Subject: Re: Vienna hotels & Salsburg
Hi Molly and other Ziners who have offered messages on Vienna and Salzburg,

One of the reasons that we log on to the Zine is to get information and opinion, good and bad. I have written that I did not enjoy my stay in Salzburg. I have friends who loved visiting Vienna and Salzburg, however, I found Salzburg to be a Mozart Disney, which is why I did not enjoy it. We saw a lot of Mozartiana (he lived here, he wrote a sonata here, etc. etc) but never heard any of the great man's music. There is also a fixation on Strauss in the tourist books but the Viennese seemingly pay no attention to him execpt at the New Year's Ball. Ziners correct me if I'm wrong on this.

Salzburg is filled with tourists but unlike Florence, for example, it cannot seem to absorb them. I know that I am in the minority concerning Salzberg but my negative reaction should not put you off. However a balance is what we are looking for on the Zine. I found Salzburg to be rather cheesy.

I would suggest, as other Ziners have done, visiting Bavaria in Germany. It is beautiful, the people are friendly and there is much to see. We drove through Bavaria for a few days and visited Ludwig's Castle. Although this is the ultimate Disney, the prototype for Sleeping Beauty's Castle, it is worth visiting because it is the real thing. Ludwig was crazy but created the most amazing castle in the middle of nowhere. The approach to the castle will take your breathe away. We stayed in Garmisch-Partenkirken (home to Richard Strauss) and had a wonderful visit.

Before you go to Austria, I suggest that you read about Elizabeth, the wife of Franz Joseph II. You can start with The Lonely Empress: Elizabeth of Austria by Joan Haslip. It will make your trip to the Schonbrunn more meaningful and give you a good feel for the estate. The Austria that we all know about it is summed up in Elizabeth's life (not the Sound of Music). You may also want to read Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette, The Journey. While it is about Antoinette's life, it will explain a lot about the Austrian view of the world in the time of Maria Theresa (she was the first to expand the Schonbrunn to make it into a family home and created the world that Johann Strauss lived in). For fun, you could also buy some Strauss CD's to get in the mood - though I warn you that although the Danube does flow (albeit slowly), it is not blue.

Lucy in Toronto