Tag: Austria

Sleepers

We’ve now traveled by sleeper coach train through every major west European country except Spain, and it’s uncanny how the experience has reflected the culture of the train’s country of origin. The French sleeper was dignified and correct, if a bit prim. The Italian was a wonderfully stylish mess. […]

Tirol

No one was ever given a nastier clutch of nicknames than Margaret, the last Countess of Tyrol: Maultasch, Mouth Bag, Whore, Vicious Woman, Medusa, Mouth-Poke, Pocket-Mouth, Satchel-Mouth, Big Mouth, Pouch Mouth, the She-Wolf of the Tyrol, the Ugly Duchess, and Kriemhild (after the wife of Attila the Hun). […]

The Bosna

Sooner or later, you’re going to try one of these, as they spread all over the civilized world. The Bosna was invented in 1950 by the Balkan Grill Walter, a pretentious name for a tiny closet with a window in an alley off the Salzburg Altstadt. If you […]

Kitzbuhel

It’s an oddity of the East-West orientation of the Central European mountains that the ebbs and flows of ice ages of the last 2000 years have repeatedly wiped out and then replenished the Austrian and German forests. The legendary Walder we drive through today are the result of […]

Vaduz

  Liechtenstein, the world leader in false teeth, gaudy postage stamps, and a whole lot of black money. We’re assuming it’s pure coincidence that they speak so odd and unintelligible an Alemanic dialect of German here, but it hardly fits with one’s image of the second-richest country in […]

St. Anton am Arlberg

In 1931, the future Nazi director Leni Riefenstahl found film work as a seriously terrible actress in a seriously goofy comedy, Der Weisse Rausch (The White Thrill). The movie featured Hannes Schneider, a ski instructor in St. Anton am Arlberg, as a daredevil racing and jumping down one […]

The Sound of Music

There’s no pergola where Rolf promised to protect Joanna and the Baron declared his love for Maria. The modest main staircase is a creaky Austrian walnut without a hint of a grand spiral. The main sitting room would never accommodate more than a few dozen of Hollywood’s most […]