Friday, 17 January 2014

A Solo Adventure: Salzburg

*Read the beginning of the adventure here!

Upon arriving at Salzburg and dropping my bags off at YOHO Youth Hostel, the first thing I did was go on The Sound of Music tour. Apparently, the award winning and world renowned Sound of Music was not known in German speaking countries although it tells the story of the von Trapp, an Austrian family and was filmed mostly in Salzburg. Today, it is a money making scheme for the local tour companies. The half day tour covers all the filming sites of the movie in Salzburg but the price for the tour is extremely exorbitant. €40 for the short few hours and none of the sites has any entrance fee at all. Being a fan of the Sound of Music, I was contented with the tour but still the €40 isn’t exactly justifiable.

The site where the lakeside scenes were filmed. Remember Do-Re-Mi?

Nonnberg Abbey where Captain von Trapp married Maria in the Sound of Music

The Christmas markets in Salzburg is only of a mediocre size and I felt the Austrian Christmas Market lacks food stalls. There isn’t much choices but then again one can never be wrong to settle for sausages!

Salzburg Christkindlmarket at Domplatz 
With the Salzburg Card, I went on the Untersberg Cable Car for a view of the Austrian Alps which turns out to be quite a letdown as compared to the Swiss Alps. In Salzburg, one cannot simply miss the Mozart Birth House. The home to the music genius, the museum display a considerable amount of his life from a child to an adult. After a blissful dose of currywurst for lunch, I joined the guided tour to the Festival Hall which comprise of 3 halls meant for the use of the Salzburg Festival in the summer. One of them is the set where the Salzburg Festival in the Sound of Music was filmed.

The Festival Hall where the Salzburg Festival is held each year.
Those arches are carved out of the mountains right behind the hall and NO, there is no secret passage to Switzerland unlike in the Sound of Music.
Ended the use of my Salzburg Card with a visit to the Hohensalzburg Castle on top of Festungsberg, a small mountain in the city centre of Salzburg. There are a vast display of artifacts and rooms within the Castle walls and the location atop of the mountain has an amazing view of the Salzburg old town. Like any other young generation, the availability of free wifi in the Castle grounds felt like nirvana. How often would anyone come across tourist attractions with free wifi?! Just as I was checking my mail etc. I heard a familiar voice which turns out to be Christina, one of my juniors in King’s. Not only are we from the same hometown, we attend the same uni, bumped into each other in Austria and stayed in the same hostel; just a room apart. The world simply can’t get any smaller. After the visit to the Salzburg Cathedral, I joined Christina and her friends in the Christmas Market and it was a whole lot of fun to meet this bunch of friendly people.

The view of the Salzburg Old Town from the top of Hohensalzburg

Breathtaking sunset from the top of the fortress

The interior of the Salzburg Cathedral - European Cathedral always have an amazing interior

Photo credit: Zestin Soh
When you travel alone, you'll meet new friends. 

Glad to have met this amazing bunch of people in Salzburg.
Returning to hostel and turning in early, this was where the epic episode of my travel begun. FOOD POISONING! Starting off with a severe diarrhoea, things turn for the worst with vomiting. The last thing I ate was Bosna (sausages with bread, mustard, onion and a dash of curry powder) and in the wee hours of the night, I was regurgitating sausages out of me. If spending most of the night in the toilet wasn’t bad enough; every time I took activated charcoal pills in hopes of stopping the diarrhoea, I ended up vomiting after. Thankfully, it came to a stop after 4-5 hours. Either I had excreted everything possible or I am starting to heal.

One thing I know for sure, I WILL NEVER EAT SAUSAGES EVER AGAIN!

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