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4:58pm on Friday, 14th December, 2007:

Places I'd Like to Visit #8


Continuing the occasional series...

Salzburg, in Austria.

Salzburg is one of those places that just looks good. My dad went there a few years ago on a coach trip, and showed me his photos when he got back; I was impressed. Basically, it has three hills and a river running between them, with a vast medieval fortress at the top of one and an extremely well-preserved old town at the bottom. The city got off relatively lightly during the Second World War, with the result that its centre is very beautiful and very intimate. I'm very partial to middle-European architecture, and from what my dad told me it's a real gem. The Alpine countryside surrounding it looks pretty good, too.

I've been to two cities in Austria before, Vienna and Graz. I liked them both, although they're very different: Vienna is all 19th Century grandeur, whereas Graz is more medieval. Salzburg looks to be a bit like Graz, but with an old town that's much, much bigger (it's smaller as a whole, though). I also have a soft spot for it from playing Darklands, one of my all-time favourite computer games.

OK, so I'm sure you can't walk through the old town without seeing constant references to Mozart and/or The Sound of Music, but if I can explore Amsterdam in the face of the local tourist industry's endeavours to tempt me buy to its wares, I can explore Salzburg (well, so long as they're not spread across every pavement so you can't walk anywhere).

So, why haven't I been there? Well, the thing is that although I'm up for it, my wife and my elder daughter aren't. My younger daughter is, because she's learning German at school and wants to be able to show it off (my elder daughter took against the language, and that's probably the root of why she doesn't want to go). We shan't, therefore, be going on any family holidays in the area any time ever. In a few years' time, when our children have flown the nest, we might go on a European coach tour (like my dad did) and I could see it that way; hopefully, I could take in Prague and Budapest, too. As always, there's also the chance (rather slim) that I might go there for work reasons sometime.

Oh, and I like the name Salzburg, too; that's always a good sign.

Referenced by Away!.

Referenced by Impressions of Salzburg.

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).