Connie: Austria & Italy

So this is my first post of the holiday and even though it’s delayed, it’s about Austria and Italy

Saltzburg was really cool. Mozart was born there so I got I be in the room where he was born (and being the musician that I am, it was also cool to see his childhood violin and the whole town is full of these Mozart chocolates and souvenirs). The town does value Mozart, but not “The Sound Of Music”, very surprisingly. Apparently, no one in Salzburg had heard of the movie, even though it’s based in Salzburg.

One of the only things they had was a performance of the movie in a Marionette theatre, (where most of the actors are puppets with strings) and in the scene where the actors in the movie told a show with marionettes, it was marionettes being played by marionettes. Marionettes being played by marionettes?!?! It was so funny and insanely cool at the same time. It was also Heidi’s birthday there, so that was great. Oh, and also there was a lot of churches there too (13 catholic, 2 protestant, 1 synagogue). We went into a catholic one and in it there were four organs! Apparently the best acoustics are in the middle of all four organs.

I remember when I was about 10 or 11 (I can’t remember… or maybe it was 12 I’m not sure) I listened to a sort of kids story while classical music was playing, and it talked about different things in Venice. The canals, all the islands, bridges, and gondolas, and a few other things. Ever since then, I had always wanted I come to Venice and see the city like was described in the story. And now, it’s actually happening. There are absolutely no cars anywhere, or buses (but there is a train station). Boats, many boats, and gondolas as well are what transports people among the many islands surrounding Venice and the actual island itself. There are a ton of churches here too, just like Salzburg, but a lot more. Every direction that you look on the roof of the hotel you can see some sort of church. We went up a bell tower in San Giorgio church and saw lots of great views of Venice. Unfortunately, we also heard the bell ring for the time and it was pretty loud!

Another thing about Venice is that there are lots of selfie sticks for sale and lots of tourists with selfie sticks taking pictures everywhere.

We took a gondola ride down some of the canals it was interesting to see what the city looked like in the 16th and 17th century.

Another thing which is good here is the pizza, pasta, and gelato. Those were the three type of foods I wanted to eat in Italy, and I got to eat all of it (not at the same time though…)! The pizza uses a sort of tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes, and the pasta is cooked fresh when you order, (at least at the place I went to that said EAT IT RIGHT NOW OR YOU SHALL REGRET IT — okay so that is an abridged version, but that was the message I got)! The gelato was good as well, and that was just food in Venice!

Food in Germany/Austria (it’s very similar) is pretty much meat and carbohydrates (bread or German noodles or potatoes or fries which aren’t that much German or French) but the most famous thing there possibly are wursts (sausages, pronounced vurst) which I had with bread once which tasted good. Really good. I don’t usually eat many sausages back home, but these are great. And also there is a thing which is basically breaded pork called schnitzel. I don’t quite know how to describe it but it does taste good.

And the snacks in the German world? Well, the gummies are the best here (as Haribo is based in Germany) and also have you ever seen a soft baked pretzel before? Well in Germany they are also really good. We ate at least one pretzel a day when we were in Germany! In Austria they also had GIANT SOFT BAKED PRETZELS but they were really giant and it took me ages to eat it, so they were not the best thing but it was interesting to try something new.

We also went to Vienna for a day, and the highlight was going to a music museum. You could virtually conduct the Vienna orchestra and I conducted very nicely. Heidi did good on the first try then she was being silly and one of the musicians good up and said “This is not real conducting!” It was very funny watching that happen.

We’re in Switzerland right now. Hope everyone is having a great summer!

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