Short Stay in Salzburg

The visit started out as a stopover on our 13 hour drive from Croatia to Germany, but turned out to be one of the best cities we had ever been in!

Click here to read the previous blog post!

Before deciding to spend a night in Salzburg, Lukas told me that everyone he knows who has visited the city has nothing but good things to say! Now I understand how the city makes you fall in love with it.

The city centre has an ambience of elegance and prestige…. but what really blew me away was the fairytale setting (complete with the white horse and carriage)!

IMG_8436.JPG

We stayed in Connie’s modern airbnb just outside the city centre for the night which was ideal.

If you would like money off your first Airbnb use my personal link when booking!

It was early evening when we arrived in Salzburg and we wasted no time before wandering around the beautiful streets and squares.

IMG_8348.JPG

IMG_8329IMG_8326IMG_8342

For dinner we ate in a traditional Austrian restaurant called Alter Fuchs.

The outside seating area is great for people watching and soaking up the vibe but we chose to dine in the outside courtyard for a more exclusive feel. I would highly recommend the Rindersaftgulasch mit Semmelknödel und Essiggurkerl. If you are not fluent in German I would suggest order this dish by saying the beef goulash with dumplings!

IMG_8353.JPG

After consuming our weight in beer and goulash we headed back to the airbnb for the night.

In the morning we explored the birthplace of Wolfgang Mozart and discovered the famous Mozartkugeln! These are chocolate balls filled with marzipan, pistachio and nougat….had to buy some for the journey home!

IMG_8330.JPG

As well as admiring the baroque architecture from the town squares we decided to get an even more impressive view from the Hohensalzburg Fortress.

IMG_8384.JPG

Unfortunately, it was time to start our last part of the journey back Germany in the afternoon. Even though we had a fleeting visit to Salzburg, the memories will definitely form some of my favourite parts of our 2 week trip! I believe anyone could feel at home in this beautiful city and we look forward to returning soon.

IMG_8438.JPG

Heidelberg

Heidelberg…. the place where your dreams come true! My bad, that’s Disneyland but this place is just as magical…

Heidelberg in South Western Germany is a place for romantics, tourists, students, photographers and writers. Exactly my kind of place!

It is IMPOSSIBLE not to take an impressive picture of this town that MUST be  plastered all over your Instagram page! This place just begs you to take as many photos as you can to capture the iconic “I’m in Heidelberg” picture that focuses on capturing the town from each angle of the Alt Brucke (Old Bridge). 

DSC02120

I think my phone memory is full with photos from the weekend here…I have an extremely patient boyfriend/photographer…. 

Untitled design (3)

It was our third time staying in an Airbnb which I cannot recommend enough for a type of accommodation! We always find the coolest places and the hosts we have met so far have been extremely helpful and laid back.

If you would like £25 off your first stay you can use my referral code www.airbnb.co.uk/c/catrionak205

I flew into Baden airport with Ryanair which is an hours drive to Heidelberg and 1.5 hours on the train.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

……my flight was the grand total of £10!!!!!

Yes it was a one way ticket seeing as I was flying back from Stuttgart but £10! I pay more going from Edinburgh to Fife, seriously one way is £11.

If you think about it…..you could fly 900 miles for the price of a takeaway pizza….just a thought….

30957202_1845393482147769_538361655_o

We did not arrive in Heidelberg until the evening so after leaving our suitcases in our room for the night we headed into the centre. The weather was INSANE! It was even around 20 degrees at night! Everyone said it was unusual temperatures for the time of year…I guess I brought the sun from Scotland…

We rode on the tram to the town centre which was not the easiest system to work out….I think the machine was broken but we got there in the end and took the bus back! Just a little piece of advice…it may seem obvious…. but PAY ATTENTION to the station you get on from….we had no clue…

By the time we got into the main centre we were eager to find a restaurant quickly! We stumbled upon Perkeo (traditional German cuisine) hidden away in the winding streets. Apparently Perkeo was the Jester that kept the barrel in Alt Schloss (Old Castle) safe. I ordered Maultasche which is a must have when in Southern Germany. It’s similar to ravioli!

Fun Fact – Perkeo consumed 18 bottles of wine on a daily basis but died after drinking a glass of water…

Untitled design (5)Untitled design (6)

Heidelberg is a perfect place for a weekend break, it has enough buzz about it with the student bars and coffee shops, but also ideal if you want to see some sights! Unlike my previous weekend in Munich (which I loved) this trip was so much more relaxed.

We did see the famous attractions and landmarks but also had enough time to take it easy and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. However….the weather did make such a HUGE difference and made it more enjoyable to do less. It was 30 degrees during the day which was the ideal weather for stopping for iced coffee and frozen yogurt!

After walking along the riverside into the centre we headed straight towards the Alt Brucke (old bridge) so I could snap the iconic Heidelberg pictures!

DSC02208.JPG

Walking through the winding streets really does make you feel like you are in a fairy- tale, especially at the Schloss Heidelberg  (Castle)!

Untitled design (9).png

Even though all that remains of the castle are it’s ruins it attracts millions of people every year. At many points in the year a beautiful firework display takes place to commemorate the  attacks on the castle in the late 17th Century.

DSC02149DSC02179

After exploring the castle we spent our afternoon soaking up the sun at the top of the Philosophenweg (Philosophers Way). This walk is famous because it is known to have inspired many philosophers and writers throughout history! Don’t worry if you are not keen on long walks, it doesn’t take much time to get to the viewpoint at the top and there are many stone-made seating areas during the trail.

Untitled design (10)

Does it get much more Insta-worthy than this???

We finished our day by soaking up the last rays of sun in a beer gardenwhere I drank the regional Riesling wine of course….

Untitled design (11)

If Heidelberg is not already on your list of destinations…. I think it’s time to revise that list….

Prague

 

We jetted off to Prague for a short Winter break from the 4th-6th December 2016.  This was our first time in this city and we fell in love. In love with the history, the lights and the magical Christmas Markets. Originally we were just going to spend the majority of our time enjoying the markets but when we got there we realised that there was so much more to do that we would regret not doing!

Day 1

We arrived in Prague at 10:30am local time and got a transfer to our hotel. The hotel we were staying in was called Hotel Assenzio. All credits for finding this hotel go to the Holiday Pirate website! For £180 all in we got return flights from Edinburgh to Prague and a beautiful 4* centrally located hotel. We were a little worried that the hotel’s pictures wouldn’t live up to the real place but they did down to a tee. From the cellar hotel restaurant to the grand winding staircase. We would not hesitate to go back there!

After checking in we immediately started exploring Prague. We decided to google map (much easier than a compass)  our way to Wenceslas Square to check out the main Christmas market. However when we found ourselves in the centre we were slightly disheartened by the square, there were lots of ordinary high street shops and restaurants with a smallish Christmas Market. Don’t get us wrong the market was charming and the smoked sausage was incredible but it wasn’t the size of market we were expecting… DSC01292.JPG

However! We continued through the centre and what we thought was a straight line down (you never really know where you have and haven’t been in Prague, the winding streets have the same fascinating architecture at every turn) and discovered many more areas that were home to larger Christmas markets. During our time at these markets we indulged in the local Tredlic (think of churros) and delicious Czech mulled wine! Also we were a little under dressed for the below freezing weather in Prague, so naturally we wanted to blend in, so we purchased some furry hats!

After getting our energy from all the delicious food at the market we decided to find the 3rd oldest and only Astronomical Clock still working in the world!
It is placed in the most enchanting area in the whole city, The Old Town Square. 

 

Night 1 

The night began with a beautiful meal at a cosy cellar restaurant near the hotel called Husinec. We found this place on the way to the centre and decided it was worth checking out, how right we were! For starters Matthew had Beef soup and I had Baked Camembert with a glass of crisp champagne costing us only 39 czk ( very very very cheap). For our main courses Matthew went for the traditional Czech dish of Beef Goulash and potato dumplings, what a delicious and warming meal that was! I also had a delicious meal of homemade gnocchi served in a creamy bacon sauce. To accompany the food we drank from large wine tasting glasses a smooth Merlot (also very reasonably priced). In conclusion if you like a romantic location, good and filling food at a reasonable price eat here – you will love it!wine-in-prague

We were booked in for our exclusive 3o minute slot at the Ice Bar located in one of the largest clubs in Europe (Karlovzy Lazne) at 11pm. We set ourselves up for a fun night getting slightly tipsy at some really amazing bars before the Ice Bar!

We headed first to the Hemingway’s Bar for some cocktails as it was known to serve unusual drinks. When we got there the bar was completely full so a group of locals who had just been turned away from the bar asked the bar staff if there was anywhere she would recommend going to instead. She suggested a quirky little bar called “Cash Only” that was owned by Hemmingway. Honestly my favourite bar I have been to yet! It was intimate and stylish. We sat down stairs, we literally had that whole space to ourselves it was incredible. I drank a “Taste of Autumn” made with champagne, pear and spices!

To continue our “pub crawl” we ventured onto the Absintherie…. again another UNIQUE bar! I ordered a Absinthe fuelled Moscow Mule (served in a cool mug which I later bought before leaving), and Matthew ordered The Zombie! It was a really relaxed atmosphere in there with cool decor – I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. (They also prepared the absinthe properly with flames etc)

After our fair few drinks it was time to make our way to the Ice Bar (only 10 minutes from Absintherie).

The Ice bar was -18 degrees! Thank god they gave us a thermal jacket…

Day 2

We awoke rather sleepy…but didn’t want to miss a moment of Prague (or breakfast at the hotel).

As soon as we finished breakfast we walked into the centre again and bought more Christmas decorations for presents and consumed a variety of yummy food.

Potato, bacon, cheese and spinach (very good)                       Nutella crepes in the Old Town                                                                                                                     Square (obviously very good!)

Prague resembles a Disney princess movie, add snow and a white horse and carriage and you’ve got yourself the fairytale moment you always dreamed of (more relatable for girls maybe..)

When we got off the carriage we grabbed a hot chocolate from one of the stalls (the chocolate was so beautifully rich) we headed across the bridge to Prague Castle.

It was quite a walk from the centre to the castle, around an hour. By the time we got there all the lights were shining on the Christmas trees…but we were too late for the Castle entry. DSC01444.JPG

Instead we climbed (hiked!) up the stairs in the Cathedral’s bell tower. The climb was nothing compared to the enchanting view that we were rewarded with. Prague illuminated.dsc01474

This picture doesn’t do the view justice, go and see for yourself!

Night 2

On our way back to the hotel (for another bath!) we took a detour to view the John Lennon wall. We weren’t really bothered about seeing the wall but we were taken back by the time that people had spent creating this tribute.

DSC01500.JPG

We wined and dined and wined again at the Fred & Ginger restaurant at the top of the Dancing House. Hand on heart this was our favourite restaurant experience ever. This restaurant does not just offer unbeatable food (might not taste anything as good till we go back) it offers a whole experience. To dine at one of the most famous buildings in Europe, drink champagne (at a good price) while gazing at your panoramic view of Prague and be waited on by very attentive staff!

GO! GO! GO! GO!

 

If you love a little bit of magic, history, exquisite architecture, flavoursome food wherever you stumble upon, travel to Prague….just go!

Until next time…

Catriona

x