08 November - Linz & Salzburg, Austria

This morning I awoke in the town of Linz. Linz is the third-largest city of Austria and capital of the state of Upper Austria. It is located in the north centre of Austria, approximately 19 miles south of the Czech border, on both sides of the river Danube. The weather was unbelievable today with a bright sun and temperatures in the mid sixties, could not have asked for better.

The city was founded by the Romans, who called it Lentia. The name Linz was first recorded in AD 799. It was a provincial and local government city of the Holy Roman Empire, and an important trading point connecting several routes, on either side of the river Danube from the East to the West and Bohemia and Poland from north to the Balkans and Italy to the south. Being the city where the Habsburg Emperor Friedrich III spent his last years, it was, for a short period of time, the most important city in the empire. It lost its status to Vienna and Prague after the death of the Emperor in 1493.

One important inhabitant of the city was Johannes Kepler, who spent several years of his life in the city teaching mathematics. He discovered, on 15 May 1618, the distance-cubed-over-time-squared — or 'third' — law of planetary motion. The local public university, Johannes Kepler University, is named after him. Another famous citizen was Anton Bruckner, who spent the years between 1855 and 1868 working as a local composer and church organist in the city. The Brucknerhaus is named after him.

Adolf Hitler was born in the border town of Braunau am Inn but moved to Linz in his childhood. Hitler spent most of his youth in the Linz area, from 1898 until 1907, when he left for Vienna. The family lived first in the village of Leonding on the outskirts of town, and then on the Humboldtstrasse in Linz. After elementary education in Leonding, Hitler was enrolled in the Realschule (school) in Linz, as was the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. 

Notorious Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann also spent his youth in Linz. To the end of his life, Hitler considered Linz to be his "home town", and envisioned extensive architectural schemes for it, wanting it to become the main cultural centre of the Third Reich. In order to make the city economically vibrant, Hitler initiated a major industrialization of Linz shortly before, and during, World War II.

We had an early breakfast because we had a full day tour to Salzburg planned and I couldn't wait to see where they filmed the "Sound of Music" one of my favorite movies.

The ride to Salzburg was several hours so we made a stop along the way to a great rest stop on Moonlake. This was an amazing area with the restaurant having glass walls all around so you can have a Cafe Latte and croissant while viewing the lake, it was breathtaking.

When we arrived in Salzburg we had a walking tour which was amazing.

Salzburg's "Old Town" (Altstadt) has internationally renowned baroque architecture and one of the best-preserved city centres north of the Alps. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Host to three universities and a large population of students, Salzburg is noted for its attractive setting and scenic Alpine backdrop. Salzburg was the birthplace of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

In the mid‑20th century, the city was the setting for parts of the musical and film The Sound of Music. Traces of human settlements have been found in the area dating to the Neolithic Age. The first settlements at Salzburg were apparently begun by the Celts around the 5th century BC.

Around 15 BC the separate settlements were merged into one city by the Roman Empire. At this time the city was called Juvavum and was awarded the status of a Roman municipium in 45 AD. Juvavum developed into an important town of the Roman province of Noricum. After the collapse of the Norican frontier, Juvavum declined so sharply that by the late 7th century it had become a "near ruin".

The Life of Saint Rupert credits the 8th-century saint with the city's rebirth. When Theodo of Bavaria asked Rupert to become bishop c. 700, Rupert reconnoitered the river for the site of his basilica. Rupert chose Juvavum, ordained priests, and annexed the manor Piding. Rupert named the city "Salzburg". He traveled to evangelise among pagans. The name Salzburg means "Salt Castle". It derives its name from the barges carrying salt on the Salzach River, which were subject to a toll in the 8th century, as was customary for many communities and cities on European rivers. The Festung Hohensalzburg, the city's fortress, was built in 1077 and expanded during the following centuries.

Once the city tour was over we had four hours of free time and I made my way to the cable car to take me up to the Hohensalzburg castle overlooking the city.

Construction of the fortress began in 1077 under Archbishop Gebhard von Helfenstein. This original design was just a basic bailey with a wooden wall. In the Holy Roman Empire, the archbishops of Salzburg were already powerful political figures and they expanded the castle to protect their interests. Gebhard's conflict with Emperor Henry IV during the Investiture Controversy influenced the expansion of the castle, with the Archbishop taking the side of Pope Gregory VII and the German anti-king Rudolf of Rheinfelden. The castle was gradually expanded during the following centuries. The ring walls and towers were built in 1462 under Prince-Archbishop Burkhard II von WeiƟpriach.

I wandered around the fortress which had incredible views of all of Salzburg and I took a ton of photos. 

There was a cute restaurant up there where I had lunch. I had sausages and french fries which were really terrific.

After my tour of the fortress I wandered the streets of Salzburg to do some shopping and to take some more pictures. Every place you look is a photo op and I think I took 400 pictures today.

There is a cute square in front of Mozart's house which is bright yellow. This is a very busy place as you can imagine and there was a man selling warm chestnuts from a cart which smelled great.


Salzburg is a beautiful city with great ornate storefront signs. After some shopping I got a cafe latte and then headed back to the meeting point to take the tour bus back to the ship.

This was a long day so after dinner I was happy to take a nice hot shower and cuddle up in my bed with my nightly hot chocolate before a well deserved sleep.

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