Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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2018 choir trip to Austria and Slovakia

Day 6 – The City of the Salt Castle

Today was the perfect day to explore the historic City of Salzburg, which translates to mean Salt Castle. Salzburg earned its name from the many barges that used to carry salt through the region along the Saltzach River. It also happens to be the birthplace of famed composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and it served as the setting for a number of scenes featured in “The Sound of Music” movie. But first, there was an 11:30 a.m. Sunday mass at the Salzburg Cathedral that required our attention.

Personally, I was excited to return to Salzburg. The last time that I had visited Austria’s “City of Music” was back during my college years. All of those past memories would return, as we entered the city and heard the street musicians performing.

Having performed at a number of great cathedrals around the world, it can be hard to impress this choir when it comes to venues, however, on this occasion that would not be the case as many of us stood in awe of the massiveness and beauty of the Salzburg Cathedral. It is a place of great splendor, known to some in Europe as the Vatican City of the north because it is where the assistant to the Pope once led his diocese.

The mass went well and the choir got to perform for 30-minutes at its conclusion. Since we had a few choir members who are Catholic, they were able to take Communion during the mass. This would be our third performance at mass on this tour with the other two occasions taking place at a Jesuit church in Bratislava and at the Parrish Church in Mondsee. All of these occasions added something to the cultural experience as we traveled through Europe.

After our mass, we had an hour to walk around Salzburg before a formal guided tour of the city. Since it was a Sunday, and a beautiful one at that, the city was not as crowded as it typically is with locals and tourists. At the conclusion of our guided tour, we went on to visit the birthplace of Mozart. Following all of the touring, some of us went souvenir shopping and was sure to purchase some of country’s world-famous Mozart Kugeln (chocolate covered candy with Hazelnut). Others in our group used the opportunity to visit the Salzburg Castle via the cable car to see a view of all of Salzburg from above.

We ended the evening with a group dinner that featured Austrian Gulash with potatoes as the main entre. After partaking in another tasty meal, it was time for some rest back at the hotel and another early start in the morning.

Street musician in Salzburg:

Franz Biebl Ave Maria at the Salzburg Cathedral:

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