Fucking and Wank

Salzburg, the city that transport forgot. Thought it would be easier to get through to France from Salzburg than from the mountains. I was wrong. Salzburg might be beautiful but she ain’t connected. I spent two days pinging around between tourist information, a hostel, the train station and travel agents in the vain hunt for information. “There are no long distance buses in Austria,” the information man told me. That is a lie; Eurolines I know operate. Unfortunately Salzburg has neither a ticket office nor a bus station and their Eurolines agent there took 3 weeks (count ’em) to reply, so in a cabin fever panic, I headed for Munich in search of Germany efficiency.

Saltzy

Pretty. Boring.

Also, this is wrong

Not before exploring the city a bit first. Salzburg is famous for Mozart and the Sound of Music so I made the celebration of these two aspects my focus of a two day stay. What do you need me to tell you about the Sound of Music and Mozart that you don’t already know? Ah yes. Did you know that the Von Trapps were a real family and today live over in Vermont where they fled after the Nazi thang. You can go and stay with the remaining kids at their rancho if you care to. I also heard that Julie Andrews has lilacs instead of pubes but I can’t confirm that.

Mirabelle Gardens. You might recognise this from the 'Doe, a deer' scene. No? Me either.

Mozart. Famous, Austrian. Unlike Beethoven who lived in Austria for a bit but was actually a Germ. As Pran said, the greatest achievement of Austria was convincing the world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler German.

Saw Emmy was born, where he lived and where he died. That was nice. You will probably know that they sell Mozart Balls everywhere in Austria, a popular form of confectionary honouring the composer in a chocolatey, if South Park-esque manner.

Dead Mozart

They have also chosen to honour the composer more recently with a statue. This statue depicts a crappy version of the famous Mozart bust on the body of a woman. Words fail me. I bet he would be delighted.

Why like this?

Also nearby Salzburg is the Eagle’s Nest, yet another vague Hitler relic that the tourist go crazy for. It was given to Hitler as a 50th birthday present and, according to some, the seat of all evil decisions. Others say that Hitler didn’t even like it cos he was chicken about heights. Who knows. If you’re up for going to check out a pretty view, head on over. Me, I was Nazi’d out.

Instead, I discovered that there are villages named Fucking and Wank in the near vicinity. The wikipedia entry for Fucking is very funny. If you only read one of the links in this here blog, read this one. Not that wikipedia is my first port of internet research call, you understand, but they’re ever so good at optimising their searches. Childishly amused and with no aim other than getting my picture taken next to the signs, I called upon all the internet resources at my disposal to find a way to get there, being too shy to actually acknowledge to any tourist officials (who know feck all anyway) where I wanted to go. Alas, there are no buses for Fucking and Wank is a bitch to get to. Another time. Another time.

Having had my fill, I hopped a train early one morning for the Munich transport grail. And, what luck! The ticket that you buy to take you there is bizarrely valid for all of the Bayern vicinity for a full day, meaning I could nip on out to the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang castle of Neuschwanstein for the day. Hoorah! Relived many a happy childhood memory of Hush-a-bye Mountain lullabies and Fine Four Fendered sing-alongs. Even if you’re not into Disney (they say that it was one of the sources of inspiration for the princess castle, but it’s not the only one to claim that), it’s a pretty cool castle, perched up on a rock with a waterfall running behind and plains and lakes out to the front. Can see why Mad Ludwig dug it. Don’t get his taste in decor but that’s another story.

Chitty Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Our fine four-fendered friiiiend!

A fleet of VIPs in blacked-out cars drew up the drive as I was visiting so, being nosey, I went into the information office to ask who they were. The boss-eyed woman behind the counter told me that it was top secret but subsequent flirting with one of the bodyguards revealed that it was just some local business bods. Booooring. Feared Brad was on my tail again but it’s ok.

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