Saturday, September 13, 2014

Salzburg - Day 9

Friday, September 12
Mention Salzburg and most people immediately think of "The Sound of Music." But the city is also well-known as the birthplace of Mozart. It was also a wealthy area from the Dark Ages until the time of refrigeration due to "white gold" - the rich salt deposits deep in the hillsides. Hence the name "city of salt" or Salzburg.
Our boat docked in Linz, a city of 200,000 today, which Hitler claimed as his home town, although he was born in a nearby village.
From there it was about a 2 hour bus ride southwest to Salzburg. Along the way, the scenery changed and we saw rock formations and lakes. Here is Dragon Wall and moon Lake.
Unfortunately, we had a somewhat rainy day, so many of the photos are dark.
We arrived about 10 and our tour took us to Mirabell Gardens. The property was developed by the Prince Archbishop in 1730, but after the people's revolution in 1848, Emperor Franz Joseph opened it to the public, which it has remained ever since. Several scenes from the famous movie were filmed here. 
Behind me is the Castle Hohensalzburg, which can be seen from the garden. Then we crossed the Salzach River which runs through town. In the background is the Altstadt, or old street.
Our guide took us through the narrow streets that were once lined with the homes of wealthy burghers and today feature an amazing array of high-end labels, many of them American. Who is buying all this stuff? We also went by the market square and saw the largest pretzels ever!
And a closer look at the castle behind Ed from a square.
We also went into the Cathedral of Salzburg, which is quite large, but not nearly as impressive inside as many other European churches. It has 5 organs which can be played individually or together, and Mozart composed many songs for the church.
Mozart's birthplace is one of the most popular places to visit. Actually, it is a small apartment of 5 rooms on the third floor where the composer, his older sister and parents lived.  On display is one of his violins, his piano forte, and a variety of family portraits and artifacts. There were several compositions and letters in his original hand. The letters were translated, and one to his wife was so humerous and loving. He was traveling and had been gone for only a week. He wrote about how much he missed her and how he enjoyed the little picture of her. He described how he had done such silly things with it that he dare not mention. Sadly, Mozart, who was born in 1756, died at 35, but composed over 600 musical works and 22 operas in his short life. His wife, Constanze Weber, who lived to be 80, spent her life publishing and promoting his work.
We ate lunch at Gasthaus Wilder Mann, a  cozy Austrian tavern where we had goulash and dumplings with heavy bread.
Afterwards we walked around. The locals were preparing for a festival and one of the attractions was this globe with a man on top. At first glance, he does look real.
We also heard some folk music by 2 street performers playing a bayan (accordion?) and a tsymbaly (like a hammered dulcimer). I bought their CD for 10 E and can't wait to hear it.
We walked by a drug store (apotheke) and saw this ad for a cream made from the fat of a groundhog.
We returned to the boat about 5:15, had dinner and then listened to a trio of piano, violin and cello - the Donau 3 Klang. Among the things they played were "Schindler's List," "Edelweiss,"and "the Blue Danube Waltz." They were highly talented artists and every note was perfect.
Our boat departed at 10 for Passau, and tonight we closed the bar with new friends (but only at 11).

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