Just returned from four days in Salzburg, Austria. Myself and the Admin Supremo were at a retail seminar, working hard, as you might expect.
On the train back to Munich and our Edinburgh flight, the Supremo found himself haggling with the conductor on the train, who explained (in German) that we needed to pay extra to be on this particular train. The Supremo deemed this totally unacceptable, and protested loudly, in English. The conductor, faced with the prospect of an argument with possibly the world’s most argumentative man, suddenly appeared to lose any grasp of English he might have had, and one credit card transaction later, moved on.
The trip was pleasingly punctuated with stops for coffee, at every opportunity, convenient or otherwise. And the odd slice of Sachertorte and apple strudel, obviously. When we weren’t working hard of course, which wasn’t very often.
Salzburg is an outstanding city, with a wonderful old town full of twisting medieval streets and a rich history. It is the birthplace of Mozart, who himself wasn’t that fond of Salzburg and its denizens, and moved to Vienna at the earliest opportunity. But what did he know about anything, apart from music. That he did know about. We enjoyed a simply stunning rendition of his Requiem in the Kollegienkirche on Saturday evening. And headed to a concert featuring Mozart on the Sunday morning. Unfortunately, we got that one wrong, and it was Haydn, Ravel and Fauré. We also weren’t expecting all of Salzburg to turn up for the concert in their Sunday best. I daresay they weren’t expecting two Scots/Irish loafers to appear in their jeans and hoodies either. Mercifully, they served coffee and Lion bars at the interval, so despite the lack of Mozart, all was not lost. Still, we sneaked out after Fauré’s Pavane, before having to endure another Haydn symphony (Haydn, I can’t help but feel, is the poor man’s Mozart). The Pavane was the BBC’s World Cup theme in 1998. I think this important fact was lost on the majority of the good folk of Salzburg, and was somewhat disappointed that the conductor, who looked remarkably like David Baddiel, didn’t point that out. One feels that if it had been David Baddiel, he would have surely mentioned it.
Moving on, we spent some time with a portable audio guide machine thing glued to our ear as we walked around Mozart’s residence. The audio commentary contained a fair few bursts of Mozart’s music, which led to the amusing sight of other tourists dancing and jigging along with what looked like a portable credit card machine pressed against their ear. By the time we had made our way round Mozart’s birthplace, and then the inside of the quite impressive Castle, we were both getting serious museum fatigue. So we popped into Mozartplatz to say goodbye to the man himself, and then quick-marched back to the hotel for a nap.
We followed that up with easily the most expensive meal I have ever had, at the Ikarus restaurant at Hangar-7. Outrageously good food, and service, at an eye-popping price. An Amaretto in the glass-and-steel bubble suspended from the glass-and-steel hangar ceiling, 50 feet above an exhibition of Red Bull-sponsored planes, helicopters and Formula One racing cars, rounded the evening (and the trip) off in some style. As befits men of style, such as the Supremo and myself…
Some photos of the trip here