Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wandering in Salzburg

Wandering through the streets of Salzburg’s Neu Stadt on a Saturday morning yields interesting results. Shopkeepers are just opening their doors as tourists begin clogging the streets with their umbrellas (and the occasional “Do Re Me” and Sound of Music chatter). I was surprised to catch snippets of so many American conversations as I walked, but at the time I hadn’t realized that’d I wandered towards Mirabel Gardens where a famous scene from Sound of Music was shot. A stretch of road perpendicular to Salzburg Congress was lined with enticing cafés. I was a snapping a photograph of a colorful café called The Heart of Joy Café when a server opened the door and welcomed me in. “You don’t have to look from outside, come in,” he said. When he asked me if I wanted an English or German menu, I told him I had to practice my German, so he gave me both.

Compared to other cafes in Salzburg, The Heart of Joy Café is large and airy. Painted in bold blue and orange and lined with books about meditation and healthy living, it’s a fun café to accidently wander into. Yogo-esque music was playing in the background as I enjoyed my “continental breakfast” of a roll, gouda cheese, and an Americano (all at a reasonable price below five Euro). A little card on my table read, “There is only one duty and that duty is to live happily,” and I was very content to be in Salzburg at that moment.

The clientele in The Heart and Joy Café was a smorgasbord of backpackers with dreads, young women with their children, and an American couple, who were taking photos of their breakfast, clearly as delighted as I had first been when my coffee was brought to me on a tray. After chatting with the couple about the Salzburg Card, a discount card that I was familiar with only because a different American couple I met in an Italian restaurant had given me theirs, I left to continue wandering. I passed Salzburg Congress and realized that the park I was walking through winded its way toward Mirabel Gardens. I snapped a great photograph of a group of men wearing traditional green wool coats and hats with a single feather poking up from the side. I caught a whisper of classical music as I passed by the practice rooms in Universität Mozarteum. Although it was raining, just above freezing, and grey, I’ve never enjoyed listening to Mozart so much!

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