Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Neuschwanstein isn't in Salzburg?

I had an interesting tour in Salzburg today. You're probably thinking to yourself, 'When is it not?' That is the thought that I have whenever I come home and simply laugh as I reflect on my day.

Sometimes I am truly amazed at people and this job, much like teaching, it always leaves me with something new to consider. I have to say they give me material for my future tours, when I give random warnings that I never would imagine happening, until of course they do. It's always something, which makes going to work really exciting for me.

Here is today's new experience:

As we were leaving the train station I turned around to make sure there weren't any stragglers that were getting lost. You would be amazed at how easy it is to lose adults.

It was then that I noticed an Italian woman who I thought had paid for the Neuschwanstein tour. I picked her out of the bunch and asked her if she was sure she was going to Salzburg, 'Yes' was her response. Fair enough, she knows what ticket she bought and where she wanted to spend her day.

On we go... and 2 hours later we arrive in Salzburg. Yes, Salzburg the home of Mozart, that is located in Austria, a completely different country.

I get to the middle of the tour, right in front of Mozart's birth home, when she says, 'What about the castle that I paid to go into?' I tried with everything I had to take a deep breath and then I said, 'You came on the wrong tour'. I asked to see her receipt to verify and sure enough she did.

She still did not seem to entirely grasp that there would be no castle tour, unless she cared to visit the largest fortress in Austria. I demonstrated with my hands 6 inches apart, that Füssen is here, where my left hand is, and Salzburg is here, where my right hand is. Not close to each other at all.

She continued to ask me questions and I was so appreciative when the Italian family chimed in, in Italian, that there in fact, would be no visit to Neuschwanstein today, it was too late and she came on the wrong tour. She really didn't seem too taken aback, especially after I reassured her that we'd get her 9€ castle entry refunded.

Minutes later the older couple from Australia tells me, 'We've been traveling all around Europe, and the Italians are the only people we've encountered that we didn't like.'

I really should have enjoyed my free time with a glühwein or two. I'm definitely not in America anymore when I can drink on the job and it's acceptable. Days like this definitely make me appreciate that.

Instead, I went shopping for my cousins and bought the adorable wooden pens I mentioned last week.

Not all was lost, the Italian woman came back with full shopping bags. I'm sure her husband would have preferred if she went to Neuschwanstein.


Bluefish said...

Why did the Australian couple made such a comment and do you ever get tired of visiting the same cities?

Emily said...

They said they didn't have a nice time in Rome with Italians, but they didn't elaborate. I told them it can happen anywhere. Even though the Italians didn't hear them it was so awkward. I've kind of grown more accustomed to hearing different nationalities talk about each other and I tend to ignore it.

I don't really get tired of it - there's always something new happening and there are things that I can only get there, which I love... namely the pastries!

Oom said...

Hi there again Emily,
I have never been to Salzburg although there were a few opportunities arise.
This time i will probably get to see this wonderful city because my mother-in-law will be joining us in Munich for Xmas :)(she's coming all the way from France and would love to see a nice Xmas market there).
Your job is lot of fun! Thanks for putting some nice photos, always.


JoernandAllison said...

Good observation about being a tour guide being a lot like teaching. I often think that it would be interesting to be a tour guide or something similar because of all the interesting people you meet. Not all interesting in the actual meaning of the word, but interesting nonetheless.
At least you got a good story out of it :)

Emily said...

I'm really glad you're going to venture to Salzburg. It's such a beautiful city. The markets are just fantastic and everything seems to glow at this time of year. I made a small list of my favorite places on the upper right hand corner. I should update that an try to put a map of the path that I take.

Don't forget you can get there with a 2 hour train ride and the Bayern Ticket for only 27€ for up to 5 people. I have to admit I love my job and seeing the tourists faces when they see the city.

Just think of all those little characters in your class and how they would grow up.

Those are the people I have on my tours. The group dynamics really fascinate me and how people respond to one another. You're just a different kind of tour guide - taking your kids to the bakery to see how pretzels are made!