Saturday was spent first getting to the funicular when it opened at 9am to take us up to the “Festung hohensalzburg” or castle fortress before the onslaught of the tour groups. We were well rewarded as we virtually had the place to ourselves for the first hour. The fortress town had been a very large one. An excellent presentation showed how the fort developed from the 800’s to the mid 1800’s. We had a wonderful view from there over the city, river and surrounding countryside. The funicular took us back to street level and we took a long walk to the Mirabel gardens which were full of stunning roses and floral displays. There were many civil weddings taking place during the morning with groups of well attired men and women congratulating the happy couples and having photos taken in the gardens. Lena gave us the name of a vegan restaurant called “Heart of Joy” and we had a good lunch there just opposite the gardens in a leafy part of the city.

An old lady at the bus stop in the morning told us that the weather was to change drastically in the early evening so we decided to make the most of the sunny, hot day to continue half an hour away to Hellbrun palace and gardens. You must join a group to visit the trick fountains found there and a guide showed us the many trick fountains where most of us got a bit if not very wet along the way. It was good fun and no-one minded as it was still hot. The gardens are vast so we had a bit more of a walk and had photos taken by the conservatory used in the film “The sound of music”. It was donated to Hellbrun after filming had finished and was restored and placed in the gardens. Back in the city we lashed out and had afternoon tea at the Sacher hotel before getting back to the campsite where a huge storm had started about 5.30pm with much thunder, lightning and rain which went on overnight. By the next morning it was overcast and much cooler so we were back in long sleeves again.

We had decided to visit a couple of museums in the afternoon and as it was sprinkling with rain it was a good move. The Dom and Residenz complex was a vast one which took in the abbey, church and state rooms of the Archbishops and we could visit them all and didn’t get wet as they were interconnected . We moved on from there to the “Moenksburg” where we took the lift up to the top of the mountain where the museum of modern art was housed . There was an interesting display of poster art from 1869 to 1918 by Toulouse Lautrec and other artists as well as some very modern art adorning many rooms. It was still sprinkling when we arrived at St Peter’s restaurant which dated back from 803. An enormous restaurant made up of many rooms and a beautiful outdoor area. You could have a set menu with music upstairs (Mozart of course) or eat a la carte downstairs which is what we opted for.
The service and food was excellent and I had the apple and apricot juice which they said was hand picked! It was the best I had ever tasted and Maurice said the same of his apple and pear juice.
By the time we got back to the van it had started raining a little harder so we were pleased that we had had the best of the weather to see such a beautiful city.
We left for Schwetzingen near Heidelberg to Maurice’s cousin the following day which was a very grey cloudy one.

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