Discover Salzburg

Salzburg – a beautiful, baroque city, which was home to one of history’s most famous and genius composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

City of Salzburg, Austria

The city might not be as big and diverse as some other global cities like Paris or London but it has a very endearing and romantic charm to it! I visited Salzburg in one day and I haven’t been able to see all of it. Nonetheless, I’d like to share my impressions and give some “good-to-know” advice:

Since I travelled to Salzburg from Munich, it was quite easy and comfortable to go by train. With the Bayern Ticket, I fared very well. The Bayern Ticket is a day ticket, with which you can travel through the whole Bavarian region and to Salzburg, Austria. The ticket costs 25 € and is valid on work days from 9 am to 3 am the next day and on weekends the whole day.

Boat tour on Salzach River

As soon as I arrived in Salzburg, I went to the Tourism counter at the train station to by the Salzburg Card (25€). The Salzburg Card is valid on all public transportation in and sometimes around Salzburg and comes with many advantages. The card not only works for public transportation but also for a lot of sightseeing spots, like Mozart’s birth house, the Dom Quartier, the zoo, the palaces Mirabell and Hellbrunn, the fortress Hohenzollern and even includes a boat tour on the Salzach river. So f you are planning to go to Salzburg, I highly recommend buying the Salzburg Card!

Mirabell Garden, Mirabell Palace

Event though I had only one day in Salzburg, I was able to visit and see a lot of historic and interesting places. The old town of the city was another must-see on my list. Old antiquarian shops, which had beautifully decorated and inviting windows and the tempting smell of freshly made coffee from the famous Kaffeehäuser were filling the narrow alleys.

Old Town, Salzburg

This trip to Salzburg was a very spontaneous one and I’m happy that I went through with it! The city had a lot of sightseeing to offer but the heartwarming welcome of good-natured residents also contributed to its charm. I would advice anyone to give this endearing city a chance!

-V.

Go outside, take a deep breath – AND ENJOY NATURE

Taking your time to explore vibrant metropolitan cities is exciting but exploring nature’s wonders is an exhilarating adventure in itself!

I went ahead and looked for a beautiful spot outside of Munich and found Garmisch’s Eibsee. This lake is located just beneath the Zugspitze, Germany‘s highest mountain with approx. 2.800m. The Zugspitze was of course not the only hiking opportunity near the lake. I decided on the Eibsee Alm, which is supposed to be a great skiing place in winter.

Zugspitze, Germany

The Eibsee Alm was perfect for a short hike up to the popular restaurant Hochtörlenhütte (1.450m). To the restaurant, it took around 2 hours (depending on how fast you are it can take 2 to 3 hours). Along the way, I was not necessarily met with the most breath-taking view but I did enjoy a leisurely and quiet hike. Although I must say that the sometimes steep walk up the mountain can be quite challenging for beginners.

Eibsee view near Hochtörlenhütte

At the restaurant, I took the opportunity to take a break to enjoy the amazing view and to treat myself to a delicious Schnitzel for lunch. I should have mentioned that Hochtörlenhütte is located in Tirol, Austria! The thought of hiking up from Germany and arriving in Austria was amusing!

But not only the mountain landscape was a mustsee. Eibsee lake also offered a mesmerising scenery with its crystal clear, turquoise water. On a sunny day, you’ll see locals enjoying themselves in the cold and refreshing mountain water.

Eibsee lake, Grainau

I truly recommend taking a glance outside of the busy and hectic city life and explore beautiful and quiet nature nearby. You’ll never know what you’ll find…

-V.

Last Summer in Japan

Japan is such a fascinating, mesmerising country. The moment I saw Kyoto, Japan’s former imperial capital, I was instantly captivated by beautiful nature, ancient temples and mysterious historic sights!

Since I cannot seem to entirely fathom this country, I’d like to share my experiences in images instead of words:

GIRLS IN YUKATA, GION DISTRICT

 

KIYOMIZU-DERA TEMPLE, KYOTO

 

RIVERSIDE, ARASHIYAMA

 

BAMBOO FOREST, ARASHIYAMA

 

OSAKA CASTLE, OSAKA

 

NARA PARK, NARA

Any other Japan fan out there?

-V.

A Fairytale Come True… a Visit to Cinderella’s Castle

Who isn’t familiar with Cinderella’s castle from Walt Disney– the inspiration for Disney’s world famous logo!

The iconic castle with its very unique shape and pointed princess towers has been inspired by real-life places. One of them being one of Germany’s most popular sights, Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. This 19th century castle was commissioned by  Ludwig II. of Bavaria, who was a known admirer of the Middle Ages and Wagner’s operas. Ludwig had a romanesque masterpiece in mind, anyone could marvel at in the years to come. Little did he know that it would become one of the most visited places in Germany.

I admit, getting to the castle is a bit of a hassle. I would highly recommend to get there by car, since you’d be significantly faster and more flexible than by train or bus. Moreover, you should definitely book your entrance tickets to the castle beforehand to avoid long queues. And you should book the castle tour to make the most out of your trip, even though it only lasts around 25 minutes. But the tour guide did have a lot of interesting insights to tell about the Bavarian duke and his dream project. During the tour, I was completely in awe with the inside of the castle, which was beautifully designed and furnished.

Another must-do while visiting this place is to take a steep hike up the hill to reach the popular photo spot. The “Marienbrücke” is a narrow bridge located above the “Pöllatschlucht”, which faces the castle. From there, you can take mesmerising photos. Be careful though as the bridge is quite unsound to walk on!

Who would like to visit this place and see the astounding resemblance in person?

-V.

 

Hello Munich!

Munich is one of Germany’s biggest and most famous cities. Especially the notorious beer festival “Oktoberfest” plays a major part in Munich’s popularity around the world.

Town Hall, Munich

But Munich has so much more to offer than beer and pretzels-what the netizens love and adore about their city is the high quality of living, the diverse and breathtaking landscape surrounding Munich and the many events and outdoor activities it has to offer.

English Garden, Munich

I suspect, you will never encounter another German city just like Munich. The feeling of familiarity and being part of a close community is what fascinates most of the international visitors. People even go as far as calling it a “big village”!

All in all, Munich is a must-see on anyone’s travel agenda. So if you have some time to spare, I warmly recommend this charming city!

-V.

Wanderlust: Any plans for 2017?

Wanderlust: the irresistible, incurable desire to travel or wander.

2016 was a very busy year: I had the opportunity to go back to beautiful Japan, to spend some quality time with my family in Normandy, France and to visit my lovely friend in the vibrant, metropolitan city of Barcelona.

The wondrous nature and historic sites I encountered, while wandering around on Kyoto‘s many mountains and ancient streets were truly a sight to behold. The soothing sea breeze in Cherbourg, the french harbour city, was something I thoroughly enjoyed and the unique, architectural masterpieces of Gaudi in Barcelona were utterly mesmerising.

Arashiyama, Kyoto

Now in 2017, I’ve already made some ambitious travelling plans, which I hope to accomplish by the end of the year. I realise that being a student with a shockingly high amount of free time and no money is a serious problem!

Who can relate?

-V.