One thing that I have learned from my travels is that each city has its own unique personality and feel that effects you almost immediately, sometimes profoundly and sometimes in a more subtle mannerism.
When I got off the train at the main station in Salzburg it was raining cats and dogs; however, I felt a strange sense of peace in the air and till date Salzburg remains my favorite city. There is a feeling that I still find difficult to describe.
My initial instinct was further confirmed by a small incident that till date is ingrained in my memory. My first day in the city, I was searching for the right bus stop and asked a young teenage boy with wild black curly air for directions and he pointed me in the relevant direction. 15 minutes later I was waiting patiently at the bus stop, when this boy came running because he had realized that he had given me directions to the wrong bus stop. This for me was the true essence of the small city.
The Sound of Music
Having grown up watching Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music and dancing to the songs with my older sister, I was determined to explore all the places in the movie including the Gazebo in the song “I am sixteen” and hence the first tour I took was the “Sound of Music.”
We relived the movie by visiting all the gorgeous landmarks including the Hellbrunn and Leopoldskron Palaces (these formed the front and the back of the Captains House), Mirabell Gardens and the Church of Mondsee.
To conclude the day, I added on a Sound of Music concert that started of with an interview by the actual Maria Von Trapp who gave fun insights into life with the Captain including details of the marriage proposal and how in reality he had the greatest sense of humor. (Apparently, the captain proposed quite out of the blue by saying – I think we should marry and Maria ran all the way to abbey where she was told that it was the will of God. She then ran all the way back home to say yes to the captain).
Ludwig II – Bavarian Castles
Part of the adventure of travelling includes meeting new people from around the world. Whilst visiting the Neuschwanstein and Linderhof castles, I met this lovely American couple Christopher and Alison. Great company while visiting these majestic castles with amazing gardens.
Ludwig II is said to have been an eccentric who enjoyed beauty and majestic structures. In fact some of the rooms in both castles had gifts from other royals from around the world. What actually fascinated me was the room gifted by one of the Mughal Emperors including the peacock throne at Linderhof.
I loved my two weeks trek in Europe but Salzburg was indeed the cherry on the cake and is a place the memories of which I will always hold dear.