cover some more of these sights next week when I talk about the hills and music—if you can’t guess where this is going, you’ll just have to tune in next week!

In your wanderings, don’t forget to take a selfie with whichever Gherkin most looks like you (this is an art exhibition by Erwin Wurm)

But moving on to another active day on the road.

Salzburg is an Austrian city closely bordering on Germany which means it is the hub for many tours between the two countries and, as our travels centered around World War II (another hint for next week!), this was one of the many reasons we stopped here.

Our big tour for this destination went through Salzburg Super Saver, which, throughout the course of one day, let us visit Eagle’s Nest, the Durrnberg Salt Mines, and the Bavarian Mountains.

Eagle’s nest

If you don’t know what Eagle’s Nest is, here’s a little back ground. This was one of Hitler’s bunkers which he apparently did not visit often as the man was afraid of heights. It’s located on the peak of a mountain, meaning that, on a clear day, you feel like you can see the whole world.

But since this was a Gallagher girl adventure on a mountain, we got rain and fog. Still, this was a cool but very quick stop on our tour and, since it was first thing, there was no time for the gloom to burn off.

Since this is a major attraction, the bunker gets busy and everything is highly scheduled whether you are on your own or in a tour. You have to schedule leaving on the bus down the mountain before you head up into the bunker but they tell you you’ll need no more than two to two and a half hours. For us, the tour stop was quick but much easier than doing it on your own.

However, be aware when you are scheduling this tour: There is one tour which says you’ll go to the Eagle’s Nest and another says you’ll get a great view OF Eagle’s Nest—Huge difference. We met a couple who got confused by this so it’s very easy to do. You have been warned!

Slat mines:

This was a fabulous stop and there are a lot of different tours which will let you explore these once-working salt mines.

With lots of history, tools to look at, interactive areas, and slides and trains to get you down to the various levels, this was easily one of the highlights of the trip. We were shocked we didn’t have to stop my mother from licking the walls!

You are outfitted with a jumpsuit as you enter the main building and these women are magic—they never seem to get sizing wrong! It can get cold down in the mines but be careful of layers that night bunch up as you don’t want to spend your tour trying to readjust your outfit at every turn. There are also lockers in the main building to store your personal belongings—just don’t forget to get your money back from the locker once you are finished!

A warning must be issued: when you are given your jumpsuit and you are on a tour, don’t mess around! If you miss the train you are supposed to be on and end up on the next one, you will miss your bus and, therefore, miss out on some of the exploring you are paying for! Not to mention, you are wasting everyone’s time which ends with you being the people everyone glares at on the bus.

One other warning: Be ready to get up close and personal with strangers. This is mainly for the train ride in where you are in a single file train car, sitting by straddling a cushioned pole, sandwiched between your fellow adventurers. It’s a quick trip, so it’s really not much of a struggle and well worth it.

Bavarian Mountains:

Well worth the short hike. Bavarian Mountains, Germany. June 2015.
Well worth the short hike. Bavarian Mountains, Germany. June 2015.

This whole areas is breathtaking.

You are surrounded but mountains on all sides and faced with a huge serene lake which reflects the sun in an indescribable way—the whole view is really indescribable.

To get to where you can really appreciate this, however, you have to make it through the long row of tourist traps—ie. shops and stalls full of overpriced wares.

You can stay down by the lake’s edge and get a great view, but I highly recommend a short walk through the greenery to the left; at a mild walk, this will take about 15 minutes (you’ll pass a trail up to a building but keep going) where you’ll see some steps down to a quiet lookout point. We spent half an hour out there in the quiet and only a few people came by so it really is a great place to take a break and relax.

There are other tours to the mountains which give you other perks, such as a two hour trip on boat to middle of lake where they apparently blow a horn and let you hear the echoes from all the surrounding mountains (this could easily be something I do the next time around).

I love the tour my mother picked and I highly recommend it but, again, there are many to choose from so shopping around is a great option. This tour gave the perfect amount of time for us to explore, relax, and enjoy every minute. The tour guide was great, entertaining and helpful. So, if you haven’t guessed, this is another tour I would definitely recommend if you are anywhere in this region.

Next week, we’ll talk a little more about Salzburg and hill and music, but until then,

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

It’s on to Salzburg

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