Fairy tale Salzburg
I had a couple of days to kill between Ljubljana and going skiing in the Austrian Alps so I decided to pay Salzburg a visit. Salzburg is a beautiful Austrian town made famous for being the place where The Sound of Music was filmed and also where Mozart lived.
Accomodation: I stayed at the A&O Salsburg Hauptbanhof. The hostel was ok (it was only for one night), the only thing that annoyed me was I had to pay extra for sheets. There was lift access to the room but no disabled bathroom. The room however was nice and large. The good thing about it was so close to the train station which was great for me as I arrived by train and departed by train and wasn’t going to be in Salzburg for long.
Transport: Salzburg is really small so no need for any public transport. The longest distance was from the hostel/train station to the old town – about 20 minutes walk/push
Overall Accessibility: Like most old towns there are cobblestones to contend with but they are not too bad. The main old town is fairly flat but getting back to the train station and also heading up to the castle, there is a little hill. Some of the restaurants/cafes/shops have one step to get in but it’s not too bad.
*Side note – the main thing to do in Salzburg is to go on a Sound of Music tour (I didn’t do this as I didn’t have enough time or money). This tour https://www.toursales.com/Salzburg-Sound-of-Music-Tour-p/leuaasz678zsomt-sp.htm is supposed to be accessible, however don’t know what that means (is there a lift into the bus?, can you take power chairs? etc) so best giving them a call.
Day 1: Mirrabell Gardens, The Cathedral, Christmas markets
Caught an early bus and then a train from Ljubiliana to Salzburg. Both were pretty hassle free. The train ride was beautiful as you got some lovely views of the mountains out the train windows.
Arrived, dropped my bag at the hostel and made my way into the old town. My first stop was the Mirrabell Palace and gardens. I didn’t go into the palace but the gardens were absolutely beautiful, very ornate with lots of statues, ornamental hedges, fountains etc.
I then crossed the river into the main shopping district of Salzburg the Getreidegasse. Just walking down the Getreidegasse is beautiful. All the shop fronts are decorated with Christmas decorations and fairylights line the streets. I ended up at Mozarts house (it’s no hard to miss as there are billion people outside taking photos). Unfortunately it is not accessible and you can’t even ask anyone to give you a hand as the entry is up a flight of stairs. I did go to the Mozart house before I was disabled back in 2004 ( a long time ago now) and I don’t remember it being very remarkable.
I spent more time wandering the streets and looking at the beautiful old buildings with its baroque architecture. Because it was almost Christmas there were horse drawn carriages and a large Christmas market covering the two main squares. It was really beautiful and looked like something out of a postcard. I have a fascination with Christmas in cold countries (being from Australia) it’s like something from a fairy-tale. I went inside the Cathedral which was fully accessible and beautiful inside.
By that time it was getting dark and cold and I coincidentally ran into a girl I met in Budapest and we ended up sharing a meal (its amazing who you meet when you travel)
Day 2: The Funnicular and castle
I went back to the old town and decided to catch the funnicular rail up to the Hohensalzburg (castle).To get to the start of the funnicular there is quite a steep hill with cobblestones – this would have been a lot easier if I had someone with me. As a wheelchair user the ride up and down the funnicular is free. However once you get up the top you only really have access to a couple of viewing platforms as to get into the main castle there are steps. The view from the top was beautiful though.
After the castle I walked around Salzburg a bit more just taking in the atmosphere of the place and walking along the river.
I then went back to the train station to work out how I was going to get to my next destination in the Austrian Alps – it wasn’t going to be easy. There was only one accessible train so I had to wait, and once I got to my required train station the train station itself didn’t have a ramp. After explaining to the station staff that I just need one person to help me down the stairs I got on the train to begin my sit skiing adventures.