Thursday, March 15, 2007

Salzburg, May 04

I noticed that I tend to start describing some trip, but never finish it, so the last few days of a two-week trip are always missing. I'd like to fill these in afterwards and put them next to the beginning, but somehow the new blogspot does not allow me to publish new posts with the date in the past, so bear with me here.

Anyway, Salzburg, part of a larger Germany-Austria trip. Quite a pretty town, although I liked Innsbruck better, but it is raining all the time and it is very cold: +3 at the worst.

In the evening I buy some rum, especially since we are in Austria and Stroh is everywhere. I tell Oska that this is 80% rum and he claims there is no such thing until he reads the label on the bottle.

There are a lot of Mozartey things everywhere, even more than in the rest of Austria, because he was born here.

There is a fortress on a hill, with lovely views on the city. In the fortress there are a few museums, including a war museum, or rather the museum of some local regiment.

Unlike Germans, who have totally accepted responsibility for the WWII and the Holocaust, Austrians usually claim that they have had nothing to do with the whole thing and everything is Germany's fault anyway. Such tendency to rewrite history is understandable in its own way, but it does not combine very well with the tendency to tell everyone how heroically Austrian troops have fought for the Third Reich. The local regiment in question has fought in France, Norway, Finland and Russia and, according to the museum really kicked ass everywhere they went. Benka says "eeew, let's go", but I want to see more.

A significant part of the exhibition are the pictures that the regiment took of their heroic deeds. I start looking through them, and find that their most photogenic deed was in fact burning of Rovaniemi. Lots of pictures of houses burning, some shot from such an angle that you can see a road sign saying "Rovaniemi".

"Eeew, let's go," - Benka says again. "Argh, they burned our Rovaniemi!" - I show her the pictures.

And then I notice their greatest WWII trophy. On a table under glass. A Finnish army boot. One. "They stole out boot, too," - I observe. This is so absurd that I feel like screaming "palauttakaa saapas, siat!" just for the hell of it.

I still sometimes wonder whose boot it was, what happened to the owner and how did the brave Austrian regiment manage to steal it.

Another local sightseeing attraction is Hellbrunn, where some practical joker had installed fountains in the most unseemly places, such as coming out of tables and chairs to the surprise of people sitting there. The visitors are warned but usually end up wet anyway. Although it was raining and we were already wet. There was also a crown balancing on a fountain, with nothing but water to support it.

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