Day 23 Wednesday 15th June 2016 – Salzburg rest day 0.1km (2094km in total)
“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see the other fellows working”. Kenneth Grahame
Waking up at 9am was a well needed lie in (even though I had one yesturday as well!) and perfect way to start my rest day. The main goal today would be to get my bike ready for the alps. I didn’t want any problems with tyres, spokes or anything else half way up a mountain. I didn’t know what was coming, there could even be a snow storm!
Nora’s family had a big bike shop in the town of Hallein, so I headed straight for it, walking the bike along. I was determined that this must be a day off, no cycling allowed! The bike shop was enormous and had every kind of bike in there and all the accessories from clothing to skateboards.
I was told it would all be sorted out in an hour, giving me time to relax and explore Hallein. First a coffee and apple strudel in a nearby cafe then a wonder around the streets of the small town. I much prefered it today with the sun shining and bustling streets, compared to yesturday when each street looked like a river.
The bike was looking much better when I returned, with a new, gleaming rear tyre, looking super slick and fast! They must have been amused finding all the plastic bags and rags lining the inside of the old tyre! After taking the bike back to the house (although I’d promised myself I wouldn’t cycling today, it was downhill so couldn’t resist!) I then got the bus into Salzburg.
Normally when I visit cities by myself I always feel slightly lost and never know where to start and what to see, most of the times I miss the main sights! However, today I had my personal tour guide. Nora had finished the day at university so took me around the beautiful city. First up though some woods with fantastic views of the city, then back down, passing the city’s castle. It was a great position for a castle, enemies could have been seen for miles and the track up was very steep, I wouldn’t have wanted to climb that all dressed in metal armour!
It was very touristy in the main streets and squares, with many tour groups and schools. Too many selfie sticks in the air for my liking! Mozart and the Sound of Music cards, pictures, models and chocolates filled the windows of most shops. The Mozart Kunkuls were very popular. They were first made in the 19th century, though there are three shops which all claim they invented them first. They are small chocolate balls, with a truffle mixture inside with a marzipan centre, and Mozart’s face on the packaging.
A new shop had just opened in the high street and the enthusiastic owner quickly pulled us over. She was a great sales person and very persuasive, even assuming we were married, which we replied that we were getting married in October (!) She proceeded to cover our hands in a salt paste from the Black Sea which was supposed to clean and cleanse our hands. I was a little amused when she asked whether I was a machanic! The black grease from yesterday’s bike problems was obviously showing in the water.
After we offended her by not buying anything, even after she lowered the prices down again and again we carried on the tour of old city of Salzburg. It has a wide range of different churches and domes from different periods, inlcuding the very impressive St Peter’s dome.
The sun, the food, the cycling from the previous few days (and weeks! ) was all making me quite tired. I was close to having a snooze after a ice cream by the river. However the cruise boat dancing to some mozart music and waltzes kept me awake. It did twirls and different maneuvers around the river in time with the music. The on board passengers looked very excited, clapping after every move.
As Nora revised for an exam, it reminded me of a quote I’d seen from Kenneth Grahame. “After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see the other fellows working”.
It was time to head back to their house, mainly so I could plan my journey across the alps. There were different options to chose from, some on bigger road or others on smaller but hillier or even some which included a short train journey through the mountains.
Salzburg was one of the highlights of this trip so far. A beautiful city, wonderful views, loverly people and mountains in every direction. It was a great rest day, I think I need some more!