Orff Institute Day 2 & Old Town Salzburg Tour

More Lessons

We took our morning bus to the Orff Institute again today.  Our first lesson was an instrumental lesson with Michel Widmer.  It was mostly an exploration of found objects as musical instruments.  We played with twigs and sticks of various sizes, boxes, tin cans, bottle caps and other objects to create a complex set of rhythmic textures.  It was a fun reminder that you don't need expensive instruments to create something meaningful.

Our final lesson was a creative movement class with Director Sonja Stibi.  We used broomsticks (without the broom) as a movement aid.  The lesson was a beautiful example of sequence and subtle transition from more structured activities into improvisational movement alone and with a partner that ended in a Taiwanese stick game.  (Video to come, I hope)

We had lunch at Merkur with Sonja and said our good-byes as Antonio & Nico arrived with the coach for our afternoon tour of the city. 

Old Town Salzburg

We began our tour on this afternoon at the Mirabellplatz Gardens where we joined the crowds of other tour groups to walk through the actual gardens.  AS the rest of the tour would be on foot, we said a fond "farewell" to our handsome driver Nico with a group photo. Yesterday we only stopped long enough to stand on the steps and sing Do, Re, Mi.  Today we got to walk through the pathways and see the beautiful winter garden.

From the South end of the gardens we walked toward the Salz River that runs through the center of town.  We passed by the famous Hotel Sacher where the torte of the same name is a signature dessert.  Right at the river we passed the former home of conductor Herbert von Karajan who was a native of Austria, but made his name as the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years.  There is a beautiful statue of him with his baton in front of the house.
We crossed the river just beyond this house via the "Lock Bridge."  Where couples have put their names on locks and left them on attached to the chain link of the bridge.  Just across the street on the other side of the river we arrived in the "Old Town" near our hotel.

 We walked down the narrow cobblestone streets until we came to the home where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756. ​This birth house is now a museum.  A number of folks elected to depart from the group at this point to visit the museum, but I stayed with Antonio and our small group of first time visitors to see parts of this beautiful and historic city another time. 

We walked on for a short bit for a quick visit to Mozart Square.  There is a large statue to this city's most famous son and just across the square is an apartment where he and Constanza lived with their children for a period of time.  Then we turned our attention to the beautiful domed cathedral.  It is one of those huge Gothic structures you see so often in European cities, with high vaulted ceilings. One unusual feature of the Dom Cathedral is that it has five organ manuals!  The one in the front right was played on by Mozart and his father.  There are now three matching manuals on each corner, and a large one in the balcony at the back of the sanctuary.  While there, we came upon a children's choir rehearsing a Missa Brevis for a performance the following Sunday. (see video below.)
A short distance beyond the Cathedral is St. Peter's Cemetery.  This beautiful resting place for the citizen's of Salzburg was founded in 1627.  It contains a small chapel, crowded grave sites that double as personal gardens, and elaborate gated crypts.  It is a tourist spot, not only because of it's beauty, but also because it was the inspiration for the cemetery created in the studio for "The Sound of Music."  The graves are tended by family of the deceased and include the final resting places of Mozart's sister and composer Michael Haydn.

The sun was dipping low as we left the cemetery so we stopped by a kiosk selling Gluehwein (mulled wine).  It is a warm concoction of deep red wine, spices & and hint of rum (the secret ingredient of this vendor).  It was delicious and warmed up for the walk about to our hotel at the end of the day.  The rest of the group met us in the lobby of the hotel to thank Antonio for his time and attention these two days.

After a short rest, a group of us went to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Old Town Salzburg.  The pasta was home made and the sauces were delicious.  It was a nice change for all the roasted meat and dumplings.  I can't speak for the rest of the group, but I sleep really soundly and was glad to know that we had a free day to follow on Friday to do as we wished at our own pace.

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