It’s the 24th December – and tonight is the Holy Night.
The sun came out today – which meant we got to walk around to see some of the sights on a horse carriage.
George showed great dislike whenever he saw the horses passing by but we learnt that he actually doesn’t like the sound of the horse’s clip-clopping. It bothered him greatly.
We had a bit of an angry reaction when we first got on the carriage but after we got going and the clip clopping kept going and nothing happened, he realised there was nothing to worry about and settled down.
And then we realised there was a guy riding on a trishaw right behind the carriage. His job was to clean up the horse’s poo! That’s why the streets are so clean despite all the horses going round and round the Old Town!!!
One of the tourist places we didn’t bother to go to was the Fortress on the hill.
Partly because the funicular up the hill only allowed dogs with muzzles. So we had to walk up which was a good thing as we saw the view – and the clear skies meant we could see the mountains in the distance.
But we got distracted by the Nonnberg Convent and went there instead of the Fortress. We have actually heard terrible stories about humans being imprisoned there during the days when the Archbishops ruled the city.
After we were dropped off in the town centre, we did one last walk through the Christmas market
As it was right next to the Cathedral, we thought to check it out.
No food and drinks inside, no photography during service but there was nothing that said dogs are not allowed!
And as always we lit a hope candle for Izzy and her family and this time for stolen Waffle – we hope whoever gets Waffle for Christmas will recognise him immediately. We will never give up hope for Izzy. We hope she will return home one day.
The weather continued to be amazing so we finally walked along Getriebstrasse – probably the most touristy street in Salzburg.
Just a lot of shops and places to eat. We walked past Mozart’s birth place.
We also went to make sure we know where Hotel Goldener Hirsch – as we will be having Christmas lunch. After we located it, we made our way back, deciding to turn off into one of the less crowded side streets. Just as we did, Mum caught sight of a dog that looked like a doodle. She broke into a run. As we approached the doodle and his owner, he turned around – very aware of our presence. The owner wondered why he had stopped in his tracks and them she saw me. That’s how we found out he’s a cockapoo. Willy must be the only cockapoo in Salzburg – we haven’t seen another doodle the whole time – lots of other dogs!
We were pleased to have met him.
As the day came to a close, many shops had already closed early as this is the Holy Night and a time for families to gather for their Christmas dinner. Most of the restaurants were closed, even the restaurant at our hotel. We were booked to have Christmas dinner at the sister hotel, Hotel Stein – a short walk across the bridge.
As you can see the streets have emptied out – except for the tourists, including us, of course!
Dinner was at the Seven Senses restaurant at 6pm.
It was still relatively early as we walked back, and took in the sights of lovely Salzburg – still no rain.
As for us, we too were dressed for our Christmas supper. We had turkey and goose from Forthglade.
We were back at the hotel waiting for the church bells to ring in the Holy Night. Mum had been enjoying her Netflix streaming of Christmas movies and we hung out while she watched the movies till 11pm. And as we walked out of the hotel along the alleyway towards the Dom Platz the church bells started ringing – calling worshippers to Midnight Mass.
We too walked towards the cathedral. We knew from earlier in the day that dogs are allowed in but it was full. We could have stood in the back but carrying George for the whole service wasn’t exactly Mum’s idea. We listened to the congregation sing “O Come All Ye Faithful” and then made our way back to the hotel.
When the bells stopped ringing, it was Silent Night for us …
While the locals are done with celebrating, as we do back in England, we continued to celebrate on the 25th with lunch at Hotel Goldener Hirsch
– there’s a lot of eating involved at this time of year.
There’s no turkey and dressing – since they don’t do Christmas lunch here. Instead when in Austria, Mum said must have Weiner Schnitzel!
To be honest, we too have been eating well. Mum can’t refuse our begging. We have tasted everything she’s had.
How can you refuse this face? Mum can’t – LOL!
And this is the picture of after Christmas lunch all over the world!
Back at the hotel, we tuned in to BBC News and managed to catch the Queen’s speech.
It was all about taking positive steps forward.
Well tomorrow, we are taking steps towards the next destination. We’ve had five wonderful days in Salzburg but out itinerary says we need to eb on another two more trains – going all the way to north Germany and heading towards the new year and a new decade.
But one person we know we will never forget as part of our Christmas in Salzburg is Ulrike – who is synonymous with Hotel Goldgasse.
Thank you Ulrike for everything you’ve done for us,
May’s comment: As we walked back to the hotel, watching Darcy walk off-lead along the cobbled alleyway and George peeing for England on the short walk back, I felt so grateful for being able to enjoy this Christmas with Darcy and George.
Salzburg is made for Christmas. Despite that it rained most of the time, it didn’t dampen the festivities. We have met so many lovely people along the way – some locals, some tourists – the ice breaker was always the dogs.
Christmas for us is being together and as long as I have my two dogs with me – that’s all that matters. And then if we can experience somewhere lovely together – that’s a bonus.