London to Sydney Overland
“Hello. Would you like an English menu?”
I smile in a mix of embarrassment and relief and set the German language menu aside. “That would be lovely. Thank you.” The waiter nods with a smile and hurries back inside.
Mostly though I’m feeling accomplished. I found Cafe Tomaselli! I successfully navigated a new public transportation system, in a language I don’t understand, and arrived at my intended destination. All by myself.
With only one false start. And that was mostly because I wasn’t totally paying attention when the woman at the campground gave me directions. I’ll have to get better at that. Lesson learned. Already I’m growing. Good job me.
I could have waited an hour or two and stayed with the group, but I really wanted to be sitting here, just like this, having a quiet, quaint breakfast in the heart of Old Salzburg. The square is still empty and sleepy, Cafe Tomaselli the only spot of energy.
This is our first official city stop on the trip. We’re spending two nights at our campground outside of Salzburg. It’s gorgeous. I may have gotten a little lost this morning but this is what I was looking at through the frustration:
I have a list of things I’d like to do and see today but I’m not really sure how long everything is going to take or how many items on that list I’ll actually be able to check. We’ll see. This is the first one though and my mental check-off fills me with satisfaction.
The nice Austrian man returns with my English language menu. I realize he knew instantly I was a tourist. I’m not sure how. I don’t think I seem particularly, obviously tourist-y. But apparently I give off that vibe. Considering I now will be able to know exactly what I’m ordering it seems to be working out for me, at least this time.
I’ve decided on a theme for the day. Not surprisingly, considering the city I’m in, my theme is Mozart. I’m following Mozart through Salzburg.
I study the menu, deciding on a pot of tea and a croissant. Wait. Mozart’s almond milk? Done. With a croissant.
They don’t know for a fact that Mozart hung out at Cafe Tomaselli, but considering the cafe has been here for over three hundred years, and was a popular hang-out for writers and artists back in the day, it seems likely he once sat at one of these tables. It’s also just speculation and rumor that he sat here drinking almond milk. But rumors and speculation is all we have on the existence of the Loch Ness monster and everyone knows Nessie is real.
I choose to believe. It’s more fun.
I study my list of sites and the map, deciding my approach for the day as I sip my almond milk.
I’ve already seen the statue of Mozart on my walk through the square, so first stop after my leisurely breakfast is the Salzburg Cathedral. Mozart was baptized in the font near the entrance. The space feels light and airy despite the heavy baroque-style ornamentation. There are unique copper plates embedded in the walls of the dome overheard. I sit for a few minutes, enjoying the organ music.
I’m off to the Mozarts Geburtshaus – The Mozart Museum. This is one of two museums in Salzburg dedicated to the life of it’s most famous son. The building is a dark yellow, the gawking crowd gathered around make it hard to miss. In this room Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27th, 1756 reads the plaque on the door. I go inside, pay the entrance fee and climb the stairs to his first home, his birthplace.
Inside the exhibit tells the story of his life. I learn his father was also a composer, although not as legendary. He first performed in public at the young age of six. He began touring soon after. He dies at 35. Thirty-five! I suddenly feel very under-accomplished. Before I can dwell I’m distracted by the speculation surrounding his death. Was Mozart poisoned? Oh the intrigue.
Next stop is the other Mozart museum in town. I cross a pedestrian bridge over the bridge. It is one of the love-locks bridges. Couples come here, attach padlocks to the bridge and throw the key into the river symbolizing their eternal love. This museum is also housed in one of Mozart’s former homes. I walk the rooms, studying the items, but truthfully I feel a bit Mozart-ed out.
Time for a snack.
As I cross the street I notice a lovely garden and move that direction. There’s an outdoor cafe. That quickly my goal is realized. I sit with a tea and a cake, enjoying the warm weather and sunshine.
Salzburg is a quaint town. It looks like something out of a fairy-tale or Disney movie. It’s pretty. Clean. It’s colorful but in a muted, soothing way. The Hohensalzburg Fortress perches on a towering green hill overlooking the buildings and river below. I decide this is my next stop.
I want to ride the funicular.
Bye, Mozart. It’s been lovely.