IM Austria Prague 2014 Tour : Salzburg

Getting off the high of our Sound of Music Tour, we continued to explore other

musically enchanting sites in Salzburg. If it wasn’t made obvious enough by the

souvenir shops hawking Mozart shirts and trinkets, Salzburg is the birthplace of one of

the world’s most famous composers, Mozart.

Known famously as a child prodigy, Mozart was found to be quickly adept at the piano

and violin. His best-known symphonies, however, were written later on in his life, but

are no less incredible. The Mozart family lived on the third floor of the “Hagenauer

House” at Getreidegasse 9 for twenty-six years, from 1747 to 1773. Many of the exhibits

showcase the immense amount of music in Mozart’s childhood. From child-size violins

to scribbled music sheets, one could imagine the cacophony of classical music blending

with the street sounds of Old City.

Those sounds would carry through past the music shops and boutiques of the

Old City into Residence Square. Bordered by the New Residence, the Cathedral, the

Old Residence, and a row of townhouses, the square now hosts numerous shops,

bakeries, and a café. The baroque Residence fountain in the square is considered to be

one of the most beautiful fountain in Salzburg. Four horses sprout from the rock, giants

in rock carry the basin, and three dolphins balance the upper basin. It serves as a great

place to relax and feel the open away from some of the Old City’s more crowded

shopping streets.

It’s almost symbolic that a very modern bridge connects Salzburg’s Old City to

the rest of the town. Along the bridge is a sea of padlocks, similar to those found in

other bridge-like landmarks. Some are modern padlocks, others are archaic locks that

look as if they have been swiped from ancient tombs. Some have the names of couples,

others are simply in the shape of hearts. They’re all promises one way or another. We

like to physically materialize our vows our expressions of love, so it’s no wonder this is a

sight I’ve often seen around the world. A part of me is glad we’re doing this instead of

carving our names in trees. But if you read the placards the locks are symbols for more

than couples declaring eternal love for each other. They’re also the promises of

immigrant families who came from Eastern Europe to Salzburg in their search for a

better life. They’re promises to come back with fortune and opportunities they had only

dreamed of—an American Dream in the heart of Europe.

Going away from the Old City, you can see the span of the Salzach River. And

no matter how much I appreciated the baroque architecture of the Old City, that was

where I saw the most beauty. In cities, we always seem to be constantly on the move

powering ourselves with Starbucks lattes-that Italians are frankly offended by-and the

glow of our cell phones. Just think back to your kid’s recital or a concert and try to

remember if you watched from your seat or your screen. And it was one of those

moments sitting on the bank of the Salzach River with the sun setting off fireworks of

light from the water that you believe are so clichéd and probably documentary stock

footage. But then it actually happens to you and no picture can explain what you felt.

You can’t store the feeling of sitting in the heart of nature and history, whilst two love-
sick couples perform increasingly sexual acts 15 feet away from you and a man to your

right has decided right then and there that this is the perfect place to analyze his

spreadsheets. For now there is no SD card infinite enough for that moment. This is me

signing off, from a park bench with a Starbucks smoothie to my right and a defecating

dog to my left. Until next time.

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