We had a brilliant time on holiday in Austria, near Lake Wolfgang (the Wolfgangsee) as you may have seen from Jessica’s first post last week. Here she tells you about the rest of our terrific stay – including a trip to Sound of Music heaven…
Over to Jess:
Our wonderful holiday continued with a trip to Salzburg on Thursday
Today, we visited Salzburg, and were very lucky to have a tour around the city by Michaela our amazing guide. She took us to churches, statues and locations from where The Sound of Music was filmed.
I especially liked walking through the pretty square where part of “Do Ray Me” was sung and you can see some Sound of Music references in our video!
Salzburg is full of stunning Baroque architecture, and we loved looking at all the incredible buildings, especially all of the churches. There are lots of religious places to see in the city, but my favourite was the church where Mozart was baptised. It was absolutely beautiful, and the walls had lovely black and white decorations.
Mozart lived in Salzburg, and his presence was everywhere. Salzburg is the home of Mozart chocolates which (happily) were in almost every shop, while you can also visit his old house and see a statue of him.
Michaela told us lots of facts about Salzburg, which I was fascinated by. I never knew that Salzburg used to be an independent country but was annexed to the Austrian Empire in 1816, or that Salzburg means “salt castle”. This name is because of all the salt mining done nearby. We also bought some delicious things to eat…
After this, our family took the cable car up to the fortress, which had lovely views over the city and was also full of history.
Next, we took the bus to the lovely palace of Hellbrunn, built in the 17th century, and which has lovely grounds and even boasts the pavilion where the song “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” was filmed for The Sound of Music.
Instead of exploring the rooms, we opted to go to the trick fountains, which we all loved. My brother got absolutely soaked.
Hundreds of years ago, the Archbishop loved inviting friends to his palace, but always tried to liven up their visits. By placing surprising fountains around the gardens, he would shock them and get them soaking wet!
We got to walk around, sit on chairs and watch shows which ultimately left us covered with water! One example was when we were watching a show with small figures powered by water. Before starting, our guide told us to watch the cannons. Once the show had finished, we were quite confused – no water had come out the cannons! Just ask we started to walk away, water started to spew out from the steps behind us, giving us a shock…
On Friday, we went cycling again. First of all, we went to tobogganing centre in Strobl, passing a clear blue lake with people swimming in it on the way. It was gorgeous, and I thought it was amazing how unpolluted it was! In London, a lake like that would be brown and full of rubbish!
The tobogganing was lots of fun, and Rob especially loved it. You went up really high before sliding down the hill very quickly, and half of the time you were practically riding on the wall. Each go took a very long time as going up the hill took aages. There were two different ways you could go down; one was short and fast, and one was longer and slightly slower. You also got to control how fast you went by pulling a lever on the board you were riding on.
Next, we cycled 14k to St. Gilgen at the top of the Wolfgangsee, which looked sublime. It was another hot day, and we quenched our thirst with lemonade and a really bitter lemon drink that everyone hated but me!
After a brilliant pizza, we took a look around the shops, got cream cakes from a bakery and took a ferry back to Strobl.
Today we had a short cycle in the direction of Bad Ischl, passing beautiful mountains, trees and waterfalls on the way. The weather was not lovely, but an erdbeer torte in a cafe back in Strobl more than made up for it…
So that was our fabulous holiday for the summer. Even though we spent a lot of time running, swimming and cycling, I still felt really relaxed and refreshed throughout the week, which is something that does not normally happen to me. The holiday was very different to others I have been on, and is definitely one of my favourites. Funnily enough, I had never been cycling for longer than half an hour before, but the holiday really helped me to improve my confidence, and there were not too many parts of the journeys that were uphill.
I would 100 percent recommend this holiday to anyone – there seemed to be something for the whole family and I honestly cannot think of anything bad about it! The sights were incredible, the food was fantastic and there was loads to see and do. I wish that we could go back next year!
Disclosure: our tour around Salzburg with Michaela Muhr, a licensed guide, was complimentary and you can book your tour via the Salzburg Experience website. All the views and opinions about the tour and the city are our own.
Disclosure: we were offered a discounted media rate for a Headwater cycling holiday to Austria. However, all our views are entirely our own.
For August departures this year, Headwater would have charged: £1038 for an adult self drive including Eurotunnel (child under 12 sharing £599), £1238 for an adult flying with with BA from Gatwick-Salzburg (child £819) and £1029 for an adult tour only (child £619). This is for half-board accommodation, including transfers, plus the bikes!
This week we’re part of the Sunday Traveler (or traveller as we would write in the UK!) where you can link up and read about travels around the world. It’s hosted by by the lovely Sarah-Jane at Chase the Donkey!