Monday, January 30, 2012

Austria - an inside perspective

Salzburg - the next days.

So now that my brother Brian is in town and that there are also some Red Bull colleagues of his also from the US, I've been having full non hand waving English conversations. It's good for the brain, as well as the hands. German is a difficult language to pick up. Having worked at a German design agency years ago and having to work with their language without being able to speak it, I always admired the sheer length of some of their words which I swear could be as long as 9,436 characters! As well, I admired any person who could not only pronounce these words, but could use them in a proper sentence, all in one breath without passing out. This makes me think that I should check the Guiness World Book of Records to see if the person who holds the record for the longest time without taking a fresh breath only did so because they were speaking one of these words.

One really should admire the opportunities that the people of Salzburg have. Within a few hours by train or car, you have cities to travel to such as Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna, and even Venice. Compare this to the choices we have on the prairies, and you can see why at least some jealousy comes into play. If I had the choice of heading to Brandon, Manitoba or to Vienna, Austria, my guess is that I'd more likely choose Vienna. Nothing against Brandon, it is beautiful in its own way, but it's not Vienna and judging from my last visit, never will be. Not only do you get a spectacular change in scenery, you get a change in culture as well. Funny thing though is that not all Europeans travel as much as we think they would with these opportunities. Talking to some locals, I've likely been to Paris far more times than the average person who lives here. To me, that's just crazy! Too much shnitzel in the brain if you ask me, but it's just different.

I've always seen such an importance placed on family in most of the places I've traveled to in Europe, and family does tend to stick together. My brother has taken me to a restaurant here that he regularly visits (he travels here at least 10 times each year for business), and on our first visit after he landed on Saturday, he was greeted by the owner like he was family. We went back today for lunch, and again, he was greeted just as well, and this time, so was I. There are restaurants I visit frequently back at home, and I can't say I've ever felt that welcomed. People here seem to come first.

My adventures the past couple of days have kept me within the downtown area of Salzburg, but tomorrow, while my brother and the rest of his Red Bull crew are all heading to work, I'll be breaking out of the city via a bus and then a gondola and heading up to see a glacier up close. Funny thing, being from Canada, spending some good money and a full day to go see some snow and ice, but hey, this is Austrian ice! Plus it'll be good to see some country side. It's sadly my last full day of tourism before heading back to Winnipeg, so I'll have to make it count.

Cheers, until later.

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