Mozart is alive and well. I went looking for him, and was shocked to find him really everywhere: at my breakfast-table staring at me from my cup of coffee and behind windows and on walls while I was cycling around town. We shared chocolates too and he even took me for a boat-ride.
I arrived in Salzburg some days ago, the birth-town of Mozart and a small city in Austria. It seems like Mozart, born just over 250 years ago, never died.
How the city and commercial interests have turned Mozart into plastic, goes beyond my imagination: a bridge, a street, a square, a house. And chocolates, dairy products and other food carry his name too.
When the city wrote a name-contest for a new panoramic boat the name came up first: Amadeus, the first name of Mozart.
I went looking for Mozart. I thought I would find him here in Salzburg. But all I found was a piece of plastic as any other brand. Salzburg? That’s Mozart! Nice for tourism maybe but I visited a city where I found a dead artist reborn in plastic.
And what about art? I thought while looking for Mozart. As I went to his birth-house the only art I could find were the last three letters of his name
– There are only two countries with good beer: Belgium and France. – France, really? – Yes, you can find Belgium beer everywhere in France.
It could be because I hadn’t been drinking beer for a while but I believe Austrian beer can be excellent too. The beer I was served yesterday, organically and locally brewed, tasted like a goddess for the tongue.
Good beer doesn’t come from a country. It can be found everywhere where small and independent breweries are based. But that truth would kill my jokes. What you do want to hear is that Austrian beer tastes so bad you can only find it in Austria, because that’s what makes you laugh.
Austria. I love it for its diversity. Salzburg was nice but the people grumpy. They look depressed and seemed to be only friendly in a forced formal manner.
I was afraid that the whole of Austria would be as grumpy. But now I arrived in Graz, I see a nice, free and open culture. Parks are full, people talk to strangers and share fun and joy with each other.
I arrived here Saturday hitching from Salzburg. My route went through thirty tunnels, several lakes and white mountains. I will leave the story for another day but it involves a sexy law-student, a communication advisor for a famous politician and a chemical guy.
Each moment can give you a different view of what is around you. Rain, snow, sun or mist, an early sunrise, or a colorful sunset, they all bring you a different taste and view, a different mood and atmosphere. There is no moment better then any other; the scene is part of a constant change of light and other circumstances.
From where I am currently staying, it is only a 2 minute walk to be out of the city: no cars nor houses to bother me. So when I woke up early this morning, I took a hike in the surrounding nature. Just like the first day I was here, I woke up, saw the hills and decided to get on top of them. Pure beauty.
Because when I am discovering a new city the question of where did nature go is always on my mind. I feel missing it, I feel I am locked up somewhere. And I look for a river that streams through the city, a sea that borders it, a lake, the parks, hills, or simply the nature around the place.
In Salzburg this isn’t very hard. While I am sitting on a sunny balcony I have a first-line view on green hills, I hear birds and I feel a gentle sun. The view on the surrounding mountains with their white tops is very clear and the green on the hilltop in front of me, simply makes me jump out to reach for its top.
So after I jumped out of bed into the world, I found on my walk a little river bringing water down and giving life to the plants on its trail. I saw flowers waking up, a spider starting his day and a sun slowly evaporating yesterday’s rain. And I know for myself I am on the right track. I realise how to let it go, how to flow and to make it grow.