Late last night we decided reluctantly to move on from Zell Am See, after the family in the campervan parked right at our nose had yet an other flaming argument amongst themselves. This morning, the guy was prowling about wearing a skull emblazoned gilet, and clearly his other two neighbours felt the same as us, since the lady from reception came and disconnected all three of our electric supplies at the same time.
It was a shame, since it was the most glorious morning in the Austrian Tyrol. I went for a quick walk along the path we had walked the previous evening, alongside the water meadows. This time, the view of the mountains was stupendous – and the slow-clad tops were clearly visible.
When I got bak to the van, Howard was well into packing up, as were the couple on the other side of the obnoxious bickering family. Just as we were all done, and ready to go, the evil eyed German guy summoned his family into his Big White, and they were away. The tension in the air immediately dissipated. If only we’d know they were leaving, and we would happily stayed another night, but we had already booked a hotel in Salzburg for the night. The other couple, on seeing that the ‘neighbours from hell’ had left, started unpacking their stuff again, clearly with the same sentiment as us.
But as it turned out, we had a lovely day. We headed the short distance into Bavaria in Germany, to a place Howard remembered staying with his parents fifty odd years ago. It was called Ramsau, and what a gem it was. The short drive there was sublime – with the most stunning alpine vistas. Somehow, our on board music, although set to ‘shuffle’, has a way of picking apt tunes to play as we drive. In the Julian Alps, and again in the Dolomites, it selected ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ by Diana Ross. Today, it was some very upbeat Rod Stewart, and Nelly Furtado ‘I’m Like A Bird’, which cheered us up immensely. As we drove into the village, which is situated near to Berchtesgaden (famous for being home to Hitler), the views of the mountains became magnificent. Driving along by the river, into the village, the view of the oft photographed church came into view. We took a few photos on the bridge. Howard, of course, was asked to take the now statutory photo for a Korean lady, who wished someone to take her photo with the view. Once more, I just chuckled to myself.
After a wander, we found a splendid cafe looking out over the mountains, for a late breakfast. There is something very decadent about having your breakfast at one o’clock in the afternoon – but I must say, it was quite delicious.
We then made our way into Salzburg, which only took us half an hour or so. We found our hotel (with a very red interior!), and quickly set off to explore the city. I was gutted that I had missed the ‘The Sound of Music’ tour by half an hour, since I am a huge fan of the film. Howard, on the other hand, was clearly delighted, although he faked some moderate disappointment just to show willing.
Salzburg as a city is pretty compact. Our first stop was the home of Mozart, easily spotted by the huge numbers of people taking photos of the building. I was rather saddened to see that the ground floor has now been turned into a ‘Spar’ shop! We made our way to the Dom, the cathedral in the centre of the old town, then wandered around some of the back streets. We found ourselves in the square where the Naxis had taken away Captain Von Trapp in the film. We also found a Monastery and graveyard that bore a very strong resemblance to where the Von Trapp family hid from the Naxis, although Howard read later that it was filmed in a Hollywood set based on this location.
We finished our trip by taking a ride up to the Castle in the funicular. At the top, we sat on the terrace, enjoying the view over the city, and had a drink. Then it was back to the hotel, to be dazzled by the so very red decor!
So in the end, it has been a good day. I am glad to have seen Salzburg, but I think it is beaten hands down by the alpine scenery that surrounds it. In particular, I think the mountains as we drove through this small corner of Bavaria were just amazing – and definitely somewhere that I would recommend. Howard is just delighted that he isn’t the only person in Salzburg wearing a cork hat!