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austria

Forget the Castle, I'm Riding the Luge

The iconic Neuschwanstein castle was okay, but nothing compared to the nearby Schwangau summer luge. Mad King Ludwig and his buddy Wagner definitely missed out! A little blood was drawn around the corners, but no fatalities. It wasn't much of a cultural experience, but it sure felt good to play.

Mistaken Identity

...an old lady of about sixty-five stopped me, and told me that while gathering her winter store of firewood she had had the misfortune to hurt her leg. I was very sorry, but I failed to satisfy her; the more I sympathised in general terms, the more I felt that something further was expected of me. I went on trying to do the civil thing, when the old lady cut me short by saying it would be much better if I were to see the leg at once; so she showed it me in the street, and there, sure enough, close to the groin there was a swelling. Again I said how sorry I was, and added that perhaps she ought to show it to a medical man. "But aren't you a medical man?" said she in an alarmed manner. "Certainly not," replied I. "Then why did you let me show you my leg?" said she indignantly, and pulling her clothes down, the poor old woman began to hobble off; presently two others joined her, and I heard hearty peals of laughter as she recounted her story.

Samuel Butler, Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino, 1881

Beer and Sausage

It is very warm here; the Viennese are afraid that it will soon be impossible for them to have any ice-creams; for as the winter was mild, ice is rare. Many persons of importance have been arrested; they say there was fear of a revolution breaking out—but it is my belief that so long as an Austrian can get his brown beer and sausages there will be no revolution.

Ludwig van Beethoven, Beethoven's Letters, 1794