Everything Wrapped in Mozart

13 Aug

Everything Wrapped in Mozart

Mozart did not like Salzburg, the city of his birth. He left for Vienna and did not go back. It is now ironic that Salzburg has so totally embraced him and his music that the imprint is everywhere. I must admit that this took me by surprise. I had never seen or hardly imagined Mozart rubber duckies before. “Furchtbar” (“Terrible”), my landlady remarked when I showed her this photo. I came to Salzburg to visit the family I lived with back in 1973 when I attended the Mozarteum and studied German at the Hochschule. Forty years later and I stayed with my landlady again, the wonderful Inge. We had a lovely time visiting special sites together. I have to admit that in 40 years her English had improved much more than my German had. Here I am with Inge.


Getting to Salzburg from Venice caused great difficulties and took most of a day’s travel. It began on a boat, then a bus, and finally a train. First I had to take the vaporetto past the train station to the bus station, but none of this was well marked. The bus was an Austrian bus and it stopped at a different location from Italian buses. After much confusion and walking around dragging all my belongings, I discovered “the people mover”. The people mover was an elevated train (which costs one Euro) and took you to the far corner of Venice where the cruise ships docked. I did make it on time to the bus, but it didn’t matter, because the bus driver was in no hurry. In fact we left almost an hour late. Several of us were catching trains in Villach, Austria and we realized that we would miss our connections, and we did. My landlady Inge was expecting me at a certain time at the Hauptbahnhof in Salzburg, and I didn’t know how to contact her to let her know I would be on a later train. In Villach I found an Internet service across the street from the train station, where I sent an email update, but I had no idea whether she would see it in time. I just had to trust that somehow things would work out.

The cruise ships docked in Venice.


The Austrian bus that would take us as far as Villach.


Passing through the outskirts of the Dolomites again.


The Hauptbahnhof in Villach, Austria.


I boarded the train for Salzburg and watched the beautiful green mountainous terrain unfold. We went through a lot rain on the way northward, but the weather cleared up as we approached Salzburg. Soon I saw the castle up on the hill and I knew we were almost there.

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When I disembarked I looked all around on the platform but I didn’t see any familiar faces.  Downstairs in the main lobby I was looking out and reviewing my options of bus or taxi to get to the address when I saw her. Inge was there walking toward me and looking around at the crowd. She got my email. Everything worked like clockwork.



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