Hello from Salzburg, land of the Sound of Music! The hills and lakes around here are gorgeous, as anyone who's seen the movie might guess, but the weeks of travel have been accumulating and I'm just exhausted...so for the first time in my travels I gave in and got the "Salzburg Card," which includes cable cars to the tops of several mountains so I can give my poor, throbbing legs a break and still see all there is to see. I feel like a wimp, but sometimes you've just got to pamper yourself. At first I thought that the 3 days I had planned in this city were too much, and that I'd have to find a day trip somewhere--there are plenty of options and I just couldn't choose!--but now I'm glad that I can take my time today and tomorrow and squeeze in lazy things like a river cruise (free with my Salzburg card), a classical concert that is part of the Salzburg festival, and take things generally slower, ie relax in front of video installations in the art museums that I usually would be too much in a hurry to sit through. (I just watched most of a video documentary on Tina Barney, a renowned photographer, that was playing along with her exhibition at the modern art museum, and I stayed til the end half because it actually was fascinating to see the development of the project that was displayed, and partially because there was no one else in the room and I could just sit, massaging my feet and calves and at the same time feel like I was doing something worthwhile.)
This Salzburg card thing is fabulous because in addition to spending the same amount on entrance fees and transportation fees, I can get extra perks for free, like a guided tour through the next museum I plan to hit...it's at the top of a mountain, so of course I will swipe my card for a free lift up. My feet love this thing.
I still have tons to tell, if I remember correctly I haven't talked about any of Anya's visit, so there's Vienna (fabulous museums, wine country bike tour and wine-tasting, wish I had spent more time there!), Prague (fun, rowdy, but so overhyped that it was sort of a letdown), Budapest (baths and massages, ah...and more castles)...from there everyone left me and I went on to conquer Bratislava on my own (small, cute, immaculate, with fun sculptures like a guy in a manhole and a woman on a trapeze crossing the street above your head). But for now I have 2 more minutes, so I'll leave you with the taste of Salzburg (it tastes a little like pretzels) where the youth hostels all show The Sound of Music daily (yes, I watched it last night). Tomorrow after my boat cruise I think I'll rent a bike (after our biking tour tour in Vienna, I realized that bikes are fun) and ride a little along the river and through some parks. Then probably a few more Mozarty things, you can't get away from him in this town. Internet time's up!