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The Wrong Train to Salzburg

The time I discovered…

Ian Smith


I ate in Mozart’s favorite restaurant. That concept still resonates, (the space time barrier forgiving) we were brought together in that moment. I had the white fish in a creamed turmeric sauce. I wouldn’t call it a curry, perhaps a near curry. It was one of the best meals I have ever eaten. The house special. It was the best meal at the table I shared with my 2 sisters Colleen and Jennifer. The fish was so clean and succulent that it had a lasting impact on Jennifer who does not typically enjoy sea cuisine. I pictured in my mind a rolling forest brook overflowing with melted snow waters, and this little 1lb fish getting swooped up in a net of a child that day, just for me. Tossed in a bucket with 2 other fish and brought by hand to the back of the restauraunt.

The 3 of us traveled to Austria together. First stop was Vienna for New Years 2015. Drunkenly drifting through the city of Vienna for 4 days visiting the palaces, churches and museums while strolling the town and taking in it’s architecture, food, art, history, and smells. The subway air smelled…old and slightly of death. It was beautiful in the winter, but somewhat barren on the streets. The people were indoor, which left the buildings sort of unmasked.

We took the wrong train to Salzburg. It was an honest mistake, there were multiple trains leaving at the same time from the same terminal, but from 2 different rail companies. It was only brought to our attention as the attendant was checking tickets. So we wound up buying tickets that were actually cheaper than our original purchase on a nicer train. Had more of a locals only commuter vibe to it. The German gentleman next to me spoke english, and first assisted in our resolution then engaged in conversation with the three of us. After the first 20 minutes or so he went back to tending his family and gave me the polite opt out of putting my headphones on and gazing out the window at the snow covered countryside.

Once in Salzburg we caught a cab across the bridge into old town. An area that looks to a californian as if Beverly Hills landed on medieval disneyland. Castles on the outside but with modern clean renovations exploding out of them. Filled with shops, hotels and restaurants. Gigantic Churches leering at you, and a genuine castle on the hill above. A castle, a refuge from invaders in a town nested in the mountains. A town that was now a ski resort, bustling w upper and middle class tourists. A town I took a walking tour of at 3am.

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