Saturday, August 7, 2010


"About time" I hear you say. And you are right but forgive us as we have been very busy rehearsing and it amazing how tiring making music can be.

We had one jam packed day of touristing in Salzburg. (I don't know why this is blue and underlined - blogger is sometimes a little mysterious.)

In the morning we went up to the large fortress on the hill which was constructed over many centuries but certainly has a medieval feel. We walked up instead of the almost vertical railway (which we took back down). Besides being of interest in of itself. From the fortress there are great views of Salzburg below. Here is one of the few Kate AND Laurie photos. We learnt on the audio tour that Salzburg was named after the salt deposits nearby, that were fundamental in the success of the fortress (never successfully sieged - it was only once surrendered and that was to Napoleon) as salt (Salz) was the major preservative.

A comment on the audio tour. In order have tours in several languages simultaneously they had head sets which could be programmed to different languages and even a kids orientated version, and then forty people would go to the same rooms at the same time and hear their version. I am undecided in whether I think this is very smart and practical or saddened by the technologising of it all. People should perhaps just cope with the german (they are in Austria after all).

These photos are out of order so later you will see an organ which is in the fortress. It has no keyboard. Initially it could only play an F major chord and then later they added the barrel which allows premade tunes.

Below is a picture taken at the end of our day. We saw a free filming of La Traviato, filmed at the Salzburg festival in 2005. It was very good. Unfortunately very little of the italian was translated to german so the plot made little sense. Wikipedia helped us out there. That organ I promised you:
One of the places we saw was a lovely little cemetery. Laurie likes fonts as probably you are aware. The following photo was taken because of the font.
Wandering the streets is an important touristing activity, especially since we were a little sick of museums and the like. There are very strict rules in the Old Town for signs and shop fronts. Even McDonalds must uphold them. Overall Salzburg is a nice place but a little too touristy for its own good. It is hard to escape to souvenir and mozart kugel shops. That said we also experienced some gems - like the coffee house in the style of Viennese coffee houses that was frequented by Constanze (Mozarts wife) after his death when she lived in Salzburg with her second husband. It is still around and, I think, very much as it was then. Also the high hills on the edge of the city center are effectively free of development. We enjoyed walking through paths, seeing woods, cows and older houses. We did see some of the locations for sound of music. It didn't interest me much, I am glad we didn't do a tour.

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