Salzburg and Innsbruck

Trip Start Jan 09, 2007
Trip End May 11, 2007

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Another weekend, another trip. This time I went with two of my friends to Salzburg and Innsbruck, two other major cities in Austria. It was a pretty great time.

Friday we took a train to Salzburg and got in just in time to pick up tickets for the Vienna Philharmonic the following night. Being a student is great if for nothing else that you only have to pay 15 Euro for a ticket that normally costs 80. We basically just walked around the city center and enjoyed the area, as many things were already closing by the time we got there. We ate at an Italian restaurant, then found a nice little cafe, and later searched for a club or something, but nothing was really any good. We stayed at a hostel that was really rather nice.

Saturday we got up early and did a lot more. We hiked up to the Hohensalzburg Festung (Salzburg Fortress/Castle) and explored what that had to offer for quite a while. It was pretty cool; had some good exhibits and the highest tower offered an excellent, albeit windy, view over the city. We walked back down the city and walked around some more. My friends shopped quite a bit, and we went inside Mozart's birth-house and went through the museum there. I don't know if any of you know what Mozartkuglen (Mozart balls) are, but they're these delicious chocolate balls that are all over Salzburg, and they're pretty great. Naturally, I had a few. There were a lot of other things I would've loved to see, but we only had so much time. We ate at a delicious Mexican restaurant for dinner. For some reason, Mexican (and
by extension, Spanish and all Latin American) food is really hard to
find in Austria. Apparently tacos don't exist here. Then we rushed to the Großes Festspielhaus (the concert hall) to see the Philharmonic (as my friend Arine had left her ticket at the hostel), but we got there in time and it was really, really, awesome. The people, or maybe the air of sophistication surrounding the whole thing, though, is kind of funny. Everyone is silent during the performance, but between movements suddenly the entire hall breaks out into coughing. Also, during the intermission, I noticed there was a little bar or whatever selling glasses of wine for 12 Euro. I found that.... a bit expensive. I guess if you're paying 80 to be there, it's not so bad, but when a glass of wine costs almost as much as my ticket, that's weird.

We got up early the next morning and took the train to Innsbruck. As it was Sunday, it was a bit quiet and things closed early (or just weren't early), but we walked around the city center and visited the Alpenzoo, the highest zoo in Europe, which was pretty cool. We had some great desserts that night (I am quite fond of Austrian apple strudel), and after a bit of night-time exploring, we went to bed early to catch an early train this morning. And now I'm back here, ready to do some homework and get back to class. As a side-note, Vienna is really close to the northeastern edge of Austria, while Innsbruck is one of the more westernly-lying cities of Austria, part of the country that stretches narrowly out near Switzerland. The train actually went through Germany at one point during the journey.

Well, that's all I can think of that's interesting. I may be forgetting something. Hmmm. Bakeries here are great. As are the falafels at döner imbisses. Farewell. Feel free to send me an email or something.
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