My favorite stop on the Christmas Market River Cruise was Salzburg. While not directly on the Danube, our tour company transported us from the ship to Salzburg for a day of sightseeing and treats.
En Route to Salzburg
We left the ship early on a bus bound for birthplace of Mozart. While on the drive, it started snowing, which made the views even more spectacular. The countryside was so beautiful and the new fallen snow created a fairy tale like feel I love.
Upon arrival in Salzburg, our first stop was the Mirabell gardens. As a die hard Sound of Music fan, this was a must see. These gardens were made famous when the Von Trapp children, along with their governess, Maria, danced around the fountain during the song Do, Re, Mi. The area was also not as big as you might imagine. Obviously the gardens were not lush and green since we were there in December and it was snowing, but it was magical just the same.
Of course, I had to take a moment to live my best Sound of Music dreams regardless.
On to the Shopping Area
After leaving the gardens, we walked across the river to the downtown area. Walking is easy in the downtown area of Salzburg. We were able to see Mozart’s birthplace and the church of St. Peter and Paul.
The Church of St. Peter and Paul
The Church of St. Peter and Paul had a very old door as the entrance. Then, once inside, it was simply spectacular. A visitor would never know what was just beyond that old door – it was just gorgeous inside.
Getreidegasse – The Shopping Street
There were many markets all over Salzburg, as well as the famous shopping street, Getreidegasse. It was on this street we found the first Starbucks and McDonalds we saw on this trip. I’m not a crazy Starbucks person, but I have to admit it was fun to go in and see how the brand was represented in Salzburg, and I always love the smell of the coffee. McDonald’s is also fun to see in a foreign country – they have the best pastries at European McDonald’s.
Cafe Saucher and the Famous Torte
Our tour had arranged a group lunch at the Cafe Saucher where the famous Saucher Torte originated. We enjoyed a delightful lunch followed by the famous torte. This dessert definitely lived up to its reputation.
One other little tidbit of trivia was that some of the cast stayed at the Hotel Sacher during the filming of The Sound of Music. The lobby of the hotel was decorated beautifully with an enormous gingerbread house and many Christas trees.
I could have spent a week in Salzburg. There were many more sights to see and many more Sound of Music filming locations to explore. I always believe you should have something left to do so it makes you want to return someday. Salzburg is most certainly on the list of places for me to return to.