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|From: "Kate McMullin" <email@example.com>|
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 03:05:06 +1000 (EST)
Today was a public holiday in Austria (something Catholic), so as we stepped outside we were greeted with the peals of bells from all directions, calling the faithful... We decided to go to Schlöß Hellbrunn instead. Hellbrunn was once a bishop's palace, about 4km out of Salzburg. Well worth a visit, although expect to get wet! This rather crazy bishop loved water fountains, and loved practical jokes. So what better than to combine the two to play jokes on his friends! We took the tour around the fountains, with the guide giving explanations in German, English and Italian - impressive, although the Germans would start talking as soon as their explanation was over. Right through the gardens are hidden fountains - in the seats (all but his)and table for dining in a summer evening - some after dinner "entertainment". There were lots of elaborate moving models, etc that were water powered, and an organ sound, birds tweeting, all produced by the water.The guide kept promising "no fountains here", but then turning them on as we were leaving, getting us all a bit soggy! We looked through the old palace (great and interesting audio guide). The highlight of the place was the "octagonal room" which had richly painted walls, and a high tapered ceiling leading up to a skylight. The purpose of the room was to provide a good acoustic to enhance to the volume of mediaeval instruments. I tried out the acoustic with the Hodie from Britten's Ceremony of Carols - seemed a fitting piece - the acoustic was glorious. Be a wonderful venue for a concert (Gloriana? MUCS?). Also included in our entry ticket was entry to the folk museum on the hill. After a steep climb, we saw great examples of traditional costumes and textiles. They also had a great display of how they make gingerbread, and the methods of decorating the cakes. Amazing moulds to create the most intricate designs. They also sold gingerbread, so we couldn't resist! Walking back down the hill (different path), we came upon a concert of traditional Austrian music. All the men in Liederhosen, all the women in frilly blouses, big skirts and aprons... The concert was in a natural amphitheatre (converted cave), pretty impressive sight. There was a massed choir in the cave bit, with small groups doing pieces too. Up on the hill were 4 alphorns and a brass sextet. So we heard traditional yodelling tunes and alphorns, all for free. Alphorns are made of wood, and are about 4m long, and appeared to be made of only one piece of wood. Wonder how they transport those things? Also in the Hellbrunn gardens was the original pavillion from 'The Sound of Music'. Had to stop and take a photo (while humming "I am sixteen, going on seventeen"). Being a public holiday, we couldn't buy grocery food, so gee damn, we went out for dinner. Followed by going to the Kino (yes, the German word for cinema) to see Casablanca. We'd never seen it before; it's quite good (it was also our only choice for a movie in English). Also he never says "play it again, Sam", but he does say "here's looking at you, kid" four times. Then... we went to a brewery that is very much, very literally around the corner from Andreas' place. It was started by monks, and was once a monastery. Still owned by the monastery, but monks no longer live there. Excellent beer. They come in ceramic mugs, in either 0.5L or 1L size. A litre is really filling, you know. The stuff is rather strong, too. But very good.
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