The Home of Mozart

Trip Start Sep 23, 2004
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Trip End Dec 24, 2004


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Flag of Austria  ,
Sunday, October 17, 2004

On my 16th day of travel, I have arrived in Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg was originally settled in 800 AD. Subsequently, the Lords in the area developed the Salzburg castle to defend themselves. The word Salz-burg is also know as salt castle, the reason being that the town made a living by mining the salt in the mountain. This is also the source of wealth for the city. The town and the castle gradually expanded over the next hundreds of years until in the 1800īs, the town was merged with the Hapsburg empire. Mozart was born on 1756 in a small apartment north the Salzach river. He only lived until the age of 39 but his achievement during his life time included 600+ piano and violin songs and more 20 operas. In additional to Mozart, Salzburg is also well known for filming of the movie "Song of the Music". Almost every English-speaking tourist went on this tour.
Since I arrived around 1230 pm, I quickly checked into my hostel and joined this "Ice Cave" tour. About 25 tourists went on this nice bus and it took us 1 hour south to the town of Werfen. Even upon arrival, we still have to walk 20 minutes up hill to the entrance of the cave. Due to the high altitude of the cave, the path leading to the cave was covered with snow. It was cold with blowing snow on our way up. It might sound bad but it beats sightseeing in the rain in the city. The cave was very interesting, filled with ice formations from thousands of years water seeping through the cracks. It was discovered back in the 1800īs and since then staircases were built for the tourist. Unfortunately only a few of my pictures turned out due to extreme darkness of the cave. The guide scared us that there is 1400 steps in the tour, 700 up and 700 down. But after doing the tour, I think the guide exaggerated that a bit, the steps were steep but not as hard to climb as one may think. I returned to the hostel around 7 pm. When I was having my dinner, I met this nice Australian tourist with whom we had a great conversation for the next 4 hours. We chatted about all the fun places to travel around the world. At 11 pm, we returned to our dorm to find one of our roommate, some kid from Mannitoba Canada, decided to have a drinking party. He brought at least a dozen beers and was drinking them one after another. I just sat and watch him and my other roommate drink. This Canadian kid is absolutely hilarious that he kept on saying he would go to some bar and screw some chicks ( with obscene body gestures ). I try not to laugh, since he is probably drunk. I was able to catch some Z s when he left for the bar.
On day 17, I try to get the most value from the Salzburg card I bought. The card entitles its owner to unlimited free admissions of all major city museums and free public transportation in the city. I ended up visiting 4 museum at the end of the day, fully exhausted. I saw the Salzburg Castle , the Archibishop Residence, Mozart Birthplace and Mozart Residence. Almost at every corner I can find a shop selling Mozartnugart : a chocolate ball covered with Mozartīs portrait. That evening, I made it to the internet cafe and I was starting to check my e-mails. I had some question regarding downloading my pictures so I asked the clerk. The clerk couldnīt understand my English so he asked me if I spoke Japanese, which I said yes. He subsequently answered my question in Japanese which puts me in complete shock since he is actually from the Middle-East !!! Well this tells me the advantage of knowing a few languages, they come in handy at times.
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