All back safe, sound, & shattered from this year's snowboarding epic. Taking the train seemed like the leisurely and relaxed way to go on the way over, but by the time the trip back came about I was kinda getting tired of the whole procedure. The snow in Zell Am See as we were waiting to leave contributed to the “Awww, that's nice” factor, but the temperature and shit-ness of the coffee soon made up for it.

The big fun component of the trip was our most-of-a-day stop in Salzburg. Ordinarily I'd have been excited to check out a new place replete with historical significance, however Richie & I were just on the wrong side of exhausted + sick, and the weather was just on the wrong side of unpleasant, to really embrace the experience with gusto. By sheer fluke (positive or negative – YOU be the judge) our train was delayed such that we missed the afternoon's Sound Of Music Tour. We possibly could have made it actually, had we not spent so long farnarkling at the train station trying to find somewhere to leave our snowboarding bags. Rich saved the day there by wandering over to a nearby hotel and smiling sweetly at the conciergettes. Job done.

ANYWAY, Salzburg. Being too cream-crackered to actually DO anything, I figured I'd take photos.

Salzburg is of course famous for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

It's a common piece of knowledge (though disputed by Wikipedia, but then who *really* believes anything in that…) that Mozart died fairly young, owing money about the place, and on the whole not all that popular among his contemporaries. The popular story also goes that he was buried in a mass grave (at this point I'm not interested in the truth of the matter – my forthcoming tirade largely hinges on you the reader accepting this portrayal of events to be accurate, however). By all accounts at the time he died nobody would give him the time of day, but NOW you go there and find that in the old part of town there's virtually no flat surface that isn't adorned with his name ! Obviously there's a museum.

And a place where there's Mozart concerts.

My German's awful, but I saw a plaque indicating something or other Mozarty.


Including little dolls & figurines.

And a white chocolate liqueur.

Plus a t-shirt shop.

Withing spitting distance of the statue.

Which is of course located on the Mozartplatz.

Maybe take a minute for a coffee at Cafe Mozart.

Or go to the restaurant which just has the word Mozart above the door, for good measure.

Expensive jewellery's available from the Heart of Mozart.

And pretty much everywhere you can buy “Mozartballs”. They seemed to be available at least every 100 metres. Only a small guy, but clearly, a lot of balls.

My favourite however would have to be the Mozarteum.

The old town was arranged in nice, quaint, old & tourist-friendly style, with metal signs protruding into the street so at a glance you could see what was up there by the pseudo-heraldic and early advertising devices.

Some places went the extra mile on their shopfront signs.

And nowhere's safe from the cultural imperialism of The Scottish Restaurant.

Not much else to say about the place – we drank beer, had dinner, shivered a bit, swore a lot, and got on the train to Koln, then Brussels. We caught up with Wazza in Brussels for a beer, but common decency dictated that no photos be taken.

That's all. It's not one of my best blog entries, I'll admit.

Oh yeah, there was the whole thing about the German bird working in the bar on board the Eurostar who looked as if she'd put on her wig in a wind tunnel, but it barely seems worth mentioning now.

Just for old times' sake, we drank the Eurostar out of Duvel. Again. Doesn't matter how rancid you feel or how battered your body is from previous holiday boozing – anything's a better idea than drinking the coffee on Eurostar.

2007-01-29 : Das is *nicht* bullshit!
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