FolkestoneJack's Tracks

A military veteran at Salzburg Airport

Posted in Austria, Salzburg by folkestonejack on July 4, 2016

Our week long trip to Austria finished with a little bonus at the airport. I had wandered up to the observation deck in hope rather than expectation as the schedules had suggested we would see nothing land or take off before our flight boarded. It was something of a surprise then to see a Transall C-160D military transport from the German Luftwaffe land and then take off after a very short stay.

Luftwaffe Transall C160D 50+48 at Salzburg Airport

Luftwaffe Transall C160D 50+48 at Salzburg Airport

The Transall C-160D is a veteran of the skies in Europe, having first entered in service since 1963. The aircraft itself was produced by a Franco-German consortium Transporter Allianz. A total of 110 aircraft were produced for the Luftwaffe, though only 56 were in service by August 2014. The example in front of us, 50+48, belongs to the Air Transport Wing 61.

The Transall C-160D is steadily being phased out in favour of the Airbus A400M Atlas, but reports suggest that it is likely that some C160Ds will remain in operation with the Luftwaffe for another three to five years.

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Three days in Salzburg

Posted in Austria, Salzburg by folkestonejack on July 3, 2016

Over the past three days we have spent our time working our way through the many sights of Salzburg, armed with a 72 hour Salzburg card and a map. I am sure that there are endless blogposts about the city and its delights, so I will just share our top six sights and a few of the photographs that we took along the way.

Salzburg and the Salzach

Salzburg and the Salzach

The weather during our stay was rather mixed, with all the variations between blues skies and blazing sun to wet and cloudy. Thankfully, the compact nature of the old town in Salzburg made it easier to dash from one sight to the next during the heaviest rain.

Top 6

1. Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn)

A tour of the trick fountains of Hellbrunn proved to be a marvellously fun way to start a hot summer day, especially as no-one escapes getting a little wet! The exhibition in the main house explains more about their creator, Markus Sittikus, and is really well presented.

Schloss Hellbrunn with the Festung Hohensalzburg in the distance

Schloss Hellbrunn with the Festung Hohensalzburg in the distance

It is astonishing to think that an entire palace and grounds such as this could be constructed for pleasure, rather than to be lived in. It could so easily have disappeared when pleasure gardens of this type fell out of fashion during the age of enlightenment. Indeed, many of the places that inspired Markus did not survive.

2. Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg)

The magnificent Salzburg Fortress dominates the city skyline and didn’t disappoint when we finally got around to making a visit. The fun began with the 52 second ride up to the fortress on the Festungsbahn, a funicular that first opened in 1892 and operated today with modern cars with panoramic windows. Remarkably it is not the oldest operational funicular on the site, that honour that goes to the Reißzug which has been used to transport goods into the fortress since the 15th century, making it the oldest funicular in the world.

Inside the Festung Hohensalzburg

Inside the Festung Hohensalzburg

There is plenty to amuse at the fortress. I found the marionette museum unexpectedly enjoyable but the the state apartments (the Golden Hall, Golden Room and the bedchamber of Prince Archbishop Keutschach) were the highlight for me. I spent ages absorbing the ornately decorated walls and ceilings before moving on to the fascinating fortress museum.

3. Petersfriedhof and catacombs

The early Christian chapels, cut into the Mönchsberg and accessed through a staircase from St. Peter’s Cemetery, offer a marked difference to the many elaborate churches of the city. The caves were originally described as a hermitage but are known today by the later, erroneous, label of catacombs!

The Gertraudenkapelle

The Gertraudenkapelle

4. Francisan Church (Franziskanerkirche)

Salzburg is a city packed full of churches and cathedrals to such a degree that you can hardly avoid stumbling upon one each time you turn a corner. However, the Francisan Church was my favourite for its mixture of architectural styles, the beautiful gothic rib-vaulting and the look of buildings inside the church.

A view of the ribbed vault in the gothic choir of the Franziskanerkirche

A view of the ribbed vault in the gothic choir of the Franziskanerkirche

5. The Folklore Museum (Volkskunde Museum)

The underrated Folklore Museum is located in the Monatsschlössl, a hunting lodge built by Markus Sittikus in 1615, located on a hillside overlooking Hellbrunn Palace. It’s a bit of a climb but well worth it for the views and the marvellous exhibits on display which include some beautiful cribs and wonderfully decorated bedroom furniture. Look out for the black squirrels on the climb up too!

The Volkskunde Museum

The Volkskunde Museum

6. Salzburg Museum in the Neue Residenz

The clever and innovative approach to telling the story of Salzburg in the Neue Residenz makes this museum a delight, even if we were rather weary by the time we entered! The stunning ceilings, treasures of Salzburg and displays about the history of the city. The early 17th century Goldegger Stube, a beautiful pine carved room from the Judenhof in Goldegg, was one highlight among many.

Naturally, there were plenty more churches in the mix and plenty of wonderful viewpoints. The views from the Mönchsberg, the Kapuzinerberg and alongside the Salzach are my recommendations.

Other places we visited included the Cathedral, Cathedral Excavations, DomQuartier Salzburg (including the Residenz), Mozart’s Residence, Museum of Modern Art – Mönchsberg, Panorama Museum and Salzburg Zoo.

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A home fit for a queen (bee)

Posted in Austria, Salzburg by folkestonejack on July 3, 2016

A day trip to the Salzburg Open Air Museum (Salzburger Freilichtmuseum) offered an insight into rural life in the region over the past five centuries.

The museum is located on a splendid site 7km outside Salzburg, spread over 50 hectares, with buildings grouped in clusters that reflect the Salzburger Land districts they originate from. Farmhouses, barns and other outbuildings dominate the collection of buildings that have been preserved but there are also more unusual structures, such as a bowling alley and a tollhouse from the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

Early twentieth century beehive from Moosstrasse, Salzburg

Early twentieth century beehive from Moosstrasse, Salzburg

The highlight for me was one of the smallest buildings preserved on the site – an early twentieth century beehive from Moosstrasse, Salzburg, decorated with ornately painted landscapes (a close up of the top shutters can be seen here). I don’t know if an artistically inspired bee is a more productive bee, but it was certainly a sweet construction.

It is one of three beehives on the site, with the other two coming from Adnet and Wagrain respectively. The hives of the bee house from Adnet were opened from the inside and the interior is displayed as if a beekeeper has stepped out for a moment, leaving their tools spread across the bench.

Interior of the Bee House from Adnet

Interior of the Bee House from Adnet

A 2km long narrow gauge railway line (600mm) was opened at the museum in 2010 with regular passenger trains (every 30 minutes) hauled by two Schöma diesel locomotives (Type CHL-40G and CHL-45G). One of the locomotives from the Diabaswerk Saalfelden in Salzburg, a dolerite quarry, whilst the other was originally used in the construction of the Channel Tunnel. It’s not the most thrilling or interesting of lines but it does offer a neat way to get to the furthest reaches of the site, followed by a leisurely walk back to the entrance.

The line includes a replica of a railway station from the now closed Gaisbergbahn (1887), a replica of Söllheim station from the Ischl railway (1892) and the former railway station from Lintsching. In the summer new railway buildings will be added to the mix – the original locomotive shed and a station toilet outbuilding from Böckstein/Bad Gastein (both 1909).

The museum is full of surprises, ranging from unexpectedly beautiful bedrooms in the most rustic of farmhouses to an exhibition of historic mousetraps. In short, it is a delight to wander round the museum grounds and comes highly recommended!

Practicalities

We caught the 180 Postbus from outside Salzburg Hbf to Grossgmain (the stop announced in the bus is Salzburger Freilichtmuseum). The bus runs every two hours at the weekends. The bus stops on the road immediately outside the museum and it is an easy walk through the car park to the museum entrance. It must have been a particularly busy Sunday when we visited as the car park was full and each side of the road was lined with cars as far as the eye could see!

Admission to the museum was covered by our Salzburg Cards but would normally be 11 euros for an adult (with a small discount available for anyone that can show they arrived by Postbus 180). It is good value at that price as this covers the whole site, including a ride on the railway.

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