The question is: are you a Mozart buff? Or are you more of a do-re-me, Sound of Music type?
This was the challenge facing
Erhardt, our guide to the beautiful city of Salzburg. Among our party were some who could tell the whole story of Wolfgang Amadeus from his first compositions to his death at the early age of 35. Others could sing every song from the Sound
of Music, word-perfect, and were anxious to recreate that scene on the steps in the beautiful Mirabell Gardens, where the von Trapp Kids first learnt that scales were not just an adornment of a fishy nature.
Actually we were expecting Helga. We had been told that someone called Helga was to be our guide and would be meeting us at a given point. Then Erhardt turned up. Erhardt clearly wasn’t Helga.
Having overcome this problem of identity, Erhardt / Helga had to cope with the fact that our visit to Salzburg happened to coincide with the day when that city claimed the
hottest temperature in the whole of Europe – an energy-sapping 96 degrees in the shade. And we were there. Wilting. We stood gazing at Mozart’s birth-place, listening to Erhardt / Helga being interrupted by one member of the group who had appointed
herself as the Expert on All Things Mozart, and casting longing glances at the many attractive, shady places where one might surely buy a skinny latte or a cup of iced tea and indulge in a bit of people-watching. Erhardt aka Helga took pity on us and allowed
us a thirty minute break which we all accepted gratefully.
I think I can safely say that Erhardt / Helga was more on the side of Mozart than Maria. I only say
this because of the way he screwed up his nose when he talked about “that do-re-me song”. But he felt compelled to mention it, of course, because there we were, in the Mirabell Gardens, and there were the steps and the horse fountain where the
von Trapp Family, dressed up in their clothes fashioned out of curtains, trip,trip,trapped about in perfect unison. It was only a pity that the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and Number One Sound of Music Fan, wasn’t there – both in Salzburg
and later in the week when we visited the charming church in Mondsee where Maria married her Captain in the film. Erhardt / Helga wasn’t there on that occasion so we could hum along to our hearts’ content.
After Erhardt / Helga had shown us all the main sights of Salzburg, we were left to our own devices for the remainder of the afternoon. So hot it was, that Mr B and I took refuge in the coolness
of the Cathedral, otherwise known as the Dom. We had “done the Dom” earlier in the day, as part of our guided tour (Wolfgang was baptised there, by the way, though I am not sure about the von Trapp children, Erhardt / Helga had been curiously silent
on this point ) but a second visit allowed me to visit the Crypt where a spooky light show, part of an art project, gave me the shivers. In the graveyard outside there were seven graves, marking the lives and deaths of the seven wives of one man. Mr
B took photographs and nodded solemnly, as if they should serve as a dreadful warning of what happens to annoying wives.
I meant to ask before, but have you missed
me? Or didn’t you even notice I was away and the Daily Blog was conspicuous by its absence? I feel a bit guilty as the web figures stayed surprisingly high while I was away, even though I was unable to post anything – so lots of you must have been
visiting the blog, only to find nothing new to read. I shall do my best to make it up to you by regaling you with some of the funnier of my Adventures in Austria.
the Tale of Mrs Turn-Up, my thoughts on the Austrian obsession with taxidermy and a Little Lederhosen in the Night....