Friday, February 4, 2011

Bavaria and Good-bye Salzburg

We visited Munich the day after Salzburg. On the bus ride, we watched the film about Sophie Scholl, a girl from Munich who was executed for her resistance to the Nazis. She was my age, twenty-one, when she died. Our day in Munich was bitterly cold, and I had not dressed as warmly as I should have. Though slightly miserable because of this, I still had a good time. I had apple strudel and Bavaria's famous weisswurst, attended Mass at the Frauenkirche, watched the colorful figures of the Glockenspiel dance at noon to the clanging of bells, and visited the University of Munich to honor the members of the White Rose.

In the evening, we went to the famous Hofbrauhaus. The atmosphere was festive, with red-faced Germans pounding the tables and whistling, a traditional Bavarian band, waiters bustling around in lederhosen, smoke in the air, liters of beer (the only size after six o'clock). I didn't get any beer, but I tried some of Mike's, because had I promised my brother Matt that I would try the beer at the Hofbrauhaus. 

Since we did not want one of the Hofbrauhaus' heavy meals, Caroline and I went down the street to a kabob stand. On the way back, our delicious kabobs wrapped up for later, a tall blond man with an earring sprang in front of us and started shouting in German and making growling noises. We slid past him and ran for it. The Hofbrauhaus wasn't far, and under its entrance arch were groups of people, including some other Frannies. Just a stupid drunk, and I think Caroline was more shaken than I was.

We piled into the buses at the end of the day, and drove back to our hostel in Salzburg. The next day was Sunday. Caroline and I went out before Mass to see if any shops were open, and Brian came along. We went into Demel, a famous cake shop, where we each got little confections. Some might argue that nine in the morning is too early for sweets, but I disagree.

Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral was glorious. It was my first German Mass, and I followed along as best I could. Sunrise streamed through the giant window to the right of the main alter, flooding the sanctuary in light. Since it was the day after Mozart's birthday, the choir sang one of his Masses (he wrote eighteen). The music, with its many strings and choral voices, was phenomenal, but the best part was the recessional piece, played on the organ with its four thousand pipes. After Mass many people, including myself, simply stood in the center isle with our faces turned up to the organ, tranfixed by the grandeur of the sound. 

Caroline and I decided that we are going back to Salzburg before the end of the semester. It is too wonderful a place to only visit once. Although it hasn't replaced Venice as my favorite European city, it is very high on the list.  

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