Travel Log: Salzburg, Austria

I was in Salzburg, Austria for a few days in July 2008 for a friend’s wedding and wanted to write a post to pay hommage.   This was a really short trip, mostly occupied by wedding related activities.  But what an incredible time!

I  flew from SFO to JFK to connect with a couple of friends for the rest of the journey. From there we flew to Heathrow, then to Munich,and then by train to Salzburg.  San Francisco is just obnoxiously far from almost any destination in the world.

My first impression of Salzburg was that it’s a very wealthy city.  Everything is very clean and charmingly ritzy.  I’m not sure how the town makes money (Sacher cake is pretty damn tasty), but some of the locals suggested that much of the city’s wealth comes from real estate investment… I read somewhere it’s from medieval salt trade.  Who knows.  Definitely rich.

We stayed at a hotel in the heart of the city… Star Inn Hotel Zentrum and spent our first evening and next day in lovely Anif at a rented country mansion that hosted the Mehndi ceremony and Hindu wedding.   That afternoon we toured some of the main attractions in Salzburg, including the Festung, Hellbrunn Castle, and a couple of cathedrals.   All guests met later that evening for dinner and beer at a local beer house and many of us carried the party onward to a string of local pubs and clubs.

Salzburg nightlife may have some options for avid ravers and club-goers, but if memory serves, the clubs we went to were more on the mellow side.  No elbowing, no toe-mangling, no drink-spilling sloppy drunks (okay, I probably spilled on myself a bit… but I’m clumsy sober), no spastic light shows or deafening sound-systems, and there was actually room to dance.   The music was good and I felt at ease dressed in tshirt & jeans… Definitely my kind of scene.

That night I was stung by a beast of a mosquito (or something) in the eyelid and woke up with my eye swollen completely shut.  Looked hot with a strappy dress.

The following morning, we attended the beautiful Protestant wedding ceremony at a local cathedral on the river.  The highlight was the wedding reception (which lasted 11 hours) at a hilltop restaurant – M32 – overlooking a very breathtaking Salzburg.  While the views and venue were perfectly elegant, the planned activities and guests really made this event.  Over the course of 11 hours we enjoyed cocktails on the terrace, an incredible dinner spread, a New York & hearts themed wedding cake, garba-raas (including lessons for newbies), heart-shaped balloon drop, an impromptu 4th of July celebration (sparklies included), crazy 3-D sunglasses that refracted light into hearts,  a Milli Vanilli reunion, hours of dancing, and cigars & bourbon on the terrace…

I can’t promise that every Salzburg experience will be as memorable as mine, but I do recommend a visit.  Even if you’re not into Mozart or the Sound of Music, Salzburg is a lovely city to visit.  The locals are kind and happy (possibly because everyone is comfortably wealthy), the sites and scenes are picturesque, and the beer is delicious.

View from M32

View from M32


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