After a five-hour train ride from Budapest I arrived in Salzburg yesterday evening. The multi-stop Budapest to Munich train went through some beautiful country including field after field of blooming yellow sunflowers. I’m staying in an outlying area called Wals. The peaceful Wals-Siezenheim community is known for Schloss Klessheim, a former summer residence of the Salzburg archbishops.
Wals is on the German, Austrian border about a 20-minute drive west of Salzburg. After spending time in several large cities I thought living in a rural environment would be nice for a few days. So far I’m enjoying the ducks and other birds as they begin their busy day at dawn! One particular duck likes to make itself known…
The spectacular landscape is mostly farmland with a backdrop of several mountains, including The Untersberg, part of the Berchtesgaden Alps. If you don’t want to climb, a cable car runs up the mountain to Geiereck Peak (6,470 ft.).
The hotel owner says there are two ways to climb The Untersberg – one has lots of exposure and sounds dangerous. The other is through the forest so it takes longer and the views aren’t as spectacular but it’s a nice three-hour climb to the top. There are no organized hiking groups, so you have to go it on your own.
In addition to The Untersberg, there are several smaller mountains and options for hiking, bicycling, and enjoying the glorious natural surroundings in the area. The hotel has bicycles available at no charge.
The Italian Alps are only a 30-minute drive south and the hotel has a beautiful garden and two swimming pools – one outside and one inside. I may be lazy for a day and swim and sun before exploring. The transitions from country to country are tiring. I plan to go into Salzburg to attend at least one concert and there are many possibilities including a candlelight dinner concert in Baroque Hall.
“The Baroque-Hall of Stiftskeller St. Peter is in the oldest part of Salzburg in the famous Benedictine monastery. It’s one of the last concert halls in Salzburg where real candlelight is still permitted.” The beautiful city rests along the banks of the Salzach River, one of the most important rivers of the Austrian Alps.
The hotel / lodge is fully booked mostly with families from Austria, Italy, France, and Germany. Heard many European languages at breakfast this morning and “duck” was spoken outside.