Monday, November 3, 2008
The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Money
As it were, Joe and I skipped the “Sound of Music” bus tour (37 Euros each) and went right for the “Mozart Dinner Concert” (about the same price, wine not included).
Salzburg is a sparkling clean and efficient city.
It was fairly quiet when we arrived on Friday from Venice
and even quieter on Saturday due to the holiday. We walked the silent streets that morning, heading toward the old city and the fortress, which rises above it.
A hasty funicular ride brings you directly to the fortress
offering an amazing panorama of the city.
By the time we returned to the bottom of the hill, the tourist trade picked up considerably and the old city was filling with people.
We passed the ubiquitous souvenir hawkers, now selling Bavarian hats and plastic busts of Mozart. We resisted the former but picked up the latter for our library shelf. Mozart himself was busy shilling chocolates throughout the city and, judging from the dismayed look on his face, he thought it quite undignified for a musical genius.
Already thinking of food, we bought a huge soft pretzel to munch while considering our dinner options for that evening. The night before, we had eaten in Salzburg’s oldest beer cellar, the Pitterkellar, which was conveniently located in the cellar of our hotel.
Tonight we considered St Peter’s Stiftskellar, central Europe’s oldest restaurant est 843. We headed to St Peter’s to do some recon and when we arrived at the restaurant we spotted the sign advertising dinner and music.
Always happy to kill two birds with one stone, we signed right up.
We passed through the lovely Mirabell Gardens on our way back to the hotel
and our afternoon nap. That evening, we arrived at St Peter’s and were seated at a table near the front and with another American couple, Ann and Jim from Michigan. A string quartet began the evening with selections from Don Giovanni and two singers of decent voice sang various selections from this and other Mozart operas.
Between, we had our food, the first being an interesting lemon cream soup with cinnamon and the main course of the usual five pounds of meat with a tablespoon of vegetables
(OK, I’m exaggerating slightly). Dessert was slight and not too filling – just the way I like it.
The bill arrived and we’d found that, due to the wine and the bottles of mineral water, we had more than doubled our initial expense for the evening.
Somewhere, Maria von Trapp is laughing.