Some of our best memories are of Salzburg. When Audy and I were together in 1961, we met Dr. Maurice and Sue Faulkner, my music professor at UCSB, there, when they met Audy for the first time. We then went back when we were stationed in England…and then one time later on. It is a city that has not changed, and still has the charm that it had 40 years ago…so we were pleased to be there. We left the hotel at 8:45 am, after having a full breakfast buffet at the hotel which was included in the room plan (the European breakfast buffet, as it was in China…is everything you want from eggs to french toast to meats and cheeses to cereals and pastries)…walking over to the station where we caught a bus to the downtown area, for we wanted to go to the Dome (Cathedral) for the 10 am mass service. We got there a little early, so walked to the church and then around the area, which is all just below the massive castle on the hill overlooking the city…and which you see in all of the photographs of the city. We walked over to the St. Peters Church, and a service was going on…so we looked in the back, in probably was one of the prettiest churches we have ever seen. It was completely decorated with candles and ornaments…and it was just glorious. They were concluding their service, which was, again, part of the Christmas week services…thus the extensive decoration, and the final song was “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty…” with the full filled church singing. Very touching and beautiful. We then walked back over to the Dome, and the service was going and this massive church was filled. We walked to the front and got a seat on the side…and enjoyed very much the service with the full organ, 2 oboes, and a bassoon accompanying the soloist and the small adult choir. Although they were using the smaller and newer organ, of which there are 4 in the church, the music was beautiful and carried so well in the big dome….we stayed for the entire service. A blessing!
We left and took the funicular (cable car) up the hill to the castle-fortress, which we both remembered, as we walked to the top back in 1961. At the castle we walked around to see the sights and the views of the city from the top…had a coffee at the little restaurant…saw the Marionette Museum..and enjoyed the clear weather, although colder. This is a true fortress, in that it guarded the city, and today it has been preserved and is still a landmark to behold. We walked down into the town…went to the Mirabelle Castle, where I got one of my best photos of Audy in ’61…and walked over to the Mozart Museum. This is very well done and goes through the real history of Mozart…what he did…where he did it… and some of the family history. This is a must for anyone that appreciates Mozart, for it clearly demonstrates with videos and photos the incredible life of this genius. The Mozart birth place is nearby, and most of Salzburg has been turned into these pedestrian shopping areas, including the old market square, the street where Mozart’s home was, etc. We got a feeling for this on Sunday, but then on Monday it was a huge crowd of people. On Sunday we found a great little Italian restaurant in one of these pedestrian areas and had a great lasagna meal…served by an Austrian that had lived for 2 years in LA. We went on over to the Marionette Theater in hopes of seeing the 4 PM show…but couldn’t get it so got tickets for the evening Marriage of Figaro by Mozart…by the Marionettes. Although we had hoped to see the earlier show of The Nutcracker at 4, it turned out better that we got to see the “Marriage” that evening. This is really an incredible performance, for these Marionettes are about 4 feet tall, and from the distance that we were at, after a few minutes you forget that they are on strings and look like real opera performers. They are so good, that they make hand motions with the music changes, etc. Just makes you think they are real in every respect. Very well done and very worthwhile to see. The music, of course, is great, for it comes out on some form of large Bose type speakers, so you think there is a live orchestra playing…a great show! We tried to find out a little more about the “puppeteers”…for they are true professionals, and all we could find was that this is what they do after years of preparation and rehearsal…true artists. The theater itself is a regular theater, seating about 300, and we were towards the back, for it was almost sold out…and so well done that you forget that you are not seeing a real opera by real actors and singers. Well worth it!
We left the theater about 9:45 PM…walked to take some night photos, etc..and back to the hotel at 10:30 PM. A great day in Salzburg. Unfortunately, Audy’s back is starting to act up, and this is when we decided that when we get back, we are going to get on a regular exercise program to help strengthen her back muscles. But we had a good night…and Audy slept in the next morning…as we had a slow day planned.