I feel like I’m always saying I’ve had a fabulous day – but seriously – I have good days.

We went to Salzburg (Austria) today – about an hour and a half from Munich – after breakfast (which was identical to yesterday’s breakfast because we’re at the same hotel). We almost didn’t go, but I’m SO glad we did.

It was snowy and cold, but not nearly as dreary as the pictures depict. We didn’t really have a plan – had thought about taking a tour, but decided to just wing it – so we wandered around the old town and read our travel book.

At one point, an older man approached us and asked if we needed help. I knew almost immediately that he had to be a teacher of some sort, and I was right. He told us he retired from teaching (in California) 27 years ago and moved to Salzburg with his wife (a Salzburger) and daughter. He ended up giving us a mini-history of the area and gave us lots of information about what to see, where to go, etc. He was incredibly friendly and so interested in sharing the history of the area that it was almost better than a tour.

We ended up walking up to Hohensalzburg, the fortress overlooking the city, based on his recommendation. Yes, all the way to the TOP.

The walk was uphill most of the way, of course, but the views were worth it. I’m still amazed that I’m even capable of doing something as strenuous as the walking it required. (The funicular/inclined railway was closed). This is why I lost weight. This is what makes every minute of torture/exercise worth it.

The little dots are kids sledding.

Afterward, we wandered some more – and I took more pictures of the fortress in amazement that I’d made it up there, and in amazement that it was actually pretty easy.

Lunch started with salmon ravioli – then we split beef goulash with a bread dumpling, 1/2 of a fried chicken with fries, and the first green thing we’ve eaten since we arrived (minus a few cucumber slices at breakfast). Also – tea, for me. It was a very civilized place compared to the beer halls we’ve been frequenting – very nice change of pace.

We stopped at a sausage place on the way to our car since it was close to dinnertime and got … something … so we wouldn’t starve on the drive back to Munich. No idea what it’s called or what kind of sausage, etc. We just ate what the woman at the stall gave us. Sausage + onions + mustard + toasted bun + maybe cayenne on top? SO GOOD.

We ate dinner once we made it back to Munich at a small Italian place near our hotel – split some pasta and a salad – and I wound up with a drink called Bitter Lemon after some communication issues. Never heard of it before, but now I’m going to have to hunt it down at home.

We’re leaving Munich tomorrow and heading to see some castles. We’ll be staying overnight in a small town in Austria. I’m excited, but sort of sad to leave Munich. I’ve really enjoyed it here.