Our journey to Salzburg on Saturday morning, took us along the course of The Salzach River , through deep gorges and, once again, murky driving conditions (so didn’t manage to get any decent pics of said gorges!), until we reached our sleepy spot for the next couple of nights – Camping Schloss Aigen, just 5km outside Salzburg’s Aldstat and with a great view of Salzburg’s most famous landmark, The Hohensalzburg Fortress
The campsite was pretty much just a field and we were a tad nervous about parking-up there after all the heavy rainfall lest we got bogged-down in muck. Thankfully, we needn’t have worried – they appeared not to have had the torrential rain we’d had further West recently, so the ground was damp rather than soggy. As we’d arrived early in the afternoon, there were plenty of spaces to choose from (another worry we’d had, it being a weekend and the fact that, despite it now being “High Season”, this particular site only charge €27/night, including electricity!). Just as well we DID arrive early – as the day progressed, the site became bunged with huge Danish caravans – so much so that Roy declared us to have been “Dane-Packed! Is there no end to his wit…..? :-).
We availed of the cheap onsite washing machine to get our bed linen, towels etc washed and, as the sun came out, so did our washing line and the stuff was dried and back on the bed within a couple of hours! Happy days! We half thought of venturing into Salzburg on Saturday evening but, by the time the chores were done and Harley had been walked through the adjoining woodland, we decided against it and had our first barbecued dinner for a while. The Danes who’d arrived on Saturday afternoon, evening and after dark were obviously on route to more southerly destinations and there was a mass exodus from 6.30am onwards on Sunday morning! They didn’t go quietly either….so much for our leisurely Sunday morning lie-in….
After walking Harley, we headed into Salzburg for a few hours on the bikes – first time they’ve seen the light of day since Christmas! With hindsight, we shudda left ’em where they were and walked in, it would have been far less irritating! My bike has decided to slip the gears everytime I go for a gear change, which is annoying in itself, but, far far worse, the wheel has now decided to rub against the frame with every turn – it’s like trying to ride with the brake on! Plus, it makes this hugely embarrassing noise as it rubs! I hate it! Much cursing ensued before we reached Salzburg’s Altstadt, I can tell you!
Anyhow, our first port of call was the aforementioned Hohensalzburg Fortress – we paid our €12 each and hopped on the funicular railway which whisked us up to the fortress in a matter of minutes, whilst giving us fab views of Salzburg as it did so. We spent a good while walking around the fortress and into the museums included in our ticket before opting to walk back down to the town – we both agreed that the walk up would’ve been horrendous, so steep was it, so we were thankful we’d paid the fee for the funicular!
The next few hours were spent meandering around Salzburg’s Old Town, taking in Mozart’s Birthplace etc – the whole town is “Mozart Mad”, along with, naturally, many references to The Sound Of Music and The Von Trapp Family. It’s many, many years since I saw the film but I did recognise a few places – we kinda wished we’d watched it again recently to put it all into perspective! It’s a beautiful town – lots of fab architecture etc – but very, very touristy and, as the afternoon went on, the place started to get overrun with coach parties, despite the shops (apart from the souvenir shops-of which there were many!) being closed on a Sunday.
We wanted to hang around and hear the famous Glockenspiel chime at 6pm (it happens at 7am. 11am and 6pm) so we whiled away the time over an aperitif before heading back to Residenz Plaza in readiness for 6pm – ringside (pardon the pun!) seats, you could say. Well, 6pm came and went and no chimes from the Glock! Further investigation revealed that the Tower Clock had actually stopped!!! By this stage, we were chatting to an Aussie couple who were on a whistle stop seven week tour of what appeared to be half of Europe! As they listed the places they’d been and were going to in that time, plus the fact that they’d had to get up at 6.30am to get a bus from Vienna to Salzburg, we agreed that it all sounded absolutely exhausting and we thanked our lucky stars that we don’t have such a hectic schedule! We finally managed to escape the talkative Mrs Oz and head back to Harley and Sebo, half expecting to see that he’d broken into the garage to get his own dinner since we were so late! My bike drove me mad once again on the way back and, as we cycled over the Salzach bridge, I have to admit to a fleeting temptation to dismounting and chucking it into the river!
On Monday morning, we decamped and drove up to Berchtesgaden, where we found a handy free spot right at the base of Mount Jenner and with a view of The Eagles Nest – the Tea House built for Hitler between 1937 and 1938. That’s our tourist stop for tomorrow sorted! We were joined by three other motorhomes at our peaceful sleepy spot and, as the sun started to set, we were all out with our cameras snapping the awesome colour of Mount Jenner!