There are no kangaroos in Austria. That’s what all the t-shirts say, anyway. i’m not sure i belive them. After all it’s hard to prove a negative. If there are 10,000 feral foxes in London, there surely must be at least one kangaroo in all of Austria, no?
What I am certain of is that Austria, and Salzburg in particular (where we now find ourselves), has beautiful landscapes and amazing religious sites. We arrived early Tuesday morning – the less I say about our bargain basement, early bird departure via no frills Ryanair, the better – and leapt immediately into historic Salzburg. Shunning all of the schmaltzy Sound of Music hoopla, we ascended the steep incline towards ancient and imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress. This mammouth thousand-year-old structure captures your gaze from all over town, and the majestic views it offers were a wonderful welcome to the city.
We then decended just slightly to traverse the Monchsberg plateau that cradles old-town Salzburg. The path meandered among centuries old estates, many in significant disrepar. Does any one know a good real estate agent?
After noon, we set our sights on the pleasant streets of Salzburg’s western bank. The clear highlights were the stunning churches and cemetaries. / I’ll leave the architectural commentary to someone else, but the Dom, Franziskanerkirsche, and Erzabtei St. Peter were awe-inspiring, each in their own ways. In addition, the cemetary adjacent to St. Peter was sublime with its beatifully and creatively manacured plots and baroque tributes to many centuries of departed believers. Perhaps we’ll visit the nearby catacombs tomorrow.
To catch you up on the end of our London visit, on Monday we picked up our Kazakhstan visas, climbed the dizzying heights of St Paul’s cathedral (after experiencing choral evensong the night before) and finished our frenetic week of sight-seeing with a brief trip to the Tate Modern. In the evening, we again joined Rob for trivia night at the nearby pub. I again had a Strongbow and we again placed third out of eight groups. This time, Rob astounded us with his knowledge of cricket and English actors.
Now is an appropriate time for us to thank Jill and Rob for their terrific hospitality. And both cook! They made our visit to London about as pleasurable as it could be.
Unless something surprising happens – like being handed free tickets to Red Bull Salzberg’s upcoming UEFA Cup qualifier (that’s soccer for you Americans) – we’re off to Vienna on Wednesday.