Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vindication of my choice to wake up early and hike up to Hohensalzburg Castle was what I experienced when I reached the top and looked out to this view. The sun was rising behind clouds, allowing the mist to linger over the homes of south Salzburg. It had recently snowed and hiking up the ice covered (northward facing) cobblestone road had felt more like mountain climbing, with me having to pause frequently and plan out my next few steps. Having made it safely to the top, I realized that the entrance fee was nearly double what the sign at the bottom of the hill said it was. Because I didn't want my climbing efforts to have been in vain and I also was scared to imagine descending that hill without a sled I went ahead a payed to get in. Whichever archbishop of salzburg was responsible for the castle walls must have also been a saavy businessman. The walls on the path leading up to the castle are designed in such a way that you can't see any glimpse of the city skyline until you have payed and passed through the turnstile at the main gate. I had thought that once I had reached the main gate, I could at least look out and see the city without having to pay, but it was impossible.

The castle itself is a wonderful piece of architecture, but the real draw and the numerous open battlements from which you can view the domes of Salzburg's churches and Salzach river. Just as I had made my way out to one of the battlements, the bells in the Salzburger Dom began to ring providing me with by far my favorite memory of my trip. These bells can be heard in this video

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