After sleeping in late (9am) from a long night of watching World Cup matches, we got ready for the train to Salzburg, Austria. Last night was an interesting night.; in between the long night of matches, I talked with some Swiss hippies who told me where the best hikes in the alps are that won’t be so touristy. I also attempted to learn how to pronounce some Swiss German words that ended up being an epic failure despite their best efforts to teach me. Interestingly and oddly enough, I found out how a white guy can turn his hair into dreads. As a side note, I have noticed a certain trend while navigating Europe with me father; he will walk around aimlessly like a blind man until his guide dog (me, the one and only) figures out where to go. As a shout out to myself, I have finally conquered a city’s bus system as we bounced from stop to stop weaving through this expansive city hunched over a lake. Anyways, as much as I am not a fan of sitting still in a vehicle for a long period of time, the train ride to Salzburg offered the most picturesque scenery I have seen up to this point in the trip. The train sped along the valley floor scurrying towards its destination while being guided by the whims of the earthly gods who chose our path. These monstrous gods of stone were cloaked by every hue of green nature could bring to life and crowned by remnants of winter’s pearly white that fought the clouds for our attention. Amongst all this natural beauty sat the luckiest people of all, the villagers that chose the mountain side as their home. After getting some much needed rest, we arrived in the city of Mozart and The Sound of Music and I could not care less (I was huuuunggry!). We found a beer hall off a side street and to my utter disbelief the menu had vegetables, you know the things that grow out of the ground. I ordered baked fish topped with sliced blanched almonds over a generous 🙂 bed of vegetables (roasted tomatoes and peppers, eggplant, onions, etc.). The meal might as well have been manna from heaven because it saved me from the meat, bread, and cheap street food from Zurich. Mmmh! After experiencing food nirvana, we roamed around Salzburg to get familiar with the area before we tackled all the sights tomorrow. The Old Town had plenty of fancy shops, tourist stores that sold Mozart chocolates (the ones filled with green pistachio marzipan and nougat), and architecturally pleasing churches and cathedrals. The one sight that made the night for me, besides the aforementioned food, was a large chess board marked on the plaza with gigantic chess pieces spread on the board. Watching little kids use all their might to move the pieces while tried to play a game was one of the cutest i have seen in awhile; they looked like chess grandmasters surveying the area in an attempt to take advantage of their sibling’s mistake. The night ended with another relaxed evening of watching some good ol’ football.
Day 20: A Train Ride Through The Mountains