Christmas lights are up in London’s busiest and most happening quarters. Don’t you feel the good cheer in the brisk winter air, too?!
During the long Easter weekend this year, Mr.A and I took off to Austria‘s most popular destinations, Vienna & Salzburg. Remember I told you about those innumerable Easter eggs in Vienna? It was on the same trip, that we also dropped by Salzburg. I instantly fell in love with this city, spending our time walking around its diminutive Old Town, relaxed and care-free. Some things of course, stood out a little more than others…
# Love locks across the Salzach
Among the very first things one notices as they cross the river Salzach into the Old Town, is the Makartsteg bridge, almost every inch of which is covered in love locks. Perhaps it was intentional, but somehow the majority of the locks turned out to be red, giving it an utterly synchronous look. It’s impossible not to click a hundred pics, it’s so damn cute!
# Street signs on Getreidegasse
It’s hard to miss the ornate guild signs that announce the stores along Getreidegasse, the main street in the Old Town. Everything is available here, from food to fashion to trinkets to souvenirs, each shop bearing proof of its trade in the form of wrought iron signs. The beginning of this tradition was in the middle ages, but today even the McDonalds outlets and Zara boutiques on this street have their own medieval emblems. Incidentally, this street also boasts of Mozart’s childhood home where the artist first revealed his prodigy. How fascinating!
# Mozart’s church a.k.a. Salzburg Cathedral
Going by the number of spires and domes, one can easily guess that the city, especially the Old Town has an abundance of churches. I was obviously impressed by them, but I was particularly taken by the Salzburg Cathedral which is intricately painted ceiling in earthy tones against a white backdrop. Here Mozart played at Sunday service for two years. There are four strategically placed organs that transform the church into a concert hall. Sunday service is open to everyone to enjoy some brilliant music. From the outside, too, the cathedral is quite imposing and beautiful. The main facade opens into the spacious Cathedral Square, the centrepiece of which is a serene statue of Virgin Mary. Though damaged by a bomb during WWII, the reconstruction stands grander than ever.
# St. Peter’s cemetery
St. Peter’s cemetery and monastery opens up to visitors through a modest passageway, but as soon as I entered, it felt as though I were in a Secret Garden world. The cemetery is a cluster of tombs surrounded by pretty flower patches. It is overlooked by the cliffs of the Mönchsberg upon which looms the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Burial space in Austria is rented out, not sold, hence several headstones have ended up on the walls when the rented ceased to be paid. A walk around this serene resting place for bygone souls can be a moving experience.
# Views from the Hohensalzburg Fortress
A short funicular ride up the Mönchsberg will bring you to the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The ticket includes the funicular ride and entry to a couple of museums housed within the fortress and allows you to walk around the fortress at your own pace. The best part for me though, were the wide views offered at the top of the watch tower. We could enjoy a 360 degree look at the rolling landscape around us. It was a rainy day, every green thing appeared extra lush and vibrant! A couple of other vantage points along the fortress wall also dole out grand sights far & wide, over the spires and rooftops through the city, all the way across the river and as far as the mountains in the distance. So, so very beautiful…
Have you been to Salzburg? What did you love best?
I haven’t seen as many eggs within the span of two days as I did at the Easter markets in Vienna last weekend. Mr.A and I were in the beautiful Austrian capital, walking around town, hopping on and off the trams, and strolling in and out of its many cozy markets showcasing local crafts and delicacies, among plump fluffy rabbits, cocky roosters and an immense collection of gorgeously decorated eggs. By the end of it we’d seen eggs made of wood, wax and glass, eggs small enough to hold in ones palm to those towering high above my height, eggs dipped in mild vegetable dyes to those bedecked in gilded pearls, dainty crochet jackets or mini oil paintings, and honestly, every other kind of Easter egg in between!
#1 The Bigfish Seafood Bistro
Mr.A & I were completely wowed by the excellent quality of the food here.We are seafood paella and fried calamari and vegetables. Both turned out super! The portions were quite hearty. The restaurant’s decor is quite neat. You could also choose fresh a la carte seafood from a glass counter if you fancy. The location is very close to Oktogon, right on Andrassy Avenue. If you are in the locality, give it a go.
#2 The Book Cafe
What a gorgeous cafe! This is one of the most elegant cafes I’ve been to. The ceiling and chandeliers are so luxurious, I couldn’t stop looking & clicking pictures. The food is mostly cafe style sandwiches and cakes. We tried some & liked them. They serve both alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages. It’s a very nice place to feel fancy without having to spend a lot!
#3 Cafe Gelarto
The speciality of this gelateria is that they fashion roses out of your dessert. Delicious and pretty at the same time. You can choose two to four flavours – I picked chilli chocolate with lime sorbet, a brilliant combination. It’s surprisingly cheap, two euros for two flavours! This place is right in front of St. Istvan Basilica.
#4 Kozmosz Vegan Restaurant
It was my first visit to an exclusively vegan restaurant & I was glad to be here. Both gyros plate & Mexican plate were delicious. Although Mr.A thought the bean dish extra garlicky, but I was happy with it. The best & pear juices were absolutely fresh. It wasn’t much crowded, they played nice music & the waiter was so polite. I’d recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants to give vegan a go.
#5 Cafe Vian
This was our first meal in Budapest. We had the local goulash, that was good enough the and chicken paprikash, which was better. They served pálinkas with honey, and the Hungarian red wine was smooth. The Hungarian sponge cake dessert was decadent. Though the waiters seemed a bit clumsy, I heard three crashes in the couple of hours we were there! I guess it just means they are quite busy 😉
Hello friends, this weekend Mr.A & I are in beautiful Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Today we cisited the hilly Buda side of the city. I want to share some of the lovely sights we’ve seen to so far…
Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour! Wish you a wonderful weekend 😊