south from Munich you can either drive the A1 or one of the smaller roads into Austria. We
were staying in Maria Alm where we have a timeshare and decided to take the first road that said Salzburg as we needed
to pass that city on the way to our final destination or so we thought. From
Maria Alm you actually had to cross into Germany before you reached
Salzburg which of course is in Austria. Of course when we were new to the
area and the borders were still controlled this would cause needless
delays unless you were a local which allowed you to just pass through.Traveling
south of Munich in the distance we could
see mountains, now just gray shapes against the sky. As they came more into view they grew
taller while the landscape became greener. Taller grew the mountains until they rose on
either side of you and you were driving in this narrow lush green valley. The granite
mountains were so close you felt that you could walk up to their base and reach
out to touch them which in fact you could easily do!.
The road was wet from a fresh morning shower and the air was clearer than I had ever seen it. We were on this small two lane road running between the mountains bereft of the fast food restaurants so common in the United States. You could not help but feel that you were entering a special place. Then we came upon a border guard in a small shack who just waved us through, none of the barricades or barbed wire seen along the border between the United States and Mexico and here you were in a landscape at once so beautiful and quite. The one thing I will always remember from this part of Austria is the green grass. We would find out later that they actually cut the grass in the open fields, something that I wish they would do in the United States.
Salzburg is famous for being the birthplace of the 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You can visit the house in which he was born but don't expect a lot. My main complaint is that you can not take photos even without flash. Being a fan of Mozart I still had to do my pilgrimage. In modern times the movie Sound of Music featured Salzburg and the surround area. You can take Sound of Music tours and if you are a fan of the movie its worth doing once. Even better visit the Marionette Theater and see a puppet performance of the Magic Flute. That was one of the highpoints of my visit to Salzburg and if you have kids they'll especially love it.
It is also a well-known resort and the site of internationally famous annual music and drama festivals. It is the seat of Salzburg University (1622) and the University of Music and Dramatic Art in Salzburg (1914). The mining of salt has historically been important to the city, which takes its name from the German words salz (salt) and burg (castle or fort). The population (1991) 143,978. While horse rides are notoriously expensive I can't resist taking them and have rarely been disappointed.
Salzburg is the nearest major city to my timeshare in Austria and I hope to be adding many new pictures in the future. The last few are of my son who really enjoyed having his picture taken in next to this giant pretzel though we did not hazard to try one. The old part of town is on the same side of town as the fort. Across the river is a newer part of downtown and there are some very expensive stores just waiting to take your money. When you arrive in Salzburg park your car in one of the three main parking areas. I can't really call them lots as they are actually inside a mountain.