Friday, January 25, 2008

Day 53-54 - Salzburg - 23-24 Jan 2008

Day 53

I was woken up around 7:30 am by the locks going again outside. It is the weirdest locking mechanism and so bloody loud it echoes through the entire house. I got up to go to the bathroom but alas someone was in there. And suddenly there were like 8 people milling about on our level. Seriously weird since my roommate and I thought it was just us and one other couple. Where did all these people come from? Anyway, I tried to go back to sleep but at 8:20 my bladder was begging for mercy so again I trudged out and yay the bathroom was free.

I had the hostel breakfast and again it was really nice. I stuffed myself with the bread rolls and perhaps had one too many but my god it was good having a Nutella roll with a hot chocolate. Mmmmm yummy, too bad outside it was pissing with rain and I realised I had to lug my shit around in the rain again. I was definitely going to miss Fussen, I like small towns and a small town right beneath the alps...heaven, but in the rain it's nearly not as pleasant.

I finished packing, paid, bid farewell and went off to the train station. My train was at 11:05 and like everything in Germany it was spot on time. I made myself comfy for the 2 hour trip back to Munich. Sleeping in the train was nice but I had a freak out moment when I though I was on the train to Augsburg.

I got to Munich around 1pm and I got some supplies, fruit which I haven't had for days and a salami roll from my now fav sandwich store at the station. I passed the chips stand and couldn't stop myself from buying a cone (yeah a cone) of pommes frites. Shitty thing was some evil teenager emptied the tomato sauce container just as I got there and I was left with the mayonnaise. The good thing was the mayo was a bit tangy and more like sour cream so I wasn't overly sick.

I got to platform 11 and the train was already there and boarding. Holding precariously the fries with the mayo and all my luggage I got on the train and settled myself in the short term compartment cause I couldn't be bothered lugging my crap to the proper seats. So I finished my chips whilst and old lady looked on across from me.

The trip to salzburg was another 2 hours because I saved at least 20 euros taking the slower train which stopped at all the small towns. Halfway through it started snowing on the plains which was brilliant. I had my mp3 player on and was having a pretty good time, the seat wasn't that uncomfortable although the passing scenery gave me a spot of motion sickness. about 30min to go I ducked to the toilette mid-station since I thought no one would be able to runaway with my stuff it we're in motion ahaha. But I have to say Germany has been definitely one of the most civil and safe countries I have been to.

I get to Salzburg and make my 10min journey on foot to the youth hostel. Then waited 10min at reception for the girl to finish her phone call. The hostel overall is fine except for the fact that it has no elevators and I was given a room on the 3rd floor. Ouch. But at least it had free wireless, so lots of net time, buzzcocks and much ado about nothing tonight.


Day 54

I was woken up at 6:30 by the girl below my bunk leaving, but I didn't get up until 8:30. I looked outside the window and was greeted with the fresh scent of snow on the Salzburg rooftops. I had some quality net time in which I found out about Heath Ledger's tragic and untimely death. Really that single event impacted on the rest of my day. Not to say that I was a huge fan or something but realising how mortal we all are, no matter what age or what socio-economic status. The fact that I'm by myself in a foreign country, isolation does weird things to your psyche and today wasn't an entirely enjoyable day.

Breakfast at the hostel was alright I guess, although the supposed Austrian scrambled egg special wasn't that spectacular. I headed for the Mirabella gardens first, and as stunning as they were covered in snow I'm sure they're even better in the summer. I walked across the bridge into the old town and familiar cobblestone alleys greeted me. Soon I walked past Mozart's birth house which I completely would have bypassed if I didn't on the off chance look up to where it said so.

I took a random stroll around and managed to visit about 4 churches all within 200 metres of each other. Seriously Salzburg is just full of churches and shops selling Mozart Chocolates and overpriced souveniers. I was bored and it's really the first time in Europe that I've wanted to leave the city the minute I got into it. Perhaps it was the overwhelming feeling of sober sadness but Salzburg just seemed unseemingly dull and I really needed something to cheer me up.

I sat in the Salzburg Dom for a while, contemplating celebrities who met early and tragic ends. Leslie Cheung's I think still makes me want to cry. It's strange, I'm not remotely religious but I still feel the power and enchantment of places of worship and prayer. It's not necessarily the religion but rather the outpouring of human endeavour, emotion and hope which makes such places extremely poignant and special.

Another wander through the streets and I found a 7 euro Chinese buffet. I spent 3 euro on yesterday's copy of the Daily Mail so I'd have something to do whilst eating. But by far it was the saddest excuse for a buffet I've ever encountered. Minimal amounts of food sat limp and dead and the bottom of metal pans, barely been heated. I feel sorry for Europeans cause damn you gotta really look hard for good Asian food.

After lunch I found some sun on the other side of the river that runs through Salzburg, the name which alludes me. But the sun was nice and made me somewhat happier, the Daily Mail though didn't so I stopped reading it and tried to make my way to the Nunnery featured in the Sound of Music. Oh yeah that movie was filmed here. The locations are everywhere but because I never really paid too much attention I'm not going to the extra effort of seeking them all out.

Salzburg is basically situated on a lake bed and it's surrounded by mountains. The nunnery is on a pretty steep mountain and for the life of me I could not find my way up the mountain. 30min later, a detour to the toilet and another church I finally found the staircase after asking for directions when I was buying a Sprite. The view was excellent. I've decided perhaps I actually like hiking more than museums.

I made my way back to the hostel along the cliffside of the old town. Many of the buildings were actually built into the cliff side. It was starting to get cold and so I got to the other side of the bank visited a supermarket I passed in the morning for some fruit and chocolate and managed to remember the way back to the hostel without the map.

It was a bit of a weird day, perhaps I was still too exhausted from the 12km trek the other day and maybe also because Salzburg has been the loneliest I've been in the last 2 months. I dunno why I managed to pick up random friends really easily the past week.

But at least I've found that some things really make me happy...

1. Brilliant Scenery
2. Soda
3. Chocolate
4. Mid-Afternoon naps

All this been said, I had dinner downstairs at the hostel and managed to meet some really awesome people. I guess I just need to get off the laptop ahahah.

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