13 February 1980

From Venice to Salzburg under the Alps

Crossing the Alps
We leave Venice at 9:45am and take the Autostrada to Vittorio Veneto, then a regional road to Cortina and the Austrian border. The weather is great, sunny and chilly, ideal for driving.

After refueling and changing the windshield wipers we cross into Austria and the Grossgloeckner glacier presents itself to us in all its mighty beauty. Normally one would drive up the pass and enjoy the drive but there is too much snow and the road is closed. No choice but to return to Winklern, then Obervellach where we can put Giallina on a train car that takes us through a tunnel to the other side of the Alps, and finally we reach Badgastein. Andrew and I alternate at driving.

When we get there we can't miss a typical local Wurstel. Ann sprains an ankle. We get to Salzburg in the early evening and after looking around for an inexpensive accommodation we settle for a room in the "Wolf" B&B, near the Mozartplatz. Right, Mozart, the enduring champion of Salzburg.

Salzburg in Mozart's time
Of Salzburg, yes, but not of Austria. A German friend of mine pointed out to me how the Austrians pulled this incredible trick in persuading the world that Hitler was German and Mozart was Austrian. In fact, Hitler was of course an Austrian who then became a naturalized German. Mozart however was never Austrian. During his lifetime (1756-1791) Salzburg the capital of the eponymous Arcbishopric, part of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany's immediate predecessor state if you will, not of the Austrian one.

Salzburg only became part of Austria after the Congress of Vienna, over twenty years after Mozart's death. That Wolfgang Amadeus worked in Vienna for much of his life did not make him a citizen.

Quiet evening in town.

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