Whilst it had been raining on and off during our stay in Salzburg it really turned it on the day we left. Pouring rain followed us all the way to Bregenz. Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg, the westernmost federal state of Austria. The city is located on the eastern shores of Lake Constance, the third-largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, between Switzerland in the west and Germany in the northwest. The city is situated on the junction of the arterial roads from the Rhine valley to the German Alpine foothills. It is especially famous for the annual summer music festival Bregenzer Festspiele.
The day was grey the atmosphere damp and cold and the traffic was difficult at times. Finding our Ibis Hotel was not made easier by the IPhone but we got there. After checking in, Kerry wanted to check out an outdoor amphitheatre over the Lake with a floating stage and the Casino. We thought the weather had broken and that we would not need an umbrella. So we walked from our hotel only 100m or so and we found ourselves crossing over the rail line to the casino and the theatre. Some interesting graffiti appeared on a wall along the way.
Well you cannot call it a theatre. In fact I don’t know what to call it other than fantastic. They were preparing for a presentation of Puccini’s Turandot in a Chinese setting with the clay soldiers rising from the water and the great wall crossing the stage. The whole building was remarkable and a landmark.
I have copied pictures of two previous presentations to give you the idea of the surreal atmosphere this stage presents.
We also went to the Casino. Reasonably swish and pleasant. We lost about 15€ on the pokies and for Sharna at Easts they used the card system and it was quite successful. We then decided to take in the air and walk along the lake edge until it started to rain and we scurried into the old town to buy some croissants for breakfast. There was a fabulous bandstand on a pier on the lake and quaint colourful buildings in the old town (including tractors in the main street). And of course some lavender for Ron. We had dinner on the Lake and it was bloody cold and wet but better than a pizza in the room.
Next morning it was still raining for our trip to Villeneuve.
It is our last day for tripping around. We have to get some domestic things done like washing ironing and some car repairs. However we have the use of our Salzburg cards until 10.00 am so we jump the bus and go into the old City and visit Mozart’s birth place. On the way we pass some interesting graffiti. Mozart’s birth place is far more interesting and informative. We learn that Mozart had a sister and 5 other siblings who died at birth or shortly thereafter. His father Leopold was a distinguished musician and held positions at court. Because of Leopold’s talent he recognised Wolfgang’s brilliance and moved mountains to have it recognised. Mozart’s sister was brilliant also but not quite genius. Wolfgang had two sons one who was as brilliant as his father but lived in his father’s shadow and the second also musically talented but who chose to work in the civil service. The family line died out with Wolfgang’s sons. As usual with brilliant people the musicians were eccentric and it was Wolfgang’s mother who was the family stabiliser. Wolfgang’s wife was quite a business woman and although Wolfgang died at an early age his widow made his name and music live on. If in Salzburg this is a must to visit.
Kerry had high hopes of a shopping spree after our last museum but the weather had been overcast and rainy the last few days and today it was constantly raining – raining on her shopping spree. So home to domestic duties and car repairs.
We had lost power to the auxiliary power points in the car and it needed some oil. I knew it was the fuse but I could not find the fuse in question. I spoke to Petra our host about a service station and she immediately volunteered her father (who happened to be visiting her that night) to help. Arrangements were made to go to her uncle’s garage outside of Salzburg on Friday – today. At 2.00pm we followed Petra to this garage and after everyone got over a right hand drive car it took 5 minutes for the professional to find the fuses behind the change box in the dash. Fuse changed and oil topped up we returned to our domestic duties to prepare for travel and to prepare for the concert at Schloss Mirabell tonight.
Schloss Mirabell’s breathtaking Marble Hall is the venue for classical concerts every Friday night in Salzburg. Dripping with old-world Austrian glamour, the hall’s interior matches the elegance of the music played inside it, making it the place to watch a concert in Salzburg. Access to the inside of Schloss Mirabell is only possible by booking a concert such as the one we attended tonight. So we did it and discovered the palace’s Baroque beauty while listening to chamber music from a trio of master musicians (piano, violin and viola) playing the music of the likes of Mozart and Beethoven.
The performance stated with a pianist from Siberia who played a set of three pieces by Mozart. Then the “First Violin” joined him for another set of three pieces followed by a break. Then came the surprise. The Violinist had forgotten the sheet music for the trio – the first time in 30 years so the pianist filled in with an ad lib piece until the sheet music was brought to the Palace.
The evening finished with the trio playing three pieces by Mozart to a standing ovation. The viola player was almost demonic in her determined thrusting with her bow.
So we walked to the bus stop to catch the number 5 home but the last bus was at 8.00pm and our concert finished at ten. So a cab home and into bed ready for a big drive to Bregenz in Austria tomorrow.