KW and I took a train over to Salzburg for a weekend while she was visiting from the States. The train ride was interesting: a group of older Austrians sat behind us half the way and had the loudest conversation in German the entire time they were on the train. This is a huge contrast from trains in England where no one talks at all. But since I don’t speak German, it was interesting to listen to them talk – the rise and fall of the voices and the pronunciation – for the first 15 minutes. After that, it became very loud white noise.
At the end of our 2.5 hour train ride, we arrived in Salzburg, a beautiful city nestled in the Alps and famous for music, puppets and gorgeous views. Mozart was born here, and the famous Von Trapp family of Sound of Music fame lived here, too. Separate posts are forthcoming on both of these.
Salzburg, literally “Salt Fortress,” was named for the salt barges that traveled the Salzach River through town from the nearby salt mines. Hohensalzburg Castle, the giant fortress that towers over the city, was built in the 11th century. The city is filled with the spires of Catholic churches, and many shops sell lederhosen and dirndl, the traditional dress of Austria, Bavaria and the South Tyrol. Salzburg is home to the famous Salzburg Festival, a month-and-a-half-long music and drama festival held each summer. The city is on the modern border of Germany and has ping-ponged among Bavarian, Austrian and German possession in the last 300 years. Today it’s the fourth largest city in Austria, after Vienna, Graz, and Linz.
Title quote: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart