Nobody runs away to join the circus anymore, but I feel that now, more than ever in my lifetime, we need to join more circuses.
- (via worldispictures)
To be honest, I am at a loss for words.
I have so many things to say about it and maybe that is why it is so hard to find the words.
We finished off our trip with a bang by going to see the Forman Brothers' circus show at Salzburg's Winter Fest.
It was gorgeous. I don’t think I’ve experienced that kind of pure joy and entertainment since I was a little girl and laughed blindly through the entire performance of Midsummer’s Dream at Stratford Festival.
It was dark. It was twisted. It was seductive. It was beautiful. It was funny. It was real theatrics. It made me nostalgic for things I have never even experienced. It left me wanting. Yearning. It was a lot of things.
We better not say more about it for now.
After a few drinks in the hotel bar, we had our last sleep in Austria.
After the funny Italian lunch we found ourselves in want of a nap.
This was all fine and dandy and after my nap I still had time to kill before our 7 pm meeting time and the concert wasn’t until 8 pm anyway so I wandered around Salzburg at my own convenience stealing wifi from starbucks and exploring territory previously untouched by the McLean-Smits clan! I was rather enjoying myself; I discovered a lot of new things. Then I looked at my watch and saw that it was 6:58 pm and I thought that I would turn back now and they shan’t miss me since they are always quite late by about 10 minutes and I am tired of waiting around for them. So, as it happens I was only but 3 minutes late. 7 minutes later (7:10), my parents arrive downstairs with my mother’s heart in her hands as I begin to find out that they thought I had gone missing and had called in nothing short of the infantry to come find me.
Frightened that I was not punctual, they waited no less than 3 minutes before calling, knocking, and then asking the front desk to open my room. They proceded to ransack my room. My mother even UNLOCKED the door to my balcony and looked down. SHE LOOKED DOWN. She thought perhaps that I was only pretending to be happy and I had flung myself off the balcony and then locked the door behind me. I am more upset at her frightful detective work than her panicked thoughts about my possible suicide.
Anyway. I was alive and well and we were off to the concert at Schloss Mirabell.
Uh-mazing. An intimate concert in the marble hall with the most talented pianist, violinist, and horn player that I have ever opened my ears to. It was a true revelation about music and talent. I have never been humbled by the beauty of a musical moment as I was in this hour. They played Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and then finished with a Brahms trio. We were so close that we could touch them and feel the music vibrating out of their instruments. As my Opa would have said, “It was an honour and a pleasure”.
Do these things. Treat yo’ self. Treat yourself to beautiful moments like this.
Aaah, Salzburg. You mother fucking beauty. Surrounded by your alps and your hillsides and your fucking fields and castles and rivers and horses and whatever.
In central Salzburg - right outside the Sacher Hotel - a man is waiting at a stoplight. He is in a downhill ski suit with and appropriately small knapsack and his skiis affixed to the outside of the bag in a way that makes it easy for him to ride his bicycle. Yes, this is Salzburg.
You know the mother fucker has just ridden down from the Eagle’s Nest (a high, iconic mountain top) where he has been hiking and skiing all afternoon and that now he is biking home with his zero body fat to his shitty beautiful modern interpretation of a wooden chalet with its large windows up on the hillside looking out over the river and valley of Salzburg and you are thinking, “what. the. fuck.”
Salzburg is a beautiful, brisk 3 hours from Vienna on the German border. Where Vienna is urban and imperial, Salzburg is charming and laid back (and bustling on what is said and appears to be one of the busiest weekends of the year).
There is no snow in Salzburg yet though we can see it in the surrounding hill tops and dusting the ground in the cooler mornings up river. We also are content with our own imagination of the horse drawn sleighs pulling folks about covered in warm blankets.
Our first half day here was spent figuring out the layout of the city and the passages of the old town. We found ourselves a properly curated vintage jewelry store specializing in art deco, old film jewelry, and other wonderful pieces through out time. Mom scored some Joseph of Hollywood earrings while I snagged a fabulous pair of brand new sunglasses from 1960s Paris. They were found in the back of a store still in their box! I look like a movie star, but should be treated like royalty.
Which I am being treated like because this Hotel (Sacher), ohmagod. They give me a linen cloth and slippers to step onto when I wake up in the morning and they lay out my pijamas, the tv guide and the remote for me and the floor in my marble bathroom is heated and they keep replenishing the fruit so I keep taking more fruit and pocketing it so they’ll give me more and more fruits.
The trees and bridges are smothered in Christmas lights and I couldn’t be happier. It’s good Salzburg. You done good.
Our first full day in Salzburg was spent riding our bikes along the riverside. T’was beautiful. We got a great look at the surrounding mountains, spied into peoples homes, and envied their well-stacked and plentiful firewood.
Eventually, the lack of air in my father’s bike tires became too bothersome and thus began a nightmarish journey to find an adapter for the air pump at the gas station and my mother was in a proper tizzy going on about how it’s all my father’s fault that these things happen and my father is properly calm and ignoring the hissy fit and making mom even more hysterical and then the gas station attendant was pretending that he couldn’t speak english and was being a total brat because he could totally speak english and I know this because he very clearly explained what the problem was in English and I speak English (to some degree) and I was refusing to flag down a cyclist for an air pump on the side of the road or do anything terribly helpful in anyway and then my dad messed up the valve and couldn’t undo it and my mom flagged down a cyclist and i trotted along being perky and still unhelpful and then my mom bought sparkling instead of flat water and i spit it everywhere and then we didnt have the number for the hotel and my feet were cold because I didn’t wear warm socks and then we found a mechanic! And he fixed the bike and everyone was happy!
We found ourselves along a lovely dirt path with other cyclists and runners and horseback riders and we took the trail all the way back into town for lunch. Finding lunch was a whole different ball game because obviously everything is closed always. Less so here than in Vienna. And finding food when someone is hangry is like trying to get a piece of mocha maple chocolate cake from the kitchen but your house is filled with sleeping dragons. Anyway we found an italian place and it was packed to the brim and there was only one server and he was so rushed and rude it was funny. He left before you finished ordering and yelled at you if you asked questions. At one point my father was sure the mam next to us was going to pull out a gun and open fire in the restaurant. It was pretty wonderful.