On the way Jimmie talked salt mines to us until, when we arrived at Salzburg, we imagined the whole town must be given up to them. But to our surprise, and no less to our delight, we found Salzburg not only one of the most picturesque towns we had met with, but interesting and highly satisfactory, while the salt mines are not at Salzburg at all, but half a day’s drive away. Salzburg satisfied the entire emotional gamut of our diversified and centrifugal party. It had mountains for Jimmie, the rushing, roaring, picturesque little river Salzach for me, the Residenz-Schloss, where the Grand Duke of Tuscany lives part of his time, for Mrs. Jimmie and Bee, and the glorious views from every direction for all of us. Here, also, Bee found her restaurants, with bands, situated more delightfully than any we had found before.
Hills bound the town on two sides—thickly wooded, with ravishing shades of green, to the side of which a schloss, or convent, or perhaps only a terraced restaurant, clings like a swallow’s nest. All the bridle-paths, walks, and drives around Salzburg lead somewhere. You may be quite certain that no matter what road you follow you will find your diligence rewarded.
There is one curious restaurant where we went for our first dinner, because two rival singing societies were to furnish the programme. It is reached by an enormous elevator which takes you up some two hundred feet, where there spreads before you a series of terraces, each with tables and diners, and above all the band-stand. Here were the singers singing quite abominably out of key, but with great vigour and earnestness, and always applauded to the echo, but getting quite a little overcome by their exhilaration later in the evening. Then there is the fortress protecting the town, the Nonnberg, the cloisters in whose church are the oldest in Germany, and they won’t let you in to see them at any price. This of itself is an attraction, for as a rule there is no spot so sacred, so old, or so queer in all Europe that you can’t buy admission to it. But when I found the cloisters of the Convent Church closed to the gaping public, I thanked God and took courage. We found another spot in Salzburg where they allow only men to enter, but as we found plenty of those in Turkey, we paid no particular attention to the Franciscan Monastery for barring women, except that we had some curiosity to hear the performance which is given daily on the pansymphonicon, a queer instrument invented by one of the monks. Jimmie, of course, came out fairly bursting with unnecessary pride, and to this day pretends that you have lived only half your life if you haven’t heard the pansymphonicon. We gave him little satisfaction by asking no questions and yawning or asking what time it was every time he tried to whet our curiosity by vague references and half descriptions of it. Jimmie is a frightful liar, and would sacrifice his hope of heaven to torture us successfully for half a day. I don’t believe one word of all he has said or hinted or drawn or sung about that thing, and yet, I would give everything I possess, and all Bee’s good clothes, and all Mrs. Jimmie’s jewels, if I could hear and see the pansymphonicon just once!