Friday, January 11, 2013

Salzburg, SchwanenSee, and (almost!) Salt mines

     Today, Dr. Powell, Sam, Elise and I attempted to do something "non-chic" and go to Hallein to see the salt mines. That didn't the salt mines were closed because it was snowing. It was nice to get away from the tourist-y Salzburg, though.
    Overall, the town was much more sincere and quintessentially Austrian than the bustling Salzburg.

     Last night, we saw SchwannenSee, or, to us, "Swan Lake" at the Festspielhaus in Altstadt Salzburg. It was utterly fantastic! It was the first ballet I've been to since I was 8 or 9, and it's probably spoiled me. Once you see the Russian State Ballet, it's probably hard to go back to seeing any less of a prestigious company perform! We were disappointed by the lack of orchestra, but the music and dancing were still a once in a lifetime experience.
     Of course, we spent a lot of time learning about Mozart...I guess I shouldn't say learning...since we all know so much about him already! It was fantastic to see the places he really lived, however. Seeing his favorite churches, and where his father lived and worked (and died). We saw so many of the famous portraits and drawings of Mozart and his family at the Mozart Museum in his birthhouse.
     Sam, Marissa and I also took time to take our pictures with the big guy...(although this statue is famous for being an extremely inaccurate likeness of him)
     In the end, what I'm enjoying most in Salzburg are the few quiet moments. Sam, Marissa and I hiked up to the Franciscan Monastery (still active), where we sat in silence for 15 minutes. We walked along the old city walls (probably 11th century) and saw where some of the Salzburgan homeless choose to make their homes (by the monastery). Hallein was beautiful, and barely anyone spoke a lick of English! Luckily, Sam and I speak enough Denglish (Deutsch+English) to make sure we were getting on the right bus, and to thank our waiters. Oh, and have I mentioned the food? The food is great. Just use your imagination, then make it better.

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