I guess I’m not going into town tonight
Salzburg, Österreich (Austria)
Today is a down day to rest my weary feet, do laundry, pay bills, take a NAP, etc. I mean really, what else would I do in Salzburg?
I did manage to walk into town today for a bit and hung out at Mirabell Gardens. Lovely. And so much like a park. Why, it could be a park; today, it was a park. I did the usual park things; watch people, take some pictures. Then I saw one of those city bus tour buses and thought why not? At the last minute, I was moved to a small VW van, the overflow van. It was me and a lady from Germany. Our tour guide was a tiny lady named Barbara that could barely see over the steering wheel. She was very informative though and answered all my questions. Sweet lady, but couldn’t drive well at all. I had quite the headache at the end of the tour. It was just a 1.5 hour tour and it gave me a good intro to the city and I was able to get my bearings. I figured I’d go out exploring tonight and get some night shots.
And now for a digression. The last several days, there’s been something going on around me that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It was something that was there or wasn’t there, I don’t know. Something familiar, something soothing and comforting. It’s something I’ve been missing but very subtle. I just couldn’t latch on to it. Tonight it finally hit me. Crickets.
I was sitting on the patio today, while my clothes were in the wash, and a couple of guys near me were conversing in German and it made me think of something that occurred at the castle hostel in Bacharach a few days ago. I was sitting on the patio on my last morning, pretend reading as there was just so much going on around me and I couldn’t focus. There was a German family getting ready to go on some adventure for the day. There was Grandma and Grandpa their three kids and their spouses, and some grandchildren ranging in age from about 5 to 16ish. The 14 year old boy was being a real booger, always picking on his older sister and the other kids and his mom scolding him for it and his father ignoring the whole thing and the mother then giving Dad the stink eye for that. The little boy of about 6 or 7, kind of frail and awkward, got special attention and words of encouragement from his loving grandmother who doted on him.
The little 5 or 6 year old girl, an absolute doll, was cuddling with grandfather and he was telling her a story of some fanciful adventure. Her eyes opened wide and she couldn’t hold back a cute grin at the good parts and she grimaced and snuggled closer to grandfather at the scary parts. Grandpa really tells a good story, using all sorts of inflections and growls and happy sounds. It truly sang, I was entranced. The 16 year old girl was just being there, being nice, all prim and proper and making sure she looked good for the hot biker boys across the way getting ready for their day, just in case there was a chance with one of them, when really there wasn’t. The parents were primarily concerned with the logistics of the day, making sure they had enough money and talking about the schedule, and were being generally panicky and snipping at each other. At least that’s how I saw it. I really couldn’t understand a word they were saying.
Back to Salzburg. Whilst hanging out here in the lobby I met Owen and Peter, both from Australia. They’re not traveling together and just met each other as well. They both said they hadn’t met many other Aussies while traveling so they latched on to each other. Peter is a retiree and is biking through Europe for 12 months. Peter is quite insane. Owen is a mid 30s good looking bloke spending a couple of months here like me. He’s on his way to Zürich tomorrow. Peter on the other hand will go to… Oh, I don’t know… however far he can get on a bike suppose. I could probably drive an hour down the road to visit him if I wanted to. Peter is insane, kind of like my friend David back home. Owen and Peter are nice friendly fellows and we just chatted over beers for the last five hours (that’s a total of four beers now for me on this trip). It was nice to hear the accent again and talk Ozzie talk and recall my two years living in Australia. It was very relaxing and they were good company. I guess I’m not going into town tonight.
Got an email from Hannah today. Remember her? She was my first roommate in Paris. She made it home safely to Dresden, Germany after completing her tour through France. She invited me up for a visit. Unfortunately, it’s too far north from here. Although, I just saw some pictures of the place and perhaps I should reconsider. Coincidentally, it’s the sister city of Salzburg. I’ll sleep on it.
It’s getting late. The hang out area here at the Salzburg Youth & Family Guesthouse Hostel is bustling with people. The lounge to the right of me is filled with people watching the Olympics; women’s volleyball is on. It’s interesting watching this gang because there are people from several different countries here and they’re all cheering for their home teams. To the left of me, is the lounge where there are about 30 teary eyed people watching Sound Of Music, again. That’s just silly. But just how do you solve a problem like Maria? In front of me is the reception desk and to the right of that is the bar, both are very busy. Behind me is the patio filled with more people of all ages having a great time. I love it.