A gentleman, dressed in his formal black suit walked ahead of us. His stride was cautious and different. He had his hands folded towards his back. I got suspicious. I could not help myself but follow the gentleman. On nearing him I noticed that he was holding a long-stemmed red rose. Holding it behind he carefully moved forward.
Long stemmed roses are preferred choice for any romantic occasion. So my curiosity rose further. Like a flagrant stalker, I kept following him. Somewhat unwelcome and unnoticed I entered into his love story. I was eager to see his lady love. My super active mind fabricated various probable outcome of the meeting that the gentleman was heading towards.
This was just an evening in Salzburg. Due to some unavoidable circumstances, we had to cut short our Austria trip and restrict ourselves to Salzburg and its surrounding areas. To make the most out of the limited time we had, we were out for a walk in this chilly evening discovering the city.
Although there was another purpose. We wanted to reschedule our pre booked ‘The Sound of Music’ tour. I am basically not a conducted tour person. But with so little time and an urge to move around the larger precincts of the city drove us to the prior booking of the same. And now we had to prepone it due to the unforeseen thing that arrived.
The office of the tour operator was near Mirabell Square. It was early evening and the darkness in the sky has just set in. The roads near the Mirabell square were already deserted, all the surrounding stores closed and it seemed to be a sight of midnight. We could not decide whether to carry on our walk or get back to our hotel. So what we could not see the city life? We can at least see the city and the roads. And moved on towards the other side of our hotel.
The city with tall baroque buildings stood lining the streets. It was a sight very similar to any medieval European city in terms of architectural style. The city resides by the bank of River Salzach. The river divides the city into two. On the left bank lies the old town while the right has the new. The thick forest cover on our train route suggested the amount of greenery around the city and in the country.
The famous composer of the classical era, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was also born in this city. The city is also famed for its art and culture and has universities for the same. The famous musical movie Sound of Music made the city even more famous. The real story is based on this city and the film was also picturised in and around Salzburg.
With much information on the city now let’s get back to this gentleman eagerly waiting for his beloved. He stopped in a corner of a crossroad in front of a renowned retail store. I slowed down my pace to keep a watch of the interesting event waiting to happen. Even after walking at snail’s pace we passed ahead of him. Then it was like turning back and walking. Then I decided to stop and watch like a sheepish stalker.
This is when the much-awaited lady arrived. She was all dressed in a long red evening gown along with a red hat. Then the gentleman kneeled down to offer the rose to the lady. She happily accepted with a beautiful smile. The sober me asked me to leave them alone to have their own private moment. It was rather mean from my side to watch them. But love is an eternal feeling for one and all.
I tried to justify my awkward act by giving various explanations to myself. I liked the gesture of the gentleman showing such respect and care for the lady. I personally feel flower is the best thoughtful and romantic gift for a lady. The small incident made my heart fill happiness as I became the silent witness to some special moment of their life. I stood there travelling in my world of flowery lovey-dovey imaginations.
All of a sudden I got back to the real world to look for my husband. By that time he had walked past ahead of me. I ran to him to narrate the story with a subtle hint. I wanted him to read my mind and realise that even I like to be pampered by such occasional gift of flowers. When my efforts did not materialise I put forward my demands straight. He bluntly replied that ‘you are my wife and now I don’t need to impress you anymore’. Thus involved in our own style of romantic quarrel we move on to reach the bridge on River Salzach.
Here we could see many people and vehicles too. It was a happening place. While this vehicle bridge was offering a beautiful sight of the monastery on the top of the hill and the other magnificent buildings on either side of the river. There was another bridge which ran parallel to this one. Reaching closer to it we realised it was a footbridge and also a padlock bridge.
The bridge railings on either side were loaded with love locks also known as love padlocks. Generally, the initials or the full names are engraved in the padlocks and keys are thrown away to symbolise their eternal love. I heard of such bridges in many countries but this was the first time I saw one. I was overjoyed to see these beautiful depictions of everlasting love.
I am not sure whether I wanted to tie one with our names engraved and thus seal our immortal love. 🙂 But the place, of course, is the perfect destination for the teenage couples and the couples who are newly in love. This was also the photographer’s den. Many of them were seen in and around this bridge with their tripod and a variety of lenses.
This beautiful city by the snow-capped Alps in a very short time did win my heart. I would call this a city of love. To the world, Paris is known as the city of love. But for me witnessing this adorable incident followed by the walk to through the padlock bridge was no less to make it a city of love. This is a city of music so also a city of love. And with a heart full of love we bid farewell to Salzburg – Thus, the city of love.