An enjoyable part of living in Salzburg was that my next running adventure was never far away.
I lived on the fifth floor of a 1950s apartment block, smack on the boundary line between Maxglan and Lehen. In front of the house, busy Innsbrucker Bundesstraße connects the city centre with the airport and the German border. It’s a crowded part of Salzburg with suffocating rush-hour traffic. My apartment is on the backside of the house; from my window, I can overlook the scenery towards the North-West of my hometown.
Landmarks include the seemingly ever-extending Europark shopping mall, the grim chimneys of the Kaindl factory or the city section of the A1 motorway with its 80 km/h speed limit no one seems to adhere to. However, there are also wide open fields, the Saalach river and the forest around Schloss Klessheim, the beauty of nature much closer than one might expect standing on the porch of my front door. I often venture out through a few side roads until I hit the tracks of the local and cross-border trains. Mostly secluded from traffic, a bicycle path runs alongside and guides me North towards Liefering and the Saalach river. For my 10k runs, this is already the turning point. For longer jogs, this is where it gets interesting.
Turning right, you could follow the Saalach towards Salzachspitz and back towards Salzburg or, for the truly long runs, further North towards Oberndorf and Laufen. This is a story for another day, though.
Turning left, the Saalach accommodates runners and cyclists to Siezenheim. It follows the border between Austria and Germany. Apart from signposts on the few bridges across the river, you would barely notice that you’re crossing into a different country. There are subtle differences like the colour and design of road signs or the layout of settlements, but you’d have to venture further off the cycling path to notice those.
For my running trips, the scarcity of bridges also means that once I cross the river, I’m committed to continuing until the next one (unless I turn around, but I don’t like turning around; in my opinion, runs should always follow an elegant loop). More often than not, I only crossed into Germany to trick myself into longer and longer runs.
Through Siezenheim, there are various options to return home. The easiest is to hit the Glan, Almkanal or the bicycle path along Moosstraße and follow either of them back. The map below shows the Glan option for a nice 20k loop. Nowadays, it seems unreal I used to do these in the morning during my university years, and still had the energy to play basketball at night.