But it was a beautiflul town and a beautiful day (I'm still incredibly lucky with the weather), so I enjoyed exploring the little town's lanes and shops. I had dinner at a wonderful riverside vegetarian restaurant whose food made me reaffirm my culinary choices. The chef must have sprinkled a little pixie dust on the food-- it was magic, what she could do with a meatless menu. If the place moved to somewhere in the U.S., I think I'd have to move there too!
But Salzburg itself is a joy. Like a miniature Vienna, it has pretty churches and a nice, compact, easily walkable old town, as well as one of the finest castles I've seen, a huge fortress towering over the town with a great museum inside. Before that, though, I went to the abbey where Maria was a nun in The Sound of Music. I don't think it was open for visitors (I found no signs) but I overheard a bit about it from a private guide giving a tour of the outside. It had a rather unremarkable exterior but the views were terrific. The only thing higher up was the castle, which I next went to. The only thing I liked better than the castle itself were the pretty girls touring it, so I kind of followed them, feigning interest in the exhibits whenever they looked my way. I finally took the funicular down (which I should have taken up, but was already half-way there anyway at the abbey) and checked out the Mirabelle Gardens. These are the pride of Salzburg and were also in The Sound of Music. Speaking of the movie, there's all kinds of tours you can go on and see other sights from it but as they cost around fifty bucks I declined on them.
Other than that I just did the usual, peeking inside old churches, sniffing musty old furniture and stuff in museums, and trying to avoid the other tourists. The only problem was the usual blocked-off historic area with the usual giant screens and blasting music... it was kinda fun to watch until I went to bed and soccer fans kept streaming by my window singing, yelling and blowing horns...until 3:00 a.m.! I couldn't even close the windows because the little room quickly became stuffy, and when I had asked the caretaker if he had any electric fans he just kind of chuckled a "nein". The gashof (guesthouse) also didn't have internet so I found a little (expensive) internet place where the guy kindly told me that since I had my own laptop, he knew of a hotspot where I could get it free. I thanked him profusely and henceforth did my emailing sitting on some steps in front of Mozart's house. I wonder what the composer would have thought of that? And I hear he didn't even like this place and couldn't wait to leave. Pity, it's really a rather nice place.
Next: Munich-- where the REAL beer drinking takes place!