Saturday, 10 June 2017

SALZBURG | AUSTRIA



Salzburg is famous for it's classical musician Mozart and composer, Beethoven. It's renowned also for its scenic views and the sound of music, but it has a lot more to offer than those things too. The name 'Salzburg' means 'Salt Castle'. The name derives from the barges carrying salt on the Salzach river. It is a beautiful city with lot's of beautiful architecture, I love these colourful houses above. I love that you can see the Mountains from almost everywhere that you walk too, it adds a really nice feel to the place. My Uncle and I met up in Salzburg last weekend and we had a blast. I imagine it would be a lovely place for a family holiday (an older family), a couple's break or a fanatic of classical music and a friend's break. I can't imagine going here for a lively girl's weekend!



First stop for us, was GustaV café, the first and only vegan café in Salzburg. They had a delightful menu with all day breakfasts, and sandwiches. I did contemplate ordering an all day breakfast but I decided against it in the end because I haven't had cake since being in here in Austria and I really craved some homemade vegan cake. I got the peach panna cotta cake above, and it did not disappoint. The flavours were balanced perfectly. The sweet panna cotta mixed with the coconut flour sponge served with desiccated coconut and fresh fruit were a perfect combination. I enjoyed every bite. I also got a matcha latte, but next time I go I plan on trying out their beetroot latte.

Everything about GustaV is cute, the menus, chairs and tables make you feel as though you are at the mad hatters picnic. The décor makes you feel like you're living the right lifestyle as a vegan and as though you are on the right path having an interest in the planet too. They had a plant pot made out of an old football and various other quirky, creative, recycled objects. I almost felt as though I was back in Brighton when I was in there, which was nice.

My Uncle and I spent a little time chatting to the staff that worked there. We had a wonderful conversations about our ideas of a creative world full of love, but unfortunately the media and other external influences have pulled us away from that ideal. It's bizarre when you travel and meet people who feel exactly the way you do about certain aspects of life. It's also great to meet people who are as passionate about veganism and animal rights as you are too. I don't have any vegan friends, although I am lucky enough to have vegetarian friends, but café's like these make me feel at home and like I'm not 'the only vegan in the village' (welsh accent, little Britain style).


Before going to Salzburg, I was told that the Salt mines in Hallein were too expensive and to give it a miss, but in true Lisamarie-styley - I ignored them and went anyway. It turns out that I am 100% glad that I did ignore them because it was only 21 euros to get in, and for what you get on this tour, that is an absolute bargain. It just goes to show, that you should always go and see somewhere for yourself, don't listen to what other people have to say about a place you feel yourself gravitating towards.

When you first arrive, they ask you to change into some protective clothing - it becomes apparent why when you're on the tour. You then get taken on a little train into the mountain and into the salt mines. I felt like a true little miner and it was wonderful just imagining miners of the past doing the same journey to work. It had me wondering whether or not that was their worst part of the day because they dreaded getting dragged to work, or if they were grateful for their job and it was one of their favourite parts of the day. I guess it would have depended on the individual and their outlook on life, but it had me pondering either way and I enjoyed it.

Once you arrive to the next stop, you watch the first of a series of four, high-quality, interesting and informative films that they have filmed and produced especially for the mines. I loved how they had edited each one and used architecture and the mountain to add to them. After the short film, it was time for the first of two slides. I thought I would be scared to go on the slides, but I wasn't and they were so much fun. I was reading a book the other day, and in it the author had mentioned that a huge part of our healing is ensuring that we incorporate that child-like excitement and happiness into our adult lives, and I wholeheartedly agree. I had child-like silly fun on these slides and I would go back for those alone.

While you're walking through the Mountain, you cross the Austrian and German boarder, so technically you get to visit two countries in one tour, which is pretty cool. Once you're at the bottom of the mines, there is a huge lake, due to the leaching process where they pumped water through the rock to leach the salt out. We got a boat on that lake and it was one of my favourite experiences so far this year. We had a boat ride, inside a mountain, under a mountain with a light show and lot's of great music playing. I would have paid 21 euros for that part alone to be honest with you, but the fact that you get all of the other things included too is just out of this world. They even give you a small gift at the end, so the tickets are really worth their weight in gold, or shall we say, worth their weight in unprocessed, unbleached salt.


Our final trip in Salzburg itself was a boat ride along the Salzach river. We took the 'nice side of Salzburg' tour and it was lovely. We paid extra to sit outside because the man in the ticket office said it would be better for ventilation and photo taking, but to tell you the truth - he lied. I would have much rather had sat inside.

The outside part of the boat was a cramped part at the back of the boat with two rows of seats facing one another, so unless you're lucky enough to get a seat facing the back of the boat or at the end of the rows, then it is more or less just an awkward bus journey on a boat. I was two seats in with my back to the sights so I didn't get to appreciate the views as fully as I would have liked. I also managed to find myself sitting next to a couple that would not stop kissing and touching one another. I am not a grumpy old lady when it comes to those things, but when you're sitting shoulder to shoulder with a stranger, I feel you could tone down the PDA for just half an hour. It made me so awkward because I didn't want to keep looking their way. The end of the boat ride was super fun though as the driver put on some loud classical music and span us around for a few minutes so we could enjoy some final sights of Salzburg.

I love Salzburg, and I plan on returning at some point in the near future to visit the Castle and go on a sound of music tour too. I enjoyed the food in Salzburg, albeit not traditionally vegan, it was absolutely delicious, if you're curious about anything else we got up to while we were there - check out my Instagram here. If you ever find yourselves in Salzburg I highly recommend the Salt mines, and Gusta V, and if money is tight - make the mines your first priority!

Peace out Potatoes xo


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