Sunday, May 3, 2009

Europe, Part 4 (Alps, Salzburg)

Thursday, July 3

On this day, we went from Vienna to Salzburg. I was amazed at the Alps. I don't think I'd ever seen anything more beautiful!

We drove to the Alps from Vienna. For lunch, we crossed the border into Germany and went into a small mountain town of Berchtesgaden. I remember, when we were in the bus going to the town, someone shouted, "Hey, look! A man wearing lederhosen!"

Some people went to restaurants for lunch, and some went to the grocery store. The grocery store was an A&P!! I wish they had those at home. They have A&P's in Ontario, and in little Bavarian mountain towns, but not in Montreal! I bought some kaiser rolls. I wish we could get good kaiser rolls at home too! I think I might've gotten my Kinder chocolate there too, but maybe I got it at Mondsee in Austria.


Town where we had lunch.

After lunch, we went to the Berchtesgaden Salt Mine. I never knew a tour of a salt mine could be so exciting! We had to put on mining suits. Then, we rode in a train to another part of the salt mine. I don't like fast rides, so I was a bit scared at first, but the train wasn't too fast and wasn't scary at all. Nevertheless, some of us screamed anyway so we'd trick the people behind us into thinking it was scary. :P

We got a tour of the salt mines. At one point, we had to slide down some long slides. I was a bit scared to do that, but our German guide assured me that it was "funny", so I went down the slides. They were fun! We all rode a boat across an underground lake, and saw a light show while we were in the boat. Various coloured lines appeared on the walls, and music played. It was fascinating. (That light show video I linked to wasn't taken by an orchestra member, I just found it on YouTube.) Then we went in a neat elevator, and then we each got a little container of salt to take home.


Outside the salt mine.


Inside the saltmine. (Photo by a friend)

After the saltmine tour, we went back to Austria, and arrived in Salzburg! I loved our hotel there. We dropped off our stuff in the hotel rooms, and then we went in the bus to a building where we attended the opening of the Cantus Music Festival. Nobody much enjoyed the actual food at the supper, and I was very tired, but otherwise we had a good time. We had water in wine glasses, so we tried wetting our fingers and rubbing the rims of the wine glasses. This was the first time I managed to make a sound with a wine glass! The Cantus Festival was mostly a choir festival. Some of the choirs sang songs at the supper. Some orchestra members suggested we sing one of our orchestra pieces, but most of us weren't keen on that idea.

After supper, we went outside. It was raining. We did various things and wandered around town. Karlo, one of our double bass payers, was trying to teach us to perform Steve Reich's Clapping Music.


Clapping Music. Photo by a friend. Karlo's the one in the orange shirt. I'm the one in the white visor.

The bus drove us back to our hotel. I heard news that some orchestra musicians and monitors were going down the street to a pub. I never miss out on a trip to a pub if I can help it! The rules of the trip stated that people of legal drinking age were allowed to have 2 drinks in a day. So, I ordered a beer. I wasn't expecting to get a HUGE glass of beer, but I did! Stiegl, they call the local beer. It was quite good. I ordered a second big glass after the first. After I finished the second glass, I was feeling tired, and it was about time to go to bed anyway. We all went back to the hotel. I was exhausted.

In the next entry, we find the Red Bull mansion, something happens to a mirror, and I encounter the rare Cimbasso.

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