Day 7: Boat ride on the Salzach, Hellbrunn Castle and Salzburg Good Bye's
It's so hard waking up on your last day of a trip of a lifetime. The sun shone brightly. Salzburg city seemed to glow in it's splendor and we tried to enjoy every last minute of this gorgeous and bittersweet day.
We have an early morning airport shuttle arranged for our flight tomorrow so we had to pack today. We spend the morning trying to cram as much chocolate as possible into suitcases hoping they won't make our bags over the weight limit or be taken by customs. Cross your fingers (or hold your thumbs as they say in German) if you hope to get some!
At noon we headed down to the Salzach river to take the boat cruise that we had orginally planned on taking our first arrival day in Salzburg. What a contrast today was to last Sunday when the river was flooded, it was poring rain and 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Today was sunny and 78 degrees Fahrenheit and the river was almost back to it's regular size except for a very strong current and a few remnants of the flood in the form of branches, logs and even a tire floating by.
We got on the "Amadeus Salzburg" Shiffahrt River Boat Cruise for a 20 minute cruise up river to Hellbrunn Palace. The boat ride was nice, they even had an area up front for kids with little ship steering wheels so the kids could "steer" along with the captain up the river.
Once we arrived in Hellbrunn an old red double-decker bus took us on a 5 minute ride over to the palace. Naturally, the kids had to sit on the top. We arrived 20 minutes before the next tour of the trick water fountain gardens. In 1612, Archbishop Markus Sittikus commissioned a "pleasure palace" to be built at the sight of the well-watered Hellbrunn mountain. He must have been so wealthy he was either really bored and desperately needed entertainment or just a big kid who loved practical jokes because the palace garden is full of hidden water spouts and water figurines created for his amusement. He would seat his guests at a large stone outdoor table in the garden and then trick them by turning on water spouts full blast under their seats. Back in his day it was forbidden to stand up at a table before the archbishop did so they were forced to remain seated. The guy must have been a real hoot.
The kids sat at this same stone table today and shrieked with surprise when they turned the spouts on full blast.
The garden is full of areas that you can unexpectedly get wet. This was a pathway that everyone had to walk through so we all got a bit wet today, but it actually felt great on the first hot day we've had here during our entire two weeks.
The kids loved this tour so much they wanted to do it again when were done even though they got completely soaked. But we headed back to Salzburg on a city bus. Once in the old town, we took a horse and carriage ride which the kids enjoyed.
After that, the kids went over to a playground at Mirabell Gardens with my husband while I took one last good-bye walk though the old town.
What I love about Salzburg is that so much of it never changes. Some of the oldest buildings are over 1,000 years and even though "The Sound of Music" was filmed here almost 50 years ago, the locations they used then still look the same today. However, one thing was new to me this trip to Salzburg. In the early 2000's an extra foot/bike bridge was built across the Salzach river into the old town. At that same time a trend had started in Europe to put "love locks" on bridges. Apparently the idea originated in Italy with a best-selling book that was also made into a movie featuring lovers affixing padlocks to the bridge Ponte Milvio in Rome and throwing away the key in order to "lock" their love. Salzburg now has one foot bridge full of hundreds of these locks. I had heard of these love locks but had never seen so many on one bridge. I can understand why this location is so popular as it is one of the most romantic views in the world.
I could relate to those locks. Except in my case I wish I could have symbolically placed my own lock on that bridge and thrown away the key - because I will always love Salzburg and Austria.