Author: Mr A
Location: Salzburg, Austria
Neither of us had ever been to Salzburg, so with no expectations we caught the bus in to the city, via Mrs A getting a hair cut, and me getting passed Prosecco at regular intervals while waiting. A man can drink a lot of that stuff in nearly three hours.
The city immediately dazzled us even with the low cloud hiding the tops of the mountains that surround the city. A wander round revealed a baroque lovers dream, so beautifully restored after being pretty much razed to the ground during World War 2.
We visited a wine bar where the waiters knew nothing about the wine they were recommending, and then ate a traditional Austrian dish from the menu of a random place I picked. Worst meal of the whole trip. In fact one of the worst meals I ever remember eating. Just a huge plate of pork, roast potatoes, a dumpling and some coleslaw. Not a single flavoursome part to it. Ah well…might be skipping meat for a while as it has put me right off!
Today we had arranged to get our bikes serviced, so we rode over to the shop from our campsite, dropped them off and hit the sights again, this time going up to Fortress Hohensalzburg, the castle that sits perched overlooking the city.
We did the whole audio tour and are so glad we did. It revealed a fascinating tale of religious and secular power being so closely wed and of course exploiting the masses. Those masses rose up during the German Peasants’ War in 1525, when a group of miners, farmers and townspeople tried to oust Prince-Archbishop Matthäus Lang, fed up with their lot watching the rich getting richer and they barely fed.
History has a way of repeating itself and the current trend towards the concentration of money into ever fewer hands should be heeded. Australia for instance just had a near 10% rise in those living under the poverty line.
So the peasants were put down, and the archbishops continued to fortify against further threats, both domestic and international. They clearly commissioned well as there is no record of the castle having ever been breached. It was surrendered though on one occasion….to Napoleon. Well if you were going to surrender to anyone it probably should be him.
Our stomachs finally having recovered enough from our meal last night, it was off to my favourite food franchise…Nordsee!
They sell raw and smoked seafood, including my all time favourite thing in a bun – herrings and onions! Yum…Catherine joined as her Fear-Of-Missing-Out syndrome predictably kicked in. None too impressed, I was tasked with finding her a non-dairy hot chocolate. No easy task in this country let me tell you. In fact I failed, most cafe staff just looked at me horrified and I scuttled off. A pot of herbal tea had to suffice, although in my favour a vegan apple strudel was eventually located.
The rain threatened once again so we headed back to collect our bikes. A good job done by the shop. I think given the high level of cycling participation in the city it seems to breed a better standard of bike care. We now even have wing mirrors to stop having to crane round to see if the other is still in pursuit.
The rain thundered down and what is a couple supposed to do with time on their hands? Correct….Thank goodness for the BBC and its iPlayer providing the entertainment we needed to pass a wet afternoon in the 2 square metres of living space we are proud to call home.