Visited October 2012
The next morning, we decided to take things slow by enjoying our breakfast at Hallstatt and taking a walk around the town centre. It wasn’t long before we had to make our way to the bus stop for a connecting ride to the train station.
However as luck would have it, there were road works going on, and our bus was getting delayed. This got us worried as we had another activity waiting for us in Salzburg, and missing the train due to the delay was not an option. Thankfully, the train waited despite the fairly long delay of about 10 minutes.
Our stay in Salzburg was at Austria Trend Hotel Europa Salzburg, located conveniently near the train and tram stations. A half-day Sound of Music tour with Fräulein Maria Bicycle Tour was our first and only activity for the day. As it was my first time cycling around a city to experience its sights and sounds, I was pretty excited. Plus, the tour also featured filming scenes from the movie, The Sound of Music, something I was exposed to during my younger days as part of the choir.
As tiring it might be for people who do not cycle frequently and over a distance of 8km, it was truly a memorable experience. There was this particular slope that was so steep, most of us had to disembark and push our bikes. Not to mention that with a larger group, sometimes those further behind will be slower due to traffic, resulting in us searching frantically for any last sign of a bicycle when we cleared the vehicles.
With notable sights like the Nonnberg Abbey, Residenzplatz, the Gazebo, Schloss Leopoldskron and St Peter’s cemetery, the weather was kind to us despite its gloomy outlook, thus making the journey all the more delightful. While we had a short 20 minutes break at Schloss Hellbrunn, we felt it would have been too short of a time to explore the place fully, and decided to return for a separate visit if time permits. At the end of the tour, we were given a discount coupon for other partnering biking tours.
For a first-timer experiencing bike city exploration, I really enjoyed cycling through the ‘countryside’ with never-ending green fields by my side. My favourite was this ‘hidden’ road behind Festung Hohensalzburg, where we were flanked by green fields with an unblocked view of the fortress behind us. Plus, the guide was very nice to have continuously take pictures for all of the visitors, which one can easily access and download through their Facebook page.
Conclusion: Fräulein Maria Bicycle Tour – Highly Recommended!