Austria had everything I’d been hoping to find in foreign parts. The locals were friendly. The streets were decidedly different from what I was used to. History peered around every corner. There were mountains (ok, not IN Vienna, but I had a solid glimpse of the Alps on my way in) and trams, imperial buildings and European charm. Many of the locals did speak English, but often only after hearing my clearly non-local accent and guide-book butchering of their language. I’m still very sorry, Austria, and I appreciate your patience.
While in Vienna, however, folks raved about Salzburg. It was the holiday season and, while Vienna boasts some spectacular Christmas markets, Salzburg was reputed as THE place to be for markets, sights, and the true old-world festive experience. I was sold.