Have you ever done something different for your birthday? Did you always have parties with friends year after year, or would you rather do something different yet memorable on your birthday? One year, I decided to do the latter.
Some years ago, I’ve decided to celebrate my birthday in a different way. I don’t really enjoy nor care for having birthday parties. But I certainly do not want to have a dull and uneventful birthday. My first was spending my birthday weekend in San Francisco. In 2014, I spent my birthday whale-watching in Monterey. In 2015, I hit a milestone birthday. For my milestone birthday, I wanted to give myself a long-awaited treat. I decided to go and tour Germany for two weeks for my birthday. I scheduled my birthday trip leaving a week before and returning home a week later, and the very day spending it in the famous city of Munich. But when I arrived in Munich, my plans suddenly changed.
Before departing for Germany, I was contemplating on visiting Salzburg including it to my itinerary. I bought a German Railpass that also allowed me to enter Austria. However, I only scheduled to be in Munich for three days, and I have a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in Munich. I was not sure if I will have time to visit Salzburg at all. It later turned out that the things I did and places I saw in Munich were very close to each other that I was able to see most of them within two days (not including Neuschwenstein Castle). So at the very last minute, actually it was the night before my birthday, I decided to visit Salzburg for my birthday.
I turned out Salzburg was just a little over an hour away by train from Munich. My German Railpass allowed my passage and when I got to the train station in Salzburg, there was no Border or Customs to go through. I immediately hopped into the city bus and headed to the old city center of Salzburg.
When I arrived to Salzburg, I was quite hungry because I did not have breakfast that morning. When I got at the old city center, I immediately found a decent café called Café Tomaselli not far from the cathedral and had my favorite breakfast – ham and cheese omelet and a cup of mocha. The café was filled with locals having coffee accompanied with conversations with family and friends. I believe I was the only solo customer sitting there but I didn’t care, I was in Salzburg for my birthday.
My birthday in 2015 fell on a Palm Sunday – the Sunday before Easter so when I went at Salzburg Cathedral, they were celebrating Palm Sunday mass. Along with other visitors, I bee-lined to the candle station offering two candles – one was thanking the heavens for my safe journey so far to Germany and Austria, the other in memory of my father.
After the cathedral, I decided to see the famous pedestrian street called Getreidegasse where storefronts are decorated with elaborate wrought-iron signs above its doors. It was also the street where Mozart’s birthplace is located called Geburthaus where I decided to see this museum dedicated to the great composer. I then visited St. Peter’s Church where the most colorful and beautifully decorated gravesites and mausoleums can be found. Going through Kapitelplatz, I found the funicular that lead visitors to the old fortress and castle called Hohensalzburg Fortress where the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg once lived and ruled Salzburg and towns within its borders. The fortress only offered guided tours but in the end every visitor was rewarded with a visit to the top of the tower giving everyone a great view of the city.
I am very glad I change my mind at the last minute about visiting Salzburg. I thought it was my birthday after all and it was a milestone in my life that I will never go through again. At the same time, I thought I may never have the opportunity to see Salzburg in the future. With this, I’ve decided to seize the moment and I’m very glad I did it, later making my friends and family jealous by posting photos of the city in Facebook. It was the best birthday I’ve ever had in my life (so far!).Google+