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December 12, 2006

Schloss Anif Turmblasen

On Friday we went to the "Turmblasen" at Schloss Anif. We didn't really know what to expect, but at least hoped it would be less violent than a Krampus celebration. The receptionist at Kaiserhof had said it was music for children, but we didn't care really, we just wanted to take advantage of the fact that it appears to be the only time each year that the public are allowed into the grounds of the fairy-tale looking castle just down the road from us.

Schlossanif It started at 6:30pm, so we walked up from Neideralm to Anif, witnessing yet an another car crash on the main road between the two villages - the third we've seen in two months. The event was run by the local Lions Club, and you had to make a donation to get in. Once you got inside the main gates there were a couple of stalls selling glühwein and hot dogs, so we avaialed ourselves of the opportunity for a drink.

We were a little bit early, so hung around until the organisers started lighting the candles that bordered the path leading round to the entrance of the castle. Once a good few were lit we made our way round, and got as close to the castle as we could. It is a beautiful building, set in the middle of a lake, with just one bridge over the water allowing access.

It was a very cold and windy night, so sadly the idea of having the park and the castle lit by candles didn't quite work, as they were very soon blown out every time they were lit. And, we are still waiting for our Christmas snow, so I'd guess some years it would be all candles and snow.

Whilst we were waiting for the event to start, I went and got another drink for us, and my hesitant German ordering caused the stall-holders to laugh, and ask where I was from. I then went to buy one of the snacks that were on sale.

"Do you know what that is?" asked the guy.

"No" I said.

"Well, if I tell you, perhaps you won't like it so much. It is lard bread".

Slightly put off, I purchased it anyway, and let Claire eat most of it, leaving her oblivious to the nature of it - it was a slice of the local brown bread smeared with a thin coating of, I guess, lard, with some onions and seeds on top.

Finally the music started, nearer 7 o'clock than the expected 6:30. There were two small brass bands lit by candlelight, one on the ground floor of the castle and one on the balcony of one of the towers. The music they started playing drifted across the lake in the dark to the audience, which must have numbered around 1,000.

We'd rather expected a jolly knees-up and sing-song of carols, but actually the music played was a selection of quite slow and melancholy tunes. We were surprised when nobody applauded the bands at the end of each piece, but on later reflection thought that if in fact the pieces were hymns, then maybe whooping it up wasn't an appropriate response.

We stayed for about twenty minutes of the performance, and then made our way out to get something to eat.

We were glad we had gone, but in truth the experience wasn't as magical as we had expected - the strong wind meant that most of the time the candles were out and we were in the dark, and even though we were close to the castle, we were really unable to see anything much for a lot of the time.

I guess if we do want a good view of Schloss Anif we're just going to have to bunk over the walls some time.

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sounds like good old bread and dripping to me - yum yum yum

BTW at the bazaar in Xania this weekend there were 2 stalls selling gluhwein

>> BTW at the bazaar in Xania this weekend there were 2 stalls selling gluhwein

What, you mean we needn't have relocated to Salzburg just for the Glühwein? ;-)

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