The Sound of Music


I asked the hostel keeper at the Meininger in Salzburg whether there was a prettier way to get to the renowned tower above Mozartplatz where it had been suggested that I absolutely must climb the stairs.  I had come from the train station through driving rain and a lot of traffic on the bus with an ill- tempered bus driver who made us disembark and take another one behind us mid-trip with no explanation... and he was just plain crabby about it.  I wasn't too anxious to repeat this, and was okay enough with walking in the rain since I had my poncho.  The hostel keeper pointed vaguely out the door, indicating there was a nearby trail leading through the Kapuzinerberg forest.  

What he didn't tell me was that it was incredibly steep a good deal of the way and that I would have several choices of directions to take deep into the trip after I had been quite spun around, trekking up and down and around cliffs.  The choices were never easy as none of them were on my map and all of the destinations were a few kilometers and another measure which I never saw before and took to be the average time to hike them, which was never less than 30 minutes. As beautiful as the forest was, the afternoon was passing and I couldn't afford to make too many wrong choices.  

At one point I met a girl from England who was as helpless as me looking at the long strange words and the directional signs that looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. As we were coming from opposite directions, we we able to rule out a couple choices and we both left fairly confident, if only momentarily.  Nevertheless, it was a stellar decision to go through the woods rather than through the traffic-congested town as the Spring rain had made my world fresh and lovely.   The forest was sun-dappled and filled with birdsong and rushing waterfalls.


Expansive views opened up unexpectedly at turns.


When at last I made the climb up those stairs to the fortess above Mozartplatz, I could only smile at what child's play the tourist challenge was compared to the hike through the Kapuzinerberg.


Salzburg from the tower above.


My new friend Martin provided the sound of music I was hoping to hear, his guitar riffs echoing through Dom Platz and thankfully drowning out the cheesy xylophone player in the adjacent Mozartplatz who was inexplicably mesmerizing a horde of tourists.


Martin and Eric, a biology student from Bolivia, and I hung out along the river for awhile before they headed off to a salsa party. I hadn't packed any heels, so I sauntered back through the gardens, now empty of camera-snapping Asians, and past pretty buildings as evening quietly fell.