Thursday, April 8, 2010

sign of the times

After all of the travels it's back to work. I guess work and travel have become synonymous in my world, but never the less I was able to join tourists on their vacation to Salzburg.

It's been a long time since I visited - September to be exact.

That was right before we left for our trip... when I decided it would be fun to take my husband to work and had a crazy awful group, which included the wandering off guy (who by the way was left at Neuschwanstein the next day), and the entire group showing up to the meeting point a good 15 minutes late, which is impressive since they all had marked maps and weren't traveling together.

We made it to the train with about a minute and a half to spare. Thankfully someone took to pushing the Grandma in her wheel chair through the city or we never would have made it. Stefan ended up schlepping some woman's bag of beers back to the train station so we could make it on time, because she decided they were too heavy. They drank their beers on the train and didn't even offer Stefan one for all of his troubles.

All in a day's work. When working with the public, various cultures, or those with so so English skills that sometimes feign understanding nothing surprises me anymore, but it's also the reason I love what I do.

Today I did get an unexpected surprise - one glaring sign of the times. So many stores have closed.

Yes, there are several new places that have opened, but there are plenty of empty store fronts. I'm not really sure I can complain, because I did only partake in window shopping at a lot of them - the gorgeous rose shop (Gerhard Swarovski Rosentury) with the wedding gown made of fresh flowers - gone.

The egg shop... downsized. Don't worry, it is still there, but now those windows that seemed to go on and on filled with beautiful painstakingly decorated eggs doesn't have the same affect in such a small window.

I try not to make a big deal out of the things that people wouldn't know they are missing, but today was different.

I love seeing how the city changes - the scaffolding comes off the cathedral, when an archeological dig is going on, or where the horse carriages will be moved to accommodate whatever is new, but I am surprised the winter was so harsh to so many stores. I know that's the nature of business and new shops will hopefully fill the vacant spaces, but it's a real bummer that this economic crisis has taken its toll on the independent shops - and beautiful ones at that.

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