Austria: Saludos de Salzburg
Salzburg is the fourth largest city in Austria and literally means “salt castle.” The city is built around the Hohensalzburg Fortress — one of the largest castles in Europe that has been protecting the city since 1077. From its plum position sitting atop a hill in the middle of the city, it’s no wonder why its walls have never been breached since it’s quite a hike to get up there. It took our breaths away in more than one way! Since the most majestic views of the city are from the fortress, we spent ample time touring the grounds and marveling at the views.
The main thing to do in the town of Salzburg is to try the salt! It’s been one of the biggest salt-mining and salt-trading cities since Roman times. Thus, we stopped into the town’s shops to try it. It was good, but I’m not the saltiest of dogs and much prefer sweets. So, I happened to discover a popular Austrian chocolate confection called the Mozartkugel. It’s a dark chocolate-covered truffle filled with pistachio marzipan and nougat that was created in Salzburg circa 1890. I had two different kinds that were both delicious!
Salzburg’s other main claim-to-fame is being the birthplace of the classical music legend, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. We visited both his birth home (pictured) and the home of his youth, which are now walking museums. Mozart achieved fame during his adolescence, so he didn’t spend as much time in Salzburg, and moved promptly to Vienna — the musical mecca of the time. But, I got the chance to meet the man himself at Mozartplatz, the main square in the center of town where his figure is immortalized.
Overall, the intermittent rainy weather clouded our enjoyment, but it’s cute cobblestones streets with its medieval architecture still gave off a quaint feel to the city.
We also got to try a traditional Austrian meal. The cuisine wasn’t exactly our favorite though since its main staples of wiener schnitzel (pictured) and bratwurst are a bit too hardy for our tastes. But, we found some great salads that didn’t leave us feeling so fried.
And, we also made some new friends! Ash and I met up with Olga Maria and her husband, Helmut, while in Salzburg. I first became aware of Olga Maria when we both won Latina Magazine’s Next Generation Latina Award in 2011. We didn’t have a chance to connect at the awards ceremony, but we kept in touch via Facebook thereafter. Only recently have I gotten to learn more about her and her work at Dreams in Heels by Olga Maria and Latinas Who Travel | Latinas Que Viajan. She’s pretty inspirational living her dreams as a full-time blogger and traveling the world in heels!
We connected over dinner where I learned more about her mission to encourage more Latinas to travel as a means of opening up our worlds and our minds. I loved it! Olga Maria even gave me a celebratory t-shirt to commemorate the occasion of our first official meeting. I’ll proudly don it as I travel around the world! I would highly recommend that any Latinas who have been bitten by the travel-bug join the Latinas Who Travel Facebook Group to connect with other traveling Latinas, learn more about potential travel destinations, and get inspired to pack up your suitcase and go!