The Fortress and Departure
It's blazing sunshine over snowy Alps as we sit on top of Europe's largest surviving fortress. A kind little old man from Dallas just took our picture, and he said, "Government makes war. People make friends." Aw. I am charmed.
I can't get over how beautiful this view is. You have to squint to look at the mountaintops because they're right in the sky. You'd think the sun would melt the snow.
Now we're at a mystery festival in the area below the fortress. There's a rockin' fest going on. It looks like the vast majority of the population of Salzburg is here getting loaded and eating squid sandwiches. Maybe it's a national holiday? WTF?
We went to St. Peter's cemetary nearby -- Mozart's sister is buried there -- beautiful -- and the catacombs. The catacombs made me thirsty. The dust from the stone tombs clogged my throat. There were cobwebs and dead leaves crackling and whipping up the sounds of the dead. Scary.
There are no twentysomethings around for some reason. Where are the backpackers and other tourists? At this festival, there's not an English-speaker in sight, which is unusual for this city. Shit, I hope we don't get kicked out of this party, even though I just ate what I thought was an onion ring but that I now suspect was fried octupus.
We're about to leave on our next train journey from hell. I'll be sad to leave Salzburg and this YoHo bar. We met Claire, a funny blond "Kiwi," and Jessica, a New Yorker. I love the YoHo.
Its name is so perfect -- it reminds me of "Yoho, yoho, a pirate's life for me!" Its visitors and residents truly are pirates -- with their dredlocks, armpit hair, pipes, and backpacks full of treasures and pockets full of foreign coins. I'll remember the way the Australian cooks and waiters would come out screaming our meal numbers bloody murder and watching the last thirty minutes of The Sound of Music and crying during Maria's intervention during the final "Edelweiss," while thinking for the first time what a total sexpot Christopher Plummer was.
I'll remember how nice everyone here was. That's mostly what I'll remember.
I'll remember sitting by the green river in the yellow sun and getting hopelessly lost in the medieval maze. And the fairy tale small towns. And the view from the fortress which was something out of a dream. I feel a little wistfully envious of the people brave enough to strap a pack on their backs for months on end. I'd love to do it. I bitch about missing ice cubes, Circle K, and "Ally McBeal," but what is any of that, really, when it comes to sucking the marrow out of life? Nothing.