I spent Easter weekend in the lovely city of Salzburg, Austria – Mozart’s birthplace, the setting for the Sound of Music and famous for its ancient Hohensalzburg Castle dominating over the city. With a four-day holiday weekend for Easter, it seemed like the perfect getaway. Besides, we were trying to escape the unseasonably cold spring in the Netherlands; however, on Easter weekend it snowed in Salzburg! Still, as a mountain girl, while I love Amsterdam I need to experience some elevation change from time to time, so we enjoyed the mountain air and the views (only visible on the first day, as it were) and a quick weekend getaway.
Salzburg (population 150,000) is an ancient city with roots dating to the Neolithic Age. The first proper settlements are thought to be of Celtic origin around the 5th century BC. Circa 15 BC, the Romans united the loosely defined communities of the Salzach River, and it has been a population centre ever since. Salzburg means ‘Salt Castle’ named after the salt mines in the region and the river barges that carried this precious commodity. The city has evolved and expanded since, as a centre of trade and travel. It was an important seat in the Austria-Hungarian Empire and played a role in Europe’s great wars (WWI & WWII). Its history and culture are rich and complex and I won’t pretend to be an expert on the matter. Still we enjoyed the city’s cultural undertones, Easter traditions, its architecture, parks and green spaces – and like many European cities – its blossoming bicycle infrastructure. I would love to go back another time, perhaps when it is warmer to enjoy a bit of hiking or biking, all close to the urban core!
Here are a few of my favorite urban observations… (Or as Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music would say… “These are a few of my favourite things…”) 😉
Culture & tradition
Bikes, buses & public transport