Sunday in Salzburg: Heated church pews, the traditional beer method and dogs
By Teresa Kao
Sunday started out with a little surprise: the Austrian version of Daylight Saving Time! It probably wasn’t
bothersome for most people because all the stores and many of the restaurants are closed on Sunday. I assume other sorts of businesses like banks are, too. This meant a few less tourists!
I went to mass at the Dom (Cathedral). Of course I couldn’t understand a single word of it but enjoyed the organ (they have three pipe organs) and a wonderful soprano sang several songs.
As I sat, I was aware of being toasty warm. If you have ever been in an ancient cathedral, this is not normal. I remember back in the day, girls were admonished to always wear a dress and that it not be sleeveless. No danger there! You’d freeze to death. But I was definitely not freezing. At first I thought they had heated the seats but then noticed that my hands also felt warm. I then noticed that all the pews were on top of wooden platforms. They must have run heating pipes in those platforms! On a early spring day, it was nice, but during dead of winter it must be a lifesaver. I remember when we spent Christmas at Oberndorf, and though that was a simple church, it was so cold at midnight mass that you could hardly see the priest for all the frozen breath. I bet all the tourist dollars paid for that heating system and hooray for it!
I remember this particular horse fountain very well because it was at the exit from the tunnel we used to walk downtown. I believe it was the horse version of a car wash, because it was big and deep enough. I can’t remember if there was water in it years ago, but there is none today.
Back in my time, we walked on a sidewalk adjacent to traffic with only on portion of our own tunnel.
Now they have put in a nice wide pedestrian tunnel the entire length of it. Much nicer!
One block past the tunnel was a place I really wanted to see again. It is where we
had all our photographs developed. It was quite expensive but you could choose which ones you wanted and leave the rest and only pay for the ones you wanted. Unfortunately sap that I am, I couldn’t bring myself to do that because it was like cheating, so I paid for all of them. Fortunately I didn’t take many photographs. I couldn’t tell what kind of business it is now but back then it was called Foto Weber (pronounced Vay-bur).
These two fellows were completely covered in gold and appeared to be statues, except that they weren’t there a couple of hours earlier. They would also occasionally make noises.
I took a cruise up the Salzach River. Very interesting to see the city from this perspective. No boats are allowed on the river because it is so swift and narrow. Back when they used to transport salt, they used barrels and something else to float it down. This boat has three jet engines to cope with the swiftness. Ducks, swans and gulls have it all to themselves.
For dinner I walked over to Augustinerbrau. This is a giant beer hall run by an order of monks. It is much better organized now than it was in my day. Then beer was by the front door and food was almost hidden in a beautiful display case. Now many food windows are near by each room. That beautiful display case might very well still be there but there were a great many steps everywhere and since I have trouble with steps, I decided I didn’t need to know. Here’s some history of the Augustinerbrau beer hall.
The traditional method still holds for beer:
1. You take a mug from the shelf. You wash it out in running water.
2. You take it to the money man who charges you for whatever size mug you have chosen.
3. You pay and get a receipt .
4. You take it to the beer guy who fills your mug.
This is exactly the way it was in the olden days. Adjacent to the beer guy is a soft drink guy who has all sorts of things to choose from. Then you go find a seat. There was a wonderful beer garden with happy drinkers but it was back down a big flight of stairs and I didn’t know if I could manage to hang on to the rail and to my beer so I opted for an indoor room.
There are people of all ages there. Families with tiny and medium sized children AND their dogs. Teen agers. Old people. A beer hall is more fun with a companion or three. I talked with a few people but this is more of a local haunt and their english was as pathetic as my german so we’d end up agreeing that the beer was great. It seems to me that the tables are different and that there were benches instead of chairs but I could be wrong about that.
A word about dogs. Salzburgers love their dogs! Many happy dogs were playing along the river, and they are allowed in restaurants where they behave very well under the table. The thing is, they understand German! I know that sounds obvious, but our dogs understand English and these dogs understand complicated German instructions.I think it’s quite marvelous.
It was a fairly long walk home up part of the way then down many, many stairs but the river is so beautiful at twilight it’s easy to stop and rest for a bit while enjoying it all.
Catch up on all of Teresa’s Travels in Salzburg: