4 December - No Reservations

We woke up after 09:00, after being up from 01:00-04:00 give or take.  We walked around Old Town, checked out some potential restaurants for lunch and/or dinner, and went to a lookout on the east side of the Salzburg Fortress, with nice (albeit cloudy) views of the Alps to the southeast.  We met Dewey and Clarita after they got back from church, and we headed to lunch.  We tried Goldgasse, which we’d walked past earlier and looked like it had a good menu, but they told us they were completely full, so we walked over to Sternbrau, another place we’d eaten at in 2018.  

We waited at the front desk forever, as people kept packing into the tiny waiting area from two different directions, making it overwhelmingly claustrophobic.  Justin eventually waited out in one of the hallways to avoid all the people, whilst Crystal waited patiently for them to find a table for us.  Eventually we got a seat in the Stern Lounge, which had a different vibe and layout from Sternbrau, but with the same menu, which was our primary interest.  Dewey got roast pork, Clarita got goulash, Crystal got boiled beef, and Justin got “veal lights” because it was recommended by the chef - it was very small cut pieces of veal in a ragout-type sauce with a big bread dumpling.  All of us but Clarita got beers as well.  It was a nice first meal together.

We separated from Dewey and Clarita after lunch.  We went to the train station to get tickets to Hallstatt for tomorrow, and picked a time where we wouldn’t be so rushed in the morning or arrive too late in the evening.  We then headed over to Mirabelle Gardens, which we referred to as Megabelle Gardens because of our niece Olivia, who calls Justin’s parents’ new puppy “Megagold” instead of “Marigold.”  We tried to find the dwarf statues that were supposedly in the northern part of the gardens, but we couldn’t find them anywhere.

Back across the river in Old Town we tried to make dinner reservations at Goldgasse, but they had no availability, so we struck out there again.  Next time, whenever that is, we’re going to make reservations there and at Johanneskeller.  At the Christmas Market near the Mozart statue we saw a bunch of people getting a food item involving bratwurst and some sort of powder; we determined it was Bosna, so we read up on that and decided to get that later, for our dinner.  In the meantime we got some punsch.  We then tried to find Pauli Stubm, a bar where we’d had a great time in 2018.  It was very close, and we must have walked right above it when we walked to the viewpoint earlier in the day.  Sadly, it was closed on Sundays, so we’d missed out on that as well.  We weren’t having a particularly fruitful time in Salzburg so far, but at least there were a lot of alternative options.

One thing that almost always works out, however, is an Irish Pub.  The Dubliner was about a 1 minute walk from our hotel, and was open, so we decided to watch one of the World Cup matches, France and Poland.  When we first arrived there were only two patrons, and we asked whom they were supporting and they said France (in a clearly French accent), so we decided to support Les Bleus as well for the day.  As the game went on, other folks started to enter the bar, including two Brits, Mark and Stuart, who sat down next to us.  Dewey and Clarita joined us to watch the second half as well.  In another part of the bar there were some Spanish fans rooting for Poland, presumably because France was one of the main rivals for the title along with Spain.  France ended up winning fairly comfortably in the end, and everyone but the Spanish fans seemed happy.

We went back to the main Christmas market, the one at Domplatz, and got some punsches.  We then took Dewey and Clarita to the lookout we’d visited earlier in the day, hoping they could see the view of the Alps as well.  Along the way we saw St Nicholas and a couple Krampi as they were going into a restaurant - we had no clue what they were going to do in there, but we considered heading into the restaurant for a potential show if nothing else.  At the lookout, the clouds had increased, and we could barely make out the mountains in the distance.  

So we went back down the hill and got some bosna at the market by the Mozart statue.  The bosnas included bratwurst, onions, mustard, and curry powder, wrapped in a sort-of-tortilla bun.  They were good, but a bit more curry powder than we would have chosen.  Dewey and Clarita went back to the hotel after dinner, and we went back to the Dubliner for the England-Senegal match.  It was much busier than earlier (Mark and Stuart were still there, quite a bit more intoxicated than earlier), and we got a seat when Katie and Pete from London(ish) gave us a seat at their table.  Crystal left at intermission, read a bit, and went to sleep.  Justin stayed for the whole match (England won 3-0), then chatted with Katie and Pete for a bit longer, then left at 22:30 to head straight to sleep.

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