When we’re in the market for a tried and true getaway weekend, the Salzburg area, and specifically Berchtesgaden, is where we end up. We started going just a not long after we arrived in Vienna, and ever since, we’ve been heading up there every few months to get a bit of fresh mountain air and a familiar routine.
Here’s how we usually play it:
1. Leave on a Friday after work: in the wintertime, this means you’ll be driving in the dark but in the summer time, it means you’ll hit sunset right around Mondsee. Mondsee is the town they filmed the wedding scene for Sound of Music and you can see the church from the highway. But better yet, pull over at the Landzeit rest stop right before the town – use the gas station bathrooms as they’re clean, pick out a treat from the mini-mart and admire the view (or have a picnic at the tables) of the lake and mountains. Spend a few minutes thinking about how do you indeed solve a problem like Maria.
2. Friday night – arrive in Salzburg. Normally we check in to the Goldener Hirsch for the height of “Austrian-ness” (thank you Starwood loyalty program), and head over to Carpe Diem for drinks and light dinner. Owned by the founder of Red Bull, they serve most of their food items in cones and brand themselves as “finest fingerfood”. Not sure why, but it’s a cool vibe, and more importantly it’s just across the little street.
3. Saturday morning – Breakfast at Tomaselli’s. Wurstel and eggs is the way to go and a few coffees, scan headlines, pick out a dessert from the dessert lady if we’re feeling really crazy.
4. Saturday late morning/early afternoon – stroll through Salzburg Old Town. Any guidebook can give you a good walking tour so you can follow that, and once you’re a repeat visitor you can head to the places you like the most. Salzburg is also a great place to catch up on shopping – for one, it’s probably the weekend and you have the time to, and for two, the sales people tend to be much nicer than in Vienna.
5. Saturday afternoon – drive out to Berchtesgaden (see tomorrow’s post) in time for afternoon check-in at the Intercontinental, and cue relaxation for as long as you can. If it’s a regular weekend we stay out there until about six or seven Sunday evening, if it’s a long weekend, like this one, we’ll take an extra day to enjoy the mountains or see some sights or just linger in the solarium.
Although we’ve been out on this itinerary many times, this is the first time we’ve seen both places in the snow – here are a few shots from Salzburg.
Photography by The New Diplomat’s Wife.