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Saturday, 19 June 2010

What A Grey Day

The weather in southern Germany is still abysmal. But I’d decided to have a day over the border in Salzburg, so boarded the 0848 Regional Express hoping that the gloom might lift for long enough to allow a little sightseeing.

First signs were not good. We had not been more than five minutes into the journey, when the train came to a dead stand somewhere in the southern suburbs. There followed a fifteen minute wait as a failed train was removed from our path.

Around the Chiemsee it was raining hard, but punters alighted hopefully. Finally we reached Salzburg, where the station doubles as a building site right now. It was still raining. I was thankful that I hadn’t gone for a trip up the Untersberg – that would have been yet colder and wetter. But, after a squelch around the old town, and a trip up the funicular to the castle, it stopped.

Thus a minor miracle, at least by today’s standards. The wet conditions were, in any case, the prevailing mode when the cast assembled in the city for the filming of The Sound Of Music, as some of them recalled later, and not very fondly.

Despite the appalling weather, Salzburg was heaving with tourists, these being presented with many ways to part them from their money. Perhaps of most dubious value were trips around the old town in a horse drawn carriage: these command a premium price, and still there is the kind of aroma that inevitably follows horses.

Fortunately, there is also a man on hand to sweep up the by-product, and today he was especially busy.

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