Mostar is a city located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is an easy drive from Dubrovnik. As we drove across the border, the transition was dramatic – from the Latin alphabet to the Cyrillic; from beautiful coastal buildings to houses that were still pockmarked with bullets or fully shelled.
Pictured here is the Old Bridge (Stari Most). It was destroyed in 1993 during the war, much to the dismay of many. However, in 2004 the bridge was rebuilt and stands today as a beacon of hope for the future of this war-torn country.
Ah, Salzburg – the city most famous for being the birthplace of Mozart, and the filming location for Sound of Music. Everything about this Austrian city is perfect and picturesque: narrow cobbled-stone streets, stunning architecture, friendly locals and delicious food. The more I travel Europe, the more I’ve come to appreciate the smaller moments and memories abroad. Yeah, sure … I enjoy Europe’s big attractions – many are famous for good reason – but I don’t enjoy wading through a sea of tourists. My favorite memories usually involve finding a nice place to eat that is tucked back along some alleyway, and enjoying the local cuisine while soaking up the sounds of a new language. And in this way, Austria did not disappoint. My only regret is that we only spent 1 night here – I think Salzburg deserves a 2-night minimum.
Highlights from Salzburg:
- We hiked up along the outskirts of the old city wall, and just as we reached the top of Mönchsberg an enormous rainstorm swept through. Thankfully we were able to take cover under some umbrellas outside a cozy pub called Die Stadtalm, where locals were scrambling to duck inside. It rained so hard that even the umbrellas couldn’t keep us dry. Despite the wetness, there was something special and romantic about standing with Luke in a rainstorm overlooking the city. Shortly after the storm front passed, the clouds broke and were treated to this spectacle:
City view from Mönchsberg
- We ate dinner at Zwettler’s Stiftskeller, a cozy restaurant centrally located near Mozartplatz in Old Town. I consumed the most exquisite, yet simple spinach dumpling. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Dinner at Zwettler’s Stiftskeller Escaping another rain storm at a street-side cafe
- We went super-touristy and purchased a few Mozartkugels, a chocolaty delight first introduce by local Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst. You can find imitation Mozartkugels on nearly every street corner, but at least we opted for the only place in the world that stills sells hand-made Mozartkugels using the original recipe. You can find these at Cafe Fürst right off Brodgasse in Old Town. As a chocolate lover, I very much approved.
- Lastly, we enjoyed a pleasant stroll through the gardens of Mirabell Palace, which you may recognize as the filming location for the “Do-Re-Me” scene in South of Music
Mirabell Gardens, with Salzburg Castle in the background
I’m not certain we will have time to go back to Austria during our time here (Vienna being the other popular destination), simply because our list is too long and there is much to see. But I’m content with this delicious mini-slice of Austria.