The Hills Are Alive

Trip Start Sep 11, 2005
Trip End Dec 13, 2005

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Flag of Austria  ,
Monday, September 26, 2005

27SEP05 From Charlie

The last few days we have been wandering the rain-soaked streets of Salzburg, Austria. This is our second visit to the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and home of the world renowned Sound of Music. This time however the hills are not alive.
On our last visit to Salzburg two years ago, we were intrigued by the beauty of the city, the friendliness of her people, and the joy of Bob's Sound of Music Tour. The city, as well as the hills, were alive with musicians, life size chess pieces, and spectacular shops. The sun was gleaming over the fortress on the hill, and the Salzach River brought subtle nature sounds to the very core of the city. We were greeted in our hotel, last time, with a tray of sausages, cheeses, crackers and bread. This time we were greeted with a sign on the desk that stated that reception was closed for thirty minutes. The person behind the desk kept her head down doing other work while a line of somewhat gnarly people amassed. Sure enough, thirty minutes later she attempted to clear the line. Out "hotel" this trip is not nearly as friendly as the, now over-priced, Markus Sittikus was two years ago, but meets our needs mostly. We have a tiny little room on the third deck. It is called the YoHo, or International Youth Hotel. It is on Europe's Famous Hostel list, but not ours. I suppose if I were five years younger, bought beer in lieu of seeing the sights, and enjoyed sitting in a bar till the wee hours of the morning I would thoroughly enjoy my stay here.
We spent our time in Salzburg, this trip, focusing on her most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart was born in Salzburg and worked from the city most of his life. We retraced his life through the narrow streets and miniature museums dedicated to him. The first of these museums is called the Mozart Geburtshaus. This is the house Mozart was born in. It is in the center of the main shopping street called Getreidegasse. The museum consisted of about three rooms filled with random articles of stage costumes and who knows what else. It seemed like the curators used Mozart's name to draw in crowds, but there was not much ado about Mozart except he was born there.
The next leg of the day was to Mozart's Wohnhaus. This was the eight room building the Mozart family lived in for a few years. The museum was much more like a museum here. They had audio guides, art work, examples of furniture and instruments and a short biographical film on the composer. Over all it was a thousand times better than the birth place "museum."
We then decided to go back to the YoHo for lunch. En route to the hotel we went back to the river to take a picture of the castle, the river, and the dismal rainy town. We then wandered into one of the city parks. It happened to be one that we had visited on our last trip. The park was used in the production of The Sound of Music. I do not have a clue when, but it was on the tour so it had to be in the film. The park has a well manicured lawn complete with bright colored flowers, statues, staircases, and a view of the fortress beyond. Despite the overcast weather, the park lifted out spirits and reminded us of the beauty we remembered. We also ran across some statues we like in the garden. They are a random collection of characters only a few of which we can recognize. They are lovely though.
The whole time we have been in Salzburg, we have been shadowed by a man we call Johanne. He is a homeless man we first saw at the train station when we arrived. Since then we have seen Johanne at least twice a day. One of those times was when we were trying to cross a busy street near the river. While we were waiting for the light to change so we could cross the street, I noticed to my right, that Johanne had a new can of beer and was wandering the streets far from the train station. Then a car pulled over near where Johanne was standing, and a lady with several shopping bags soon hopped in the passenger side. Luckily for them the back doors were locked, because Johanne gave a good tug on the door handle too. I guess he was hoping to get a ride to anywhere but here.
Overall Salzburg is not what I remembered. It has been lovely though. We will be in a small town for the next few days at least, so we are not sure if internet access is available. Do not be surprised if you do not hear from us for a little while. Trust that we are safe and having too much fun. Soon enough we are going to the smaller town called Hallstaat on some lake in Austria. This is time meant for relaxing and enjoying the view. It is time to stop and smell the roses like momma said. We are having a ball on our adventure, but miss you all terribly. We are looking forward to being with you and pray for you without ceasing.
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