“Am Weg nach Hause musste ich scheyssen (On my way home I had to shit)”
“It's hardly making me wet, let alone horny!”
Salzburg (earlier names: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Saltborginn, Iuvavum) is an Austrian city located in the heart of Austria, some distance away from most European cities, notably Munich, Vienna, Venice, and Rosenheim. It is famous for having produced the musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and for the Sound of Music reverberating between its green hills with such fervour that a motion picture by that name was autogenerated in 1973.
But perhaps its most important feature is the so-called Salzburger Schnürlregen, which is famous throughout the world (but specifically in Asia) for its healing properties. It is also considered an aphrodisiac by many (including William Butler Yeats, Sun Tzu, and Oscar Wilde.)
Salzburg is a historical town whose history is very much alive even today, in the form of vampires who have lived there ever since the city was founded. However, the vampires like to hide and certainly never let tourists see them. Furthermore, the vampires aren't actually alive, but undead.
The Early Days
The first city on this site, Saltborginn, was founded by Vikings trying to find their way to the ancient Celtic city of Hallstatt to trade reindeer antlers for salt. As they sailed up the river Salzach, there was some heavy rain - the first known (and recorded on runestones) occurrence of Salzburger Schnürlregen. The Salzach became too wild for them to navigate and they set camp on the shore, taking a so-called fika break, intending to continue their journey the next day. Instead, they stayed where they were, dragged some native women to the cave (below the present day castle Festung Hohensalzburg) in which they were housed, and procreated merrily.
The little cave community soon expanded to become a notorious suburb to Hallstatt. In a recently excavated tomb from this period - around 417 B. C. - there was an inscription on the buried person's iron shield saying 'I don't brake for Hallstatters'. Interestingly, the marks on this buckled shield corresponded perfectly to the deceased person's caved-in skull.
In 50 B. C., Gaius Julius Caesar had occupied all of Gaul. However, one small village on the North coast, in the province of Armorica, proved to be a nuisance as they set up a movement of resistance nowadays referred to as The Secret Army.
This, however, has nothing to do with Salzburg, which had been neglected by the descendants of the raucous Viking settlers of some centuries before, and had slowly, almost unnoticeably, absorbed Roman culture through an influx of Roman holiday-makers and pre-Christian Christians seeking to avoid the lions of Circus Maximus.
The Romans named their city Iuvavum, and built the first fortress on top of the old Viking cave. Iuvavum was given city rights by the emperor Claudius, which resulted in the alternative spelling I-i-i-i-uvavum, which was used randomly during the century that followed.
The Dark Ages
The Dark Ages, in Salzburg, were very dark. The Celts had been driven away long ago to such places as Wales (where the city's former name 'Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch' could be easily understood and not just regarded as a tongue-twister), and the Romans had become either decadent or Christian. The Vikings would not return until the 17th Century.
The once grand and glorious city crumbled and fell, yet it produced one of Europes greatest magicians during this time: Paracelsus. Furthermore, the mountain Untersberg was used as burial site for Europe's perhaps most influential emperor of all time: Kaiser Karl, or Charlemagne. (Elvis joined him there in 1977.)
In order to not succumb to the Dark altogether, chess tournaments were held in Salzburg at regular intervals. Among the more well-known participants were Ingmar Bergman, Sun Tzu, and Death. However, the tournaments were discontinued eventually, as nobody except Sun Tzu stood a chance against Death.
The end of the Dark Ages came when the Archbishops began to spread throughout Europe. One of them came, saw, and conquered the little village, renamed it, and founded the Archbishopdom Salzburg, which was to survive as an independent state until 1810.
Even Later Still
Mozart was born in the 1700s some time, and even before he was born he became famous for composing and whistling tunes in his mother's womb. Little Wolfgang's mother toured all European courts and palaces during the last three months of her pregnancy, and when Amadeus was born he was already in the employment of the archbishop.
It was Mozart who really placed Salzburg on the map of Europe - earlier it had belonged to North Africa - and so the Asian tourists, who had long wondered where Salzburg and its healing, aphrodisiac rains had gone to, finally found it again. Sadly, however, so did the Vikings, who arrived in masses (predominantly from Sweden) to get drunk on the famous Stiegl beer, only to subsequently wreak havoc in the city's cosy little taverns ('Gasthäuser').
The City Today
Salzburg is, in many ways, a perilous town. If one is not accosted by the Schnürlregen, whose aphrodisiac properties may prove a hazard, there is also the Untersberg to be wary of, since it has been reported on many occasions that people have disappeared mysteriously into the royal tomb.
Another threat to tourists especially are the roving bands of martial artists. Initially a reaction of locals to the Swedish tourists, they mainly attack blond and blue-eyed persons behaving conspicuously (i. e., yawning, combing their hair, or walking.) It is advisable for persons with these physical traits to dye their hair and wear coloured contacts when going to Salzburg.
The Salzburg Festival is an annual event promoting various things. The Salzburgers themselves usually flee the town on this occasion, hence little is known about what actually happens during the festival. It is widely believed, however, that it has something to do with music, judging by the debris of smashed violins, pianos, oboes and such that is commonly found in the wake of the event.
Salzburgers love food, and it is universally acknowledged - except in France - that Salzburg cuisine is the finest in the world.
Besides delicacies such as Mozartkugeln (literally: Mozart balls) and the fabled Hippelbliffiherper sausage, there are many specialties that are unique to Salzburg. Salzburger Nockerln were made to sustain farmers for months on end as they went up on the mountains to let the cows graze.
There are plenty of alternatives to hamburgers in Salzburg - the name being an insult to the city - and a few of them are listed below:
- Salzburger - grilled meat in a bun. (A good bun! Not those soggy, squishy things you get at McDonald's. And not minced meat for chrissakes.)
- Bosna - good, spicy sausages in a good bun with curry and chopped onions. No mustard!!
- Mozarter - named after the city's most famous son. Yes, meat in a bun. Again.
Of course there is no ketchup in any of this. Salzburg is a civilised place.
Sooner or later the tourists tend to settle down for good in Salzburg, unlike the immigrants, who never really conform to Salzburg society and traditions and therefore remain immigrants and never achieve native status.
Somewhat surprisingly, Salzburgers are particularly fond of Quidditch and the city has its own Quidditch team, which has been very successful internationally.
Most of the famous Roman writers, such as Cicero, Nero, and Joyce, were really from Salzburg. All of the events described in the Bible also took place in Salzburg, so the city has a given place in world literature.
The earliest German-speaking poet from the city, however, was Walther von der Vogelweide, who was born in the Vogelweider Strasse.
Geology and Climate
The green hills and mountainous mountains surrounding Salzburg are composed mainly of rock, but also of stone and substantial quantities of bloodstone or haematite (Iron III oxide.) The latter is used by the vampire population in times of hunger or, as it were, thirst.