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October 15th, part V - Continuing a full day in Salzburg.


Heavy traffic in Salzburg
Looking down on the Salzach River
Looking down on the Salzach River

We continued walking north through the woods on the top of the hill. Light was waning, and traffic was heavy down in the city, as the first photograph shows.

The second and third photographs are of the Salzach River, winding its way through Altstadt and Neustadt (Old City and New City).


And then we came across a pleasant surprise - the Hotel Schloss Monchstein, a five-star hotel nestled on the hill above the city. Just look at that place!

The second blurry image is of the plaque on the gate.

Judging from the cars in the parking lot in the last picture, I don't think I would A) be able to afford it, and B) would be welcome there in my jeans and a t-shirt.

The five-star Hotel Schloss Monchstein
Sign on the gate
Fancy cars in the parking lot

Our target - the Augustiner Braustubel

We walked down a winding sidewalk, took a turn to the west and literally skirted the back of the Hotel Schloss Monchstein property, and there it was - our destination, the Augustiner Braustubel.

We found an open hallway, but no further signs saying where to go. There was a large, plain door on the west wall, but it was utterly without markings. We could hear people within, but we kind of looked at each other, daring one another to go in and see if that was the right one. Finally, one of us got up the marbles to enter, and we were right - it was the right one.

Like an idiot, I didn't get any pictures of the inside of this place, but in my defense, no one else was snapping pictures like a dumb tourist, either.

The Braustubel is a monastery brewery and beer hall. It had a hallway lined with shops selling foods of all types - sausages, bread, pickles, pastries, cheeses, just about anything you could think of. We each went our separate ways, buying something here and there, putting together our dinner meal.

There were a number of beer halls there, at least six that I remember. Most of them were heavy with smoke, and we could barely breathe. Happily, we found a non-smoking one and had a seat.

These halls were giganto-normous. Each hall held hundreds of people at dozens of tables. We ate our food and had a mug of beer, which was quite tasty.


When we finished our meals and our beers, we wandered back out into the Salzburg night. We had walked several miles to get here through Old Town and the forest, but we were getting tired and had no urge to retrace our steps through the woods.

Rob was nervous, since he has issues navigating unknown places, but Tracy and I have built-in homing beacons and we set out down strange streets. We knew exactly where we needed to go, so Rob tagged along, letting us lead.

The first photograph is a shot of the same monastery tower, from a different angle and at night.

Along the way, we came across an absolutely gorgeous fountain.

We also found a square we had visited earlier in the day. The building on the east end was lit up, and it was quite beautiful.

Augustiner Braustubel tower at night
One of Salzburg's many fountains at night
A building overlooking a square at night

Opfen Himmel at night
Opfen Himmel at night
Opfen Himmel at night
Opfen Himmel at night
Opfen Himmel at night

As we made our way back to the hotel, we noticed some fireworks going up in the air ahead of us. They were nothing elaborate, just parachute flares, but it piqued our curiousity, so we headed down towards the river.

Once we got there, Tracy asked "Hey, are those torches on the river?" Sure enough, there was a line of floating torches bobbing gently on the river, flowing towards us. We watched them for a few minutes while we walked on the path alongside the river, before we noticed the torches across the river.

There was a line of torches, several hundred (if not thousands) in number, coming down the hill across the river. The people were streaming down from the monastery above New Town, and were walking along the opposite bank of the river.

They were crossing a bridge to the south of us, and then curving into Old Town. At some point as we walked, all the church bells in town began to ring madly, their rich metalic gongs echoing through the streets of Salzburg.

By this time, we were about dying of curiousity, so Tracy asked one of the locals that was also standing and watching the procession of torches. It turns out that we had literally stumbled upon the opening procession of the "Open Sky" (loose translation) festival commemorating the repatriation of many people back into the Catholic church, centuries ago.

It was pitch black, so the pictures really don't convey the magic of that event. They didn't turn out well, but I'll never be able to forget hearing dozens of church bells ringing out like crazy, as thousands of people marched through the streets with their torches.

And after that, we retired for the night back at the hotel. Tomorrow, we were off to Munich.

<-- Oct 15, part IV   Oct 16th -->

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