The historical night watchmen. More and more, we find those particularly intriguing, talented “storytellers” all over Europe, who thanks to their traditional clothing and use of language appear to have time-travelled straight from the Middle Ages. My first point of call with the “his-story” of a night watchman was in 2013 in the Danish city of Ribe, followed by a visit to Waidhofen an der Ybbs in the Lower Austrian Mostviertel district, as well as Austria’s oldest brewery town, Weitra in the Waldviertel. And now, it is Hans & his wife Marinette who receive us all too well dressed in the city of Salzburg, Austria’s (secret) beer capital and home to musical geniuses such as Mozart or the Sound of Music. It really is entirely fascinating to be listening to the historical figure of night watchman Hans and dive into the city of Salzburg of about 500 years ago. Wow!
But this is just the beginning.
Once a year, the Salzburg Almkanal opens up for visitors, allowing you to explore the subterranean vaults of the Mönchsberg hill and its famous Hohensalzburg Fortress.
“You really want to cross Salzburg on a dark, narrow canal underneath its old town?!” I still have to smile at the words of my friends and remember being sceptical, too, about taking a tour through the Almkanal of Salzburg! What could it possibly be? Now, I know that this canal is truly outstanding, a masterpiece of engineering science dating back to some of the oldest waterway and energy systems in Central Europe! Countless legends and stories have been woven around the miracle of its construction, its (military) use during wartimes as well as the breakthrough in supplying Salzburg with fresh mountain water. Each year in September, the Almkanal is being dried up for maintenance and repair, thus opening a short time window for visitors to come and experience a walk through it: “At peak times, we run our tours every 15 minutes”, our friendly Almkanal guide is about to explain to us. “You are best advised to rent some gum boots here!”
Gum boots?! Yes, gum boots. Do bring some torches, too – a head torch even if you can. And a good jacket, as well as a pair of old Jeans, will all go a long way for this adventure tour of a kind, crossing the Almkanal underneath Salzburg’s famous Mönchsberg hill!
Next time, let me tell you more about the culinary highlights we experienced travelling “behind the scenes” of Salzburg, such as the famous Salzburg “Stinkerknödel” (smelly dumplings?!) at the inn of Roland Essl, or the Salzburger Trinkmoor where a moor has been converted into a … drink, beer or bread. No, I haven’t lost it (yet!), nor have my friends: Check out what my fellow travel bloggers & friends have to say about their particular experiences of Salzburg:
- Jo-Igele Reiseblog: “Erlebe Salzburg Kulinarisch!“
- TravelWorldOnline Traveller: “Österreichisch Kochen in Salzburg – am besten mit Freunden!“
- WiederUnterwegs: “Der Salzburger Almkanal“. “Vom Trinkmoor und Salzburger Hausmannskost“.
Cheers & Enjoy your meal! 😀
Disclaimer: We have been invited “behind the scenes” of Salzburg by the city of Salzburg. All opinions are my own.