Living in Austria

June 18, 2007

Stacks of "Bum Juice" in Chania

7471_bumjuice I wrote before about how whilst we were in Austria my beer drinking standards stooped to picking up the cheapest possible beer from Lidl - "Grafen Walder" - presumably, at a mere €0.55 a throw, the Austrian tramp's drink of choice.

We eventually took to jokingly calling it "Bum Juice" after an unfortunate mix-up when instead of calling it "Tramp Juice" we referred to the American way of depicting the homeless as bums.

Thankfully, I can now get right back on the bum juice over here - as I've discovered that the Lidl just down the road stocks it.

And it is even cheaper in Chania - €0.39 each!

We're thinking of having a Weinleitner "theme night", where we sit and eat bread and lukewarm cold meat for dinner, whilst listening to a "Fighting Talk" podcast and drinking bum juice. Just like the good ole days.

April 25, 2007

The Hexenturm Files: Searching for a sign

Hexenturmpostcard2_1For anyone who's been holding their breath for the last part of my 'witches of Salzburg' series, you can it is.

According to book-shop man, the original Hexenturm sign was now darkening the doors of the Fortress Museum, high up on the Monchsberg mountain. This sign had once been situated, much like a weather vane, on the roof of the Salzburg Hexenturm (witch tower).

So, before I left Salzburg I re-visited the Fortress Musuem. Martin and I had already been there back in November with his parents, but I was now on a mission.

I did think it was strange that we hadn't noticed this witch sign on our first visit. I naturally gravitate to all things weird or magical, but I suppose we hadn't known to look for it.

Off I went back to the museum. I practically galloped through the place - I'd found the display of military regalia fairly dull the first time around, so didn't feel the need to peruse the artifacts. Guns, other weapons, and pictures of soldiers have never really floated my boat.

Having just about covered the museum, I was starting to feel that it had perhaps been a wasted visit.

I was certain I would find the sign in the small room where the torture implements were displayed. Where better to house the remains of the hexenturm - the biggest injustice of all? But it wasn't in there either.

That was the last room in the museum...well, just about.

Luckily, before I continued to the exit, I noticed one last doorway that I had not been in. We had definitely missed this room when we had last visited the museum. This little room was set up like an old fashioned kitchen, complete with pots, utensils and some fake food. Not exactly the most riviting section of the museum, and I'm sure most people took one look and walked straight out again.

However, being on my mission, I had to make sure I searched every inch of every room before I admitted defeat. The room was J shaped, and round the corner there was nothing but a door marked 'no entry'. Hang on...wait a minute...

...and there it was, at last.


The sign I'd been searching for was hanging from the wall above this non-descript doorway. There was no caption or explanation as to what the sign was or where it came from. This piece of metal that had witnessed the unjust downfall of many an innocent man, woman and child - it had even survived a bomb attack by the US in 1944 which destroyed the tower it sat atop.

The sign has lost it's original colour (due to the bombing), but was otherwise completely intact.


April 24, 2007

Our silent Salzburg pony ride

20070422_ponyreflection Talking of ponies, as I was yesterday, before we left Salzburg it would have been churlish not to have a tourist-trap pony ride around town. So, on the last Saturday Claire was there, we went for a champagne breakfast at the rooftop Steinterrasse restaurant, and then a pony ride.

The ponies all gather near Mozart square, so we went there, inspected the troops, and picked out a couple of lovely friendly looking ponies to haul us around town.

However, the pony drivers had other ideas, and actually you just had to get on the next one in the queue rather like a taxi rank, and not pick the horses you most liked the look of.

And so, we set off.

Which is when we found out that we should have been paying a bit more attention to which driver we got, rather than which horses or the design of the carriage.

20070422_salzburgpony1 He started off the commentary in German, then turned to look at us and said "English?".

We nodded.

"No English" he said.

And that was that.

Whilst everybody else for their 40€ or so got a history of Salzburg and a commentary on the town, we didn't even get a German version that we might be able to grasp some of. Our man seemed delighted to get twenty minutes off from speaking, and so we paraded around Salzburg in silence.

April 06, 2007

The angry mob - part II

The 'angry mob' wood-carving in the guesthouse became a topic of some speculation with my colleague who stayed here too.

Just prior to us leaving, we were standing, debating it, when the owners appeared, so we found out some more about it.

Apparently it has been in the family at the Weinleitner for at least 25 years, and took two years to carve. It was made in Linz.

Rather than depicting a mob out to destroy the monster, it in fact depicts the Tyrolean rebellion against Bavarian rule, which took place in 1809.

This uprising is still celebrated annually in Innsbruck, where the tomb of the rebellion's leader, Andreas Hofer, remains. He was executed in 1810 for his part in organising the uprising. He has subsequently appeared on Austrian stamps and in bronze medals.


So now you know.

Living in Austria

Towards the end of 2006, Martin got some work in Austria, and we moved to Salzburg. Well, technically to Niederalm, outside Anif, outside Salzburg. But nobody knows where that is. Here is a list of all the posts we wrote about adapting to Living in Austria

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