It's not unusual for food to revive memories of a wonderful holiday. However, it might be a little unusual that a humble tin of sardines does it for us whenever we think of Salzburg.
On our first morning, the funicular carries us up from the historic Old Town to the baroque 11th-century Hohensalzburg Fortress. From here we walk through Fortress Hill Park to the magnificent buildings of the Museum of Modern Art.
We spend a fascinating morning wandering the various galleries and dwell particularly on the bizarre, and sometimes disturbing, works of surrealist Max Ernst.
It is a glorious day. We are shown to a table on the terrace at the museum's chic restaurant M32 overlooking the river Salzach and the green copper domes of this ancient city. With the help of a dry Austrian riesling, we lunch on those fine Portuguese sardines. Steeped in olive oil with garlic, herbs, capers, a little onion - toasted focaccia - with lemon wedges and rock salt. Perfect.
After lunch, we return to the Hohensalzburg Fortress to tour the art-filled halls and sumptuous regency rooms and climb the Reckturm watchtower for more views over the Old Town. Descending time-worn steps, we visit the fortress museum and creep around the torture chamber - perhaps with Ernst still in mind.
We are staying at Hotel Hammerschmiede, a rustic inn in the forest near the timbered village of Acharting, 10 minutes by train from Salzburg.
After drinks in the garden that first evening, we dine at a very old long wooden table with the other guests.
The menu includes shredded pancake in broth with onion, chargrilled local river trout, green salad, Apfelradel dessert and Emmenthaler from the nearby Anthering cheese dairy.
All is washed down with wooded Augustiner beer and a local dry white wine.
The outer buildings of the Hotel Hammerschmiede date back to 1730. Set over a creek, the Hammerschmiede's huge waterwheel once powered the blacksmith's hammer, grinding stone and bellows. The original building, exuding antiquity, is now a smithing museum and banquet hall.
The following morning, having left the car at the hotel, we walk down a lane through the forest and lush green cow pastures, past Acharting's flowery window boxes to the village station and the train to Salzburg. "If the train is late, then your watch is wrong," advises an elderly Austrian gentleman who sees me checking my watch.
Helmut, our affable Tyrolean guide meets us at Salzburg station and leads us to the famed Mirabell Gardens surrounding Mirabell Palace.
The palace's handsome Marble Hall is now a venue for grand weddings and the summer Mozart concert series.The gardens are a blaze of glorious colour set in curving designs around statues and fountains all bordered by trellised promenades and treed avenues.
A scene from The Sound of Music was filmed here.
In the Old Town market square, Helmut explains that funds to build this imposing baroque city were from the profits of "white gold" - salt from scores of mines in the region owned by the Catholic Church, nobility and merchants. Salzburg means "salt castle".
He guides us through the splendid interior of Salzburg Cathedral, St Peter's Abbey, and the Benedictine monastery and cemetery with its mysterious cliff-face catacombs.
We venture into the elegant lobby of the Sacher Hotel on the river, then promenade along an historic shopping lane, the fashionable Getreidegasse.
Original wrought-iron guild signs hang above many shops identifying the buildings' original purpose - even the "golden arches" are stylised in this fashion.
A must-visit on Getreidegasse is the palatial residence of the Mozart family, Mozart's birthplace and museum.
Helmut bids us "auf wiedersehen" at the Alter Market, and, at his suggestion, we purposefully enter the landmark Cafe Tomaselli - a Mozart hangout - for coffee, hot chocolate and pastries.
It is Sunday and some of the patrons are dressed Bavarian style; many have arrived for coffee or lunch directly from church.
Helga Krumm, our austere but really very nice innkeeper, mentions at breakfast that the citizens of Salzburg might be dressed up a bit. So we are relieved we have also dressed up a bit.
The next morning we drive to Berchtesgaden, 20 minutes from Salzburg, and the Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler's Eagle's Nest) in Bavaria, Germany (Salzburg was once a part of Bavaria).
A shuttle from the foot of Kehlstein mountain follows a steep winding road up to a walking tunnel cut into the mountain granite.
An impressive polished brass lift carries us the last 124m to the imposing rock building.
A red Italian Carrara marble fireplace dominates the main salon of the Kehlsteinhaus. Presented to Hitler by Mussolini, we ponder this handsome relic of a sinister era while downing Bavarian bratwursts on rye bread with onions, mustard and sauerkraut followed by baked cheesecake.
We stand on the terrace where Hitler and mistress Eva Braun were photographed, then walk up to the beautifully carved wooden cross which overlooks the valley.
Our visit to the Eagle's Nest is a unique and thought- provoking experience and the views are breathtaking.
It was ironic that Hitler, having no liking for heights, seldom visited the Eagle's Nest, preferring his residence in Obersalzberg below.
However, Braun passed many happy days here with her friends.
On our way back to Salzburg, we visit Bad Durrnberg, the historic Roman salt mine at Hallein.
Not knowing what to expect, we don protective white coveralls, mount wheeled wooden beams attached to a small electric train engine, grip the person in front and careen down a tunnel deep into the mine.
On reaching the main gallery, our guide leads us through a series of tunnels on a salt mining history walking tour.
We reach a cave lake of sparkling white salt crystals and cruise over the water while coloured lights play off the crystal overhead. It's a spectacular sight.
For a hilarious finale, we slide in tandem on our derrieres, again gripping the person in front of us, down highly polished wooden "banisters", and tumble laughing on to the white salt floor at the tunnel's end.
A tin of sardines can still bring back those happy memories of our visit to Austria and Salzburg - a most gracious city.A tin of sardines can still bring back those happy memories of our visit to Austria and Salzburg.