Mozart Slept Here
By Simon Pontin ~ Posted Sat, 12/06/2008 - 11:18am
After the initial disappointment of entering Salzburg through the least attractive part of town, we were pleased to arrive at the Renaissance Hotel which turned out to be a very classy, modern place. We ventured out Friday evening led by our fearless Collette guide, Dennis Sheehan, who is a chatty Irishman, a retired Boston history teacher filled with yarns about Austria's history and folklore.
The visit to the old part of Salzburg gave us our first glimpse of the Christmas Markets--filled with everything from the ubiquitous Mozart chocolates to Christmas ornaments and tchotchkes of every kind. Old Salzburg is brightly lit with Christmas decorations and makes spectacular sight at night.
We had a really good dinner at St Peter's Restuarant (803 A.D.!), originally the refectory of a Benedictine monastery and then it was back to the hotel for a couple of cocktails--in bed by nine-thirty! Saturday morning, our scheduled tour of the Old City was led by the dashing and debonair (inside joke) Austrian guide, Manfred, visiting among other sights, Mozart's birthplace.
Actually, the tour was led by Manfred--I stopped to buy an SD card for my camera and got separated from the group and had a self-guided tour for the next couple of hours. I figured out where tours generally ended up, in the plaza at the foot of the hill where the castle resides, and I was lucky enough to run into them just as the tour ended. Christy and I took the funicular railway up to the castle and took in the panoramic view of Salzburg, snapped a few snaps and then went down the hill for warm coffee and streudel.
We were fortunate enough to have sunshine all day and in spite of the chilling breeze, the temperature was in the upper 40s. Good time was has by all, and tomorrow we leave for Linz.