17 May 2011

Rock Me, Amadeus

Salzburg is filled with performers. It's the city of Mozart and The Sound of Music, the latter eclipsing the former on a few postcards aimed at a very specifically browed crowd. We were only there for a few hours, but we found a different act in every corner of the large central square. Unfortunately, the figure on the top of the giant gold ball is a statue and not a man pretending to be a statue. There's at least one of those in every city in the world, I'm convinced, and this one would have been really impressive.
This quartet played Ed Sullivan era Beatles type music fairly well. We're pretty sure they were American. While we've definitely been surrounded by our share of tourists, the number of American accents here startled us. The campsite crowd has been mostly Dutch, Deutsch and British. Anyway, these guys were pretty good. Across the way a crosslegged, scruffy faced man about the same age played a didgeridoo. He seemed like more of a Sgt. Pepper and the Lonely Hearts club sort of guy.
Anywhere we didn't hear music, we saw instruments. I always have extra respect for cello and upright bass players. Trudging those things around takes true dedication. I bet they all get together and make fun of ukulele players. We saw one man setting up a box of cds with a bodiless violin in a case on the floor. It had a hollowed out frame an arm and strings. We can't be sure if it was just for show or not.
Not every Salzburger was a performer. These women either love or hate The Sound of Music - could go either way, really. Every hostel we looked into played the movie musical each night at 8pm. One blasted the soundtrack in the morning so that people would rise and shine. More than one dinner theatre performed the show over a meal of schnitzel with noodles and crisp apple strudel. Wolfgang Amadeus was still the city's prince, though. I think it's pretty safe to say his musical impact was a little greater.
It was in Salzburg that we finally figured out that Austrians really and truly wear dirndls and lederhosen. We'd seen them in shops, town after town and thought that maybe they just supplied the entire world's beer garden waitresses with uniforms. Not so. I, for one, love it. But more on that in "Things Austrian People Like."

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