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With Friends in Salzburg

May 14, 2015

Last weekend we had quite the gathering of old friends in Salzburg, Austria.  We met up from all corners of the globe for various reasons but somehow it all worked out timing-wise and we had an amazing weekend.

Steve came to Europe from Pasadena to buy himself a brand new BMW, drive it around and enjoy the autobahn, and then import it to the US as a “used car” to save on the taxes.  BG flew in from San Fran to join Steve on his road trip, and so he could run a marathon in Salzuburg.  Jen drove from France (but lives near Frankfurt), so she could both hang out with  BG.  Aron took the train from Leipzig (near us) to meet up with Steve and BG and to run in the marathon.  Adam flew from San Francisco because… he really loves traveling?  And finally, we drove 5 hours from Dresden so we could spend two evenings hanging out with these crazy awesome friends.


Salzburg was a surprisingly tiny and simultaneously tourist-packed city.  It was a bit of a grey, drizzly weekend, but, thanks to our combined motivation, we packed a lot into a short trip.    Cliffs loom over city on either side of the river, and the Hohensalzburg fortress at the top, the Salzburg’s defining landmark, can be seen from anywhere in the city.    On our first day, we met up with everyone at Steve’s hotel (impressive given that only two of the group had working cell phones) and started wandering around town.  After finding some snacks for lunch at a local wine festival, we strolled through a lovely garden, crossed the river, made a short stop to sip tea and coffee, and then headed straight up towards the castle.  The views of the surrounding city and being able to explore inside the fortress itself were more than worth the climb and the entrance fee.

As it started to get dark, we made our way to a famous beer hall and brewery called Augustinerbrau, where we had quite a few liters of beer.  I can’t remember anymore whether we made it to a second bar after that…. I have a feeling that we did indeed.

The next day, while BG and Aron ran a marathon in the rain, the rest of us took a scenic drive in Steve’s bright orange new BMW to the German border town where Hitler’s vacation home, Eagle’s Nest, is still located.   Since the road up to the Eagle’s Nest was still closed until the snow melted, we toured the bunkers built into the base of the mountain.   We drove back to Salzburg just as the guys finished their race, and had a celebratory Doner kebab.  After a lazy afternoon of strolling and drinking beer, we finally ended up back in a hotel room for a long lazy evening of playing an epic game of Cards Against Humanity.

On our last morning we all went to the “Hellbrun” water palace , which was built by an archbishop/prince as a pleasure palace to entertain guests during the early 1600’s.  The palace was built around a clearwater spring and features gardens with novelty and trick fountains all over, which the prince used to surprise his guests.


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