Elizabeth Hiatt
Johannes-Kepler Universitat Linz

Last weekend I went to Salzburg, and I’m so glad I did.  It was one of the few places that I knew I needed to visit before I came back home.  Again, we took the lovely train into the city, and it only took about an hour and a half.  When we first arrived we tried to find our bearings, but we ended up getting on the wrong bus (right line, wrong direction), and it took us away from the city instead of towards it.  At one point the bus stopped in a place that definitely didn’t look like the city center, and the driver requested that all the passengers get off and told us he couldn’t take us any farther because of the traffic.  As we were walking around we did notice an extraordinary number of people… and dogs.  We rounded a corner and came upon a convention center that had a big sign saying “World Dog Show”! There were dogs everywhere:  huge dogs, tiny dogs, dogs with bows, and dogs with hair-dos… After taking a few pictures and laughing at our mistake, we got back on a bus heading in the right direction and finally ended up in Salzburg city center. 

The first thing I did there was visit Mozart’s Geburtshaus, or his birth house.  They had turned the house he was born in into a multi-floor museum of all things Mozart.  I spent a good hour and a half looking at all the displays and admiring the house.  Afterwards, we decided to break for lunch and it was then that we came to the main square and stumbled upon a Brass and Woodwind music festival.  There was a stage set up along with stands and stands of all kinds of food and drink.  We stayed for a little while to admire the music and then started the walk up to the fortress on the hill that provided a lovely look out over the city. 

A couple members of our group had paid to go on a “Sound of Music” tour that would take them to many of the places relevant to the Von Trapp family and the making of the movie.  Their bus tour would take them about four hours, so the rest of us decided to walk to one of the “Sound of Music” related houses that was within a reasonable distance.  On our way there, however, we took some odd turns and ended up walking through a small neighborhood with a couple farms.  There were all kinds of cows, chickens, and goats, and we did see one animal we didn’t expect to see:  a flamingo.  Correction:  it was a whole flock of flamingos! We heard some loud noises and when we looked through a gap in some bushes we saw a whole flock of flamingos, pink and squaking.  It was truly one of the last things I expected to see in Austria.  After wandering by some beautiful houses, we finally found the lake and the house we were looking for, only to meet up with our friends on the tour! Unfortunately we couldn’t tour the house, but we did get to see a wedding reception go inside. 

By the time we got back to the city center it was getting late in the afternoon, and we were tired from all the walking we had done, so we decided  to sit and enjoy the rest of the Brass and Woodwind festival until our friends got back from the tour.  Once they did, we met up and had a quick dinner of Kebab, then went to wander around the Mirabell Park and Garden, which was lovely even though you could definitely tell the gardens had only recently started seeing the summer sun. 

It was a wonderful day trip, and I hope I get to go back again before I leave!  I was so exhausted that I slept the entire train ride back that night though, and I was happy to be in Linz again. 

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