Wheeling Salzburg

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Amadeus, Amadeus, Amadeus Amadeus,
Amadeus, Amadeus
Amadeus, Amadeus,
oh, oh, oh Amadeus
Come and rock me Amadeus

Falco

2015-06-25 12.16.08

I haven’t blogged in ages. I am so sorry. And the reason for that is that I have been traveling more or less constantly the last 6 weeks. And in between I have been taking care of an exploding mailbox and dirty laundry. And my zen. Just gotta rest for a few days… But let’s give it a try again. A few weeks ago I went to Salzburg for the 7th international conference on children’s bone health (ICCBH). But before the conference begun, me and my colleague had added 48 hours to relax and explore Salzburg. A good decision it turned out.

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Salzburg 1553
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View from MdM

The trip went smoothly except some minor complications in Oslo Airport due to reconstruction. We faced a broken lift, something the staff at OSL had absolutely no intention of being sorry for. And also gate 35c seemed more or less non-existant. I will give a reward to those who can find it easily!

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Syntax error Oslo Airport.

But we found both our gate and the assistance eventually. And to our positive surprise – Oslo Airport has now bought two “elevator vehicles” they can use for boarding. This will come in handy, since there are more and more gates with stairs due to the big reconstruction. And because of my extensive traveling lately – I can now report that they have more or less the exact same vehicle in Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Wienna, Salzburg and Oslo. And Addis Abeba if I am going to include travels in 2014 also…

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Aiport vehicles all over the world…

However, back to Salzburg! It is a small Austrian town with 150.000 inhabitants and 4 million tourists during a year. Quite relaxed if you disregard all the tourists and the tourist buses. And the town’s main attractions are most definitely Mozart and the Sound of Music. And of course the river Salz and the Austrian hills and mountains. The name Salzburg comes from the word salt, because of the big salt mines nearby. 2015-06-25 16.01.43

Regarding wheelchair access, I will save this for last and first give you some ideas on what to do in Salzburg (besides shopping – because there will be a separate blogpost for this):

  • Go to a conference about bone health (very good)
  • Have breakfast between 8AM and 10PM. At least in Cup&Cino next to our hotel, where we went for breakfast in the morning and cocktails in the evening…
  • Visit the Mirabell park (where parts of Sound of Music was recorded)
  • Go to the disability office at the Mirabell Schloss (serving as the town hall) – at least you can…we just did it by mistake
  • Listen to marching bands in the Mirabell Park. We came across Nordstrandskolenes Musikkorps from Oslo, playing the most Norwegian tune of them all – Gammel Jægermarsj. Almost felt homesick…
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Mirabell Garden

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  • Take a break…
  • Do a lot of Mozart stuff – see his birth place, his house, buy Mozart chocolate, listen to Mozart music. The conference entertainment was half an hour of champagne & canapés and then half an hour Mozart chamber music in the Residenz Palace. It was a lovely concert, that made me ponder why I never listen to classical music. It is so relaxing…
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Art & music & art…
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Networking from frog perspective…
  • Lock your love away…

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  • Go to the Modern Museum, and see the exhibition (if you are intellectual enough) or just take the lift to the restaurant and enjoy the magnificent view over Salzburg, with a glass of rosé. Both are free for wheelchair users, except the wine…
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Modern museum restaurant interior
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Selfie or art…?

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  • Ride a horse carriage that you can find at the Dome square (and yes…horses smell bad…even after they have left)

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  • Visit the dome (we did) or one of the many other churches (we did not)

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  • Buy a tracht (more about that later)
  • Have coffee and pastry – and according to Austrians never just order a coffee (that’s a sin)
  • See the laughing unicorn in the Mirabellpark (according to some Americans this was a sight you had to see)…

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  • Go to a bierstube – we went to Stieglkeller. It was totally inacessible for wheelchair users (well almost). But we had important networking to do, so we tagged along. And I did get carried around by young handsome Austrian guys. Without lederhosen though…

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  • Or just take a stroll. Salzburg is a perfect city for a stroll and a strudel…
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Stroll or segway…your choice!

Many years ago I read that Salszburg got an accessability award from the EU, and since that I have been wondering what that was for. My conclusion is that it is not because Salzburg is a perfectly accessible town, but because they made a very detailed access guide for the city. However, I must say I find the symbols in the city quite hard to understand. And I am doubting the real benefit of such a guide. But 5 points for the effort! Regarding wheelchair access:

  • We stayed at the Bräu Imlauer Hotel with a spacious disability friendly room and a huge bathroom. However – the bathroom had only bathtub and a shower with a threshold. It was 3 minute walking distance to the conference hall, so for us it was perfect.
  • Conference centre was 100% accessible
  • Curb cuts are more or less perfect and it is quite flat unless you want to visit the castle (or Stieglkeller)
  • Some cobble stones in the old town, but only of the kinder type
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Some construction work in the old town – but no problem to wheel around…
  • Residenz Palace have an elevator (but only open at certain hours)
  • Many shops or restaurants have one or more steps to get in
  • There are disabled friendly toilets available (also in the tourist map) but you need a Eurokey to get in – or to find a toilet ‘guard’…
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It said you needed to write beforehand and get the Eurokey. Who writes letters these days? We usually found a cleaning lady…
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or a talking toilet…
  • The Modern Museum has free entrance for disabled both to museum and the lift to the restaurant & view terrace.
  • The Hohensalzburg castle is not wheelchair accessible via the funicular. The entrance is (and they have accessible toilets), but when we asked they said there were stairs to get out on the top. You might be able to see some of it if you drove a car to the top…
  • The Mozart Houses were not accessible from what we could see…
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The Castle…
  • We ate at Wernbacher, Triangel, Cup&Cino and Stieglkeller – none of them very wheelchair accessible, but food was good all over…
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