The Colors & Natural Beauty of Salzburgerland

No, Salzburgerland is not a made-up name from some childhood fairy tale, but the region that includes the historical city of Salzburg Austria.
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No, Salzburgerland is not a made-up name from some childhood fairy tale, but the region that includes the historical city of Salzburg, Austria. From countryside drives where mist and cloud overtake you, particularly prevalent in the late fall and winter, to mountainous peaks, there's plenty to keep your schedule packed.

I had an opportunity to spend some time in the countryside as well as the city in the late fall, where we took in much of the East of the region, which included many of the original sites from The Sound of Music on the heals of their 50th Anniversary which they celebrated late this past year.

Faistenau & the Austrian Countryside

The energy changes rapidly as do the colors, but the mist's lovely to see a lake's reflection despite the lack of sun.

The colors are vibrant throughout however. Color and wet leaves everywhere.....

Breadmaking at Faistenau's Oberhinteregg Farm

Not far from the city is the picturesque village of Faistenau, where you can visit the family-oriented Oberhinteregg Farm. Here, you can experience bread-making, cheese-making, beekeeping and more. A highlight on the farm is bread-making with the farmer´s wife Brigitta. where you can participate in the making of traditional farmhouse bread in the bake house with the farm´s own recipe. I did a separate
which is worth reading, largely for the photography.

In the smoke house, Frau Kalushofer bakes her delicious farmhouse bread and cures bacon, sausage and fish. Not only are there many sorts of bread made from local corns, but also different spreads and cheeses, all homemade. They also have an herb garden and a farmer's shop. They boast tons of traditional crafts on-site....

Homemade oils, and herbal remedies are also scattered around the farmhouse.

Outside, authentic Austrian farmhouse culture and countryside prevail.....join me on a visual journey.

Also in SalzburgerLand is the history of SALT of course, derived from the name. Salt was and still is one of the most important raw materials in Austria. This oft-cited "white gold" has not only prompted the names of the city of Salzburg and region of Salzkammergut. Apparently, this Austrian salt company has one of the longest and nearly uninterrupted commercial histories in Europe.

Hellein Salt Mine

We went to the
closest to Salzburg of course --
, to relive history. There are also salt mines in
in Upper Austria and in
in Ausseerland/Styria. At Hallein, we were able to cross the underground salt lake on a raft and zip through the mines on the slides. The necropolis of Hallstatt and Duerrnberg are real Hot-Spots of Austrian and European archaeology and history.

At the mine, they provide coveralls before you embark on your journey, to protect you from the dirt and salt from the mines.

Below is a mystical shot through the window inside, before you're about to jump on a horizontal train that takes you deep into the mine...

Deep in the mine, we sat on wooden boards that cradled the top of the open aired train that ran along the tracks. There were areas in the mine where we walked as well, hence the reason to wear the coverall uniforms they provided.

Below is a non-working slide, one which was originally used when the mine was a working one so many years ago.

They have working slides today which we tried on a couple of occasions as we made our way through the tour, which takes an hour and a half or so. What's great are the surprises you see on the walls as you make your way through the mine -- there's even a point where you cross over into Germany while underground before you circle back again. You'll be surprised by objects they set up to depict history in a museum-like way to skeletons on the walls.

The Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains

is a veritable jewel with not just decadent fountains, but a spacious park that combines artificially landscaped park land and natural biotopes. The water games and trick fountains are a truly unique experience where you will constantly expect the unexpected as you go on a tour of the grounds, which we did by night, which adds mystery to the experience. Below, are a few shots by day of the fountains themselves.

Originally, the Lustschloss was a pleasure palace built for staging festivities, for enjoyment and relaxation. Originally, this was a privilege reserved for the archbishops, although today it's open to anyone who wishes to stroll around the park, enjoy the fountains and hidden water jets, or celebrate in the magnificent halls of the palace.

The Salzburg Prince-Bishop Markus Sittikus ordered the building of a summer residence at the foot of the naturally irrigated hill in Hellbrunn between 1612 and 1615. During this relatively short period, an architectural jewel was erected in the popular Italian style of the age. It is still considered one of the most splendid Renaissance buildings on the northern side of the Alps. Its purpose was to foster the enjoyment of life, to provide pleasurable distractions and entertainment.

Since March 2015, three rearranged rooms have been on show: the music chamber, the 'Fasnacht' room and the 'Festival Hall'. They are first of a total of ten rooms that are to house the 'Markus Sittikus - My view of the World' exhibition over the next few years. In addition to the tricks you'll be surprised by from the fountains, the real magic for me came from spending time inside the rooms, which bring you back to another place and time -- the ornamental artwork and attention to detail will wow you over.

I also did a fun write-up on on Hellbrunn Palace and Fountains, which provides more details and history about the experience.

For Foodies

Salzburg and towns and villages nearby, have a wide array of restaurants to choose from, ranging from old world traditional and classic style to modern cuisine.

The Sound of Music

For music and nature lovers as well as the romantics among you, you can't go to Salzburg and Salzburgerland and not take in the original sites and history behind the Sound of Music, which was filmed there 50 years ago this past fall. Recognize these horse statues and the lake from the movie?

The original gazebo where the song You Are Sixteen was sung.

The church where Maria and the Captain got married, in a little town called Mondsee which is outside Salzburg (roughly a 30 or so minute drive).

A production that was put on in mid-October at the Kulisse Salzburg (Festival Halls) to remember The Sound of Music, which was launched as a family movie and has since become a worldwide institution of sorts.

All photos by Renee Blodgett.

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