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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Salzburg, Austria – Sept. 2-3, 2012

One of our readers asked if we missed enjoying activities as a couple due to having The Noses with us, referring to visiting museums and the like.  On the few occasions when this has come up, it hasn’t been a hardship to separate for a few hours and enjoy some time alone.  Most commonly though, having The Noses with us broadens our experience of an area, often leading to spots with fewer tourists and more nature; our visit to Salzburg was no exception.

Although it was time for our stay in a hotel anyway, Salt's leaking roof made heading to Salzburg’s Wolf Dietrich hotel that much more appealing.  Yes, during the last rain storm in Austria, Salt sprung not one or two, but three leaks.  We were forced to go out into the deluge and string a bright blue tarp over her top (well, SP was forced . . . I was going to do it with or without him.)  As SP said, “We went from the upscale Americans with the fancy car and trailer to White Trash in 15 minutes.”  So with caulking supplies on order, we locked up Salt, gathered The Noses and treated Pepper to some fast driving up the A10 to Salzburg.

First of all, the drive from Dobriach to Salzburg is gorgeous, rivaling that of Canada’s Highway 1 through Banff.  It was a quick hour and half drive to our lovely hotel, The Wolf Deitrich, which I highly recommend:  It sits across the river from the touristy “Old Town” section of Salzburg amongst appealing local shops and restaurants. The staff was welcoming and the service is excellent; offering a well-stocked breakfast and a coffee/tea service each afternoon in their charming bar.  (Note that our room was not a typical room, they have more ordinarily decorated rooms as well.)

The “Old Town” is filled with new fashion stores and most of the tourists.  The small pedestrian-only streets are charming if you can get around the people and enjoy walking at a tourist pace; neither of which we tolerate very well.  To get above the crowd, we quickly jumped on a horse-drawn carriage (Noses included, of course!) and were heartedly entertained by our driver during our 20 minute tour. 

For our full day we headed up to the fortress eschewing the funicular and opting for exercise—and exercise it was!  The hike up the hill had us dripping in sweat by the time we were reading the “No Dogs Allowed” sign at the entrance gate. 

Having seen a lady coming around the outside walls with a Labrador we thought perhaps there was a trail around the fortress that we could enjoy.  It turns out that there are a myriad of trails running through the woods surrounding the fortress.  It was the highlight of our trip; the Noses running free and racing around the top of the hill as we paused every so often to enjoy some coffee, warm apple strudel, and the fantastic views back down over the city.

And so we got something out of Salzburg that we never would have had we arrived at those gates without The Noses.  Truth be told, we are not great museum or tourist attraction fans so it is not difficult to pass up most of the sites, particularly when they are so crowded.  I expect this to change when we reach Florence and Paris where we will need to alternate viewing days in order to enjoy David and the infamous Don't-You-Dare-Call-Me-Mona, Ms. Lisa. 

But as I mentioned above, after a year of living in 19’, a day alone isn’t so bad.