To wake up on Wednesday morning and read about tourists bathing in the monument for soldiers killed in the helicopter disaster feels unreal, cynical, shocking and insulting. How have we become so insensitive? So callous? So lacking in manners and respect? For 11 years, we, the families of those killed, worked to have this memorial built. It is one of the most beautiful monuments in the country.
We devoted a lot of thought to creating a space that is inviting and not threatening. The aqueduct and pool, at the heart of the memorial, represent the source of all life. When I was last there, I saw hundreds of visitors bowing their heads, speaking in whispers, lighting candles, and honoring the sanctity of the place.
Whenever we hear about the desecration of Jewish graves abroad, we immediately cry “anti-Semitism.” But here among us, people are desecrating a monument in the full belief that they have every right to do so. Even after a passerby made a comment, the children stayed and splashed around in the pool while leaning against the marble slabs etched with soldiers’ names. What kind of education are these kids getting? Where has social solidarity disappeared to?
Our son Nir served in the army out of a sense of mission. He sought out the most demanding of combat roles with the awareness that this was his time to contribute, and that in the future it would be others’ turn. He and 72 of his comrades were killed in the 1997 helicopter disaster while en route to Lebanon. All of the soldiers on board had volunteered to serve there. They hailed from all sectors of society: secular, religious and Druze. All the soldiers on board were infused with a sense of mission and a desire to contribute.
The families who disrespected the monument, which is open 24 hours a day free of charge, not only disrespected our son by turning the place into an amusement park. They are the same people who will not take part in building this country.
We were about to explore Vienna the next day, but then the idea was punted C why dont we go to Salzburg by train instead? It leaves at 8.40am and arrives at 10.58am, and well have five hours to explore this jewel in the Austrian crown.
It was drizzling in Vienna and rain was to accompany us to Salzburg. But damn if our mini-visit did not start on a sour note the OBB railjet arrived in Salzburg three minutes late at 11.01am. I suppose thats what you get when you stop at two stations in a journey of just over 300km.
Prior to the late arrival, the trip was a breeze, with a sort of luxury in economy class one can get used to but which locals take for granted. A full trolley service where ones choice of coffee is prepared right there in a mini coffee machine, be it a cappuccino, latte, espresso or Americano; comfortable seats; clean windows; air-conditioning; overhead racks for luggage; toilets at the end of each carriage similar to those found on a plane; a dining car; a carriage mainly for families with TVs showing cartoons and a play area for children located at the end of the carriage; and free wi-fi.
In fact, the wi-fi speed was a lot faster than the railjets average of 200km/h, and I was able to have an e-mail conversation with the people back home, plus send pictures of the passing countryside, which was like a 50 shades of green. As for the clickety-clack of the tracks, well, forget about that C it was like that Lionel Richie song, Easy like Sunday Morning, or Thursday in our case.
Now, you may think Salzburg is mainly Mozart and The Sound of Music C there are many SoM tours available if you want to be 16 going on 17 C but youd be wrong. Close your ears for one moment to The hills are alive and youll see the city has other attractions which could be your favourite things.
Things like the Mirabell Gardens, although even there you wont escape the musical C it featured in the scene where Maria and the Von Trapp children danced round the Pegasus Fountain and then ran down the hedge arcade along the Grand Parterre singing Do-Re-Mi.
Built in 1689 and remodelled in 1730, the garden is considered one of the most beautiful Baroque gardens in Europe. If you take a moment, you can imagine the atmosphere of the past, with high societys bewigged men and women strolling around, classical music in the background, drinking champagne, gossiping and simply enjoying the surroundings.
The central axis of the garden is aligned on Hohensalzburg Fortress, a castle set high on Festungsberg Mountain on the other side of the Salzach River. The mountain, as the citys most dominant feature, can be seen from any angle in the city and that was our main destination. Climb evry mountain suddenly came to mind.
But before a bit of shopping C mother always said never shop on an empty stomach C there was the matter of lunch. To get to the restaurant you have to go through the shopping havens of the Altstadt (Old Town) C Getreidegasse (Mozart was born at No 9 in 1756), Judengasse, Alter Markt and Goldgasse.
These are Salzburgs most exclusive shopping lanes and, even though it was raining and most of the luxury shops were closed for the religious holiday, Fronleichnam (the Feast of Corpus Christi), it was packed with tourists. Souvenir stores stayed open, selling everything a visitor could wish for, including The Sound of Music and Mozart mementoes.
Because the shops are expensive C Salzburg is considered Austrias most expensive city C locals dont frequent it, but if youre a tourist and stacked with euros and a credit card, youll go mad.
This is just what I did, stocking up on Rebers Mozartkugelns (chocolate balls that have either pistachio, marzipan or nougat centres), Austrian filter coffee, slabs of chocolates and a Sachertorte cake. My buying spree in the Reber shop was encouraged by a saleslady who offered me all sorts of chocolate samples, although the main reason I entered the shop was to get out of the rain.Most modern headlight designs include Cheap Marble Slabs. How was I to know shed be so persuasive?
With that excursion out of the way, and a seafood lunch at Nordsee C a sort of Ocean Basket type place C it was onwards and later upwards to Hohensalzburg Fortress.
To get there you have cross the Salzach River and a unique part of the Makartsteg Bridge is the padlocks on its railings. The reason? Love locks. This worldwide craze, which seems to have hit Salzburg in a big way, is the latest way for lovers to declare their devotion to each other. Couples write their names and other sweet musings on padlocks and attach them to the fence along the bridge.
Standing in the Old Town square and looking up at the Hohensalzburg Fortress, you can understand why it came under siege only once.The g-sensor high brightness Cheap Landscape Stone is designed with motorcyclist safety in mind. In 1525, protestant miners, peasants and farmers formed a coalition and Prince Archbishop Cardinal Matthaus Lang von Wellenburg,Get the led fog lamp products information, find Cheap Interior Decoration Products, manufacturers on the hot channel. fearing for his life, fled to the fortress. However, the attackers were repelled by the cannons and armed soldiers, and in the Goldene Stube you can still see the crack in a marble pillar caused by a bullet during the attack.
The fortress, constructed in 1077, has never been conquered. When Napoleon invaded Austria in 1813, the townsfolk of Salzburg, wishing to keep its reputation of never having been vanquished intact, simply surrendered.