July 6, 2017 (Day 3) – Salzburg, Austria
We once again make plans to wake up bright and early, and to go for a walk in the wonderful Salzburg weather – whilst it is hot during the day, mornings are lovely and chilly. Our family of ducks is crossing the stream again. Time is not on our side as we have around 2 hours to explore Salzburg before we depart.
We plan to walk upto Hohanesberg Castle (as suggested by our hosts); but then decide to go to Kapuzinerkloster monastery and church. Our wonderful cycling guide, Claudio, lists this as one of the offbeat non-touristy things to do in Salzburg. We decide to be adventurous and take one of the back streets (believe me, they are not back streets at all – not the kind you would think of). They are streets lined with stucco houses lined with beautiful well tended gardens. We walk around in circles until finally we give up, and take a circuitous bus route to the city centre.
We actually decided on renting cycles – but after finding no one to rent from, decide against it. We take the Lindergasse path upto Kapuzinerkloster – basically, you need to walk to the other side of the Salzburg river, and them climb up on a steep winding path. We think we are on the wrong path – but when we see the joggers, and dog walking Salzburgians walking down, figure we can’t be lost. Whilst the rest of Salzburg is pretty hot, as we climb, the weather changes – it’s like we have just changed seasons – and it is refreshingly pleasant. We climb upwards on paved stone, and pass by what to me seems like the oldest “kneeler” ever. It is set in stone and is ice cold to the touch. After a long laborious climb, we reach a flight of steps leading up to a small level on which are mounted are three crucifixes with Jesus and the two prisoners who died with Jesus. This is the first time we have seen such a scene and we are quite amazed by it. Even in Rome (with probably the highest Roman catholic population in the word), we did not see something like this.
Once we have reached the top of the stairs, we see a small church, and two paths – one leading downwards, and one leading into a thick forested area. We decide to be adventurous and venture to climb through the foliage of green – the air is crisp and cool, the sun rays stream through the green foliage and it looks like a flashlight from heaven positioned just to give the right hue to the scene. Scrambling through rocks, dry leaves and steep stones, we venture upon a path. We are following a lady in front of us (the only person on this trail, I kid you not). My husband thinks she is a ghost as she lithely climbs the path as a lamb, and then disappears. We pass by logs of firewood all chopped and ready for winter in the most intricate design and so pleasing to the eyes. We trudge along the path for a bit looking for signs of life. It is like we are transported to a whole new world where you can smell the freshness in the air. It’s wonderful, meditative and relaxing – like a walking meditation. We reach a point and then decide to go back down (watching the watch), stopping at the beautiful chapel on the way down.
The city of Salzburg is enveloped in time and is picture postcard perfect – with the river flowing through the city, the medieval structures and steeples of churches around it enveloped in blue skies, and the sun shining through. I would do it all over again (yes – all the cycling and the walking and I would explore a lot more than I did). Like I often say “maybe if don’t sleep at all whilst on holiday, we can see a lot more”.