I have been travelling for two weeks, and the weather has been good and the shadows sharp. We arrived in Austria, and acclimatised by the lime green leaves of the forests by a deep lake with a now appearing, now disappearing view of the Alps.

After a few days of comfortable family life and long breakfasts we left F and T with their adoring, suffering grandparents, aunt,uncle and cousin.

We travelled to the gloomy, sleety, Grimm’s fairy tale rocks of Salzburg. R and I walked the dark streets, wearing all our clothes, and wondered at the scattering of padlocks fastened to the footbridge across the river (more about this later).

A cold sleety summers midnight is about the only time when the facade of Mozart’s birthplace is not obscured by platoons of large, brightly dressed Americans ( tourist in genera, like ourselves).

We repaired to a snug, smoky timber booth in an establishment by the river Salzach (named after the salt trade up the river). I had a bowl of ghoulash soup, streaked with floating beads of chilli and flavoured with caraway. That, and a half a litre of Doppel Malz bier. Just the ticket. Mmmm.

Then to the station to board the sleeper to Venice.

We didn’t wake when the train started off at 1 AM, and began its hurtling trip through the Alps and to the warm Adriatic.

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