Saturday, 25 October 2014

Salzburg: 3 Food + 2 Music + 1 Science Connections

For tourists, Salzburg is well known for its musical associations. There're lesser known, but nevertheless other interesting connections. I'll list these connections from the most well-known to the least.


{* Musical Connection № 1 *}

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
3 food plus 2 music and scientific things
These are a few of the best Salzburg's links

Nothing puts a pin on the map quite like Hollywood movies. Especially if the film is a classic. Many people know about Salzburg after watching The Sound of Music (1965). I'm guilty as charged.

Even somebody who's not a die-hard fan like me (only watching The Sound Music 3 times), I'm looking forward to visit place, if not for the enrichment of the movie experience, at least for the stunning hills that are alive with the Sound of Music.

The opening scene of the classic gives a good publicity for a thousand years, and who, especially flat-land dwellers, wouldn't be awed by the mountainous panorama. Accompanying by Julie Andrew's singing, who can come up with a better advertisement for this green pristine countryside?


How many of us after watching this highly entertaining musical didn't say to themselves, "I wonder where's this filmed? I want to go there!" Needless to say, I asked that question. And now I can say, "been there, done that," Julie Andrew.


{* Musical Connection № 2 *}

Mozart's birth house, Salzburg, Austria
Mozart's birth house (Geburstshaus)
The most photographed building in Salzburg

While Mozart is a classical cultural icon, but The Sound of Music is a pop cultural icon. High culture is no match for pop culture.

I knew about The Sound of Music's connection with Salzburg long before Mozart's connection with this place. I suspect this is true in general, at least for non-European. This knowledge is probably reversed for European, especially Austrian. They're likely know about Salzburg's link with Mozart before its link with the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

The first time I heard Mozart's 1st Movement of Symphony №. 40, I was about 12, growing up in Vietnam. I was mesmerised by this music that wafted from my neighbour's record player (this was more than a decades before the Digital Age). I had no idea what kind of music it was and who wrote it even less, but even a pre-pubescent like me was quite moved (or freezed while skipping down the stairs) by this foreign music. Little did I know that I would one day visit the birth place of this musical genius.

Perhaps even less is the fact that I write about it.


This video clips showing the "door" bells of the above yellow building. Although it's more appropriate to call it "window" bells as the wires are connect to bells that ring at the windows of the apartments.




Mozart's Resident (Mozart Wohnhaus), Salzburg, Austria
Mozart's Resident (Mozart Wohnhaus)
Today, this pink building is a museum about Mozart's life.


{* Food Connection № 1 *}

The food connection to Salzburg is much less well known than its musical connection. At least, the 1st food connection should be well known from the name of this city. Salzburg is German for "Salt Castle or Fortress" in German.

It's hard to imagine today, spices used to be very expensive, and salt above all, especially in ancient time when salts worth its weight in gold. Ancient Roman soldiers were paid in salts that gave rise to the word "salary".

Salts also gave rise to the words "salami", and "salad" (originally this dish is salted). That's no problem for the ancients to over-consume salts when it was this valuable. Today is a different matter.


{* Food Connection № 2 *}

In this article, I mentioned that there's only 2 places in the world where the Austrian famous Sacher Torte were sold. The 1st was in Scaher Hotel in Vienna, and the 2nd place is Café Sacher in Salzburg. It's around the corner from the pink Mozart Wohnhause building.

Café Sacher rivals, if not surpasses, the one in Vienna in terms of its sumptuous interior.

Sacher Torte, Salzburg, Austria
Sacher Torte at its shop window

{* Food Connection № 3 *}

This food connection is both very well known and unknown the same time. This food, or drink to be exact, is very popular all over the world, but its connection to Salzburg isn't as well known.

A drink called "Krating Daeng" were sold to labourers in Thailand to give them an energy boost. A guy, Dietrich Mateschitz, from Salzburg discovered this drink while on a sales trip in Thailand, and decided to market it to the West, and then rest of the world.

Red Bull GmbH is based in the province of Salzburg.

Unlike Sacher Torte, which was known only within Austria, this drink was known today as Red Bull, which is an English translation of Krating Daeng. You've heard of Red Bull right? You've probably drunk it.


{* Scientific Connection № 1 *}

The least known association is a renown and important scientist who was born in Salzburg. He was in fact lived just a few doors away from Mozart. They were contemporaries but had never met one another because of Mozart's brief life. Christian Doppler didn't live a long life either; he died at the age of 50.

Doppler discovered the scientific phenomenon that named after him. It's an very important concept, especially in astronomy. Without it, knowledge in astronomy wouldn't increase at an astronomical speed in the 20th century.

I'll let the gang in The Big Bang Theory to explain what a Doppler Effect is. Sheldon obvious has a firm grip on the Doppler Effect.




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