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Poets’ Corner in Austria – Day 1

 

This is blog I wrote about our Fringe play making the leap to Europe. Some of it was written whilst there in one of the many calms within the storm and other parts retrospectively.

Leeds to London to Salzburg to Innsbruck

AUSTRIA

Today has been a day of travelling. It started at 2am on a minibus bound for London, followed by a 6:45am flight that to us over Europe in the blue and yellow comfort of Ryan Air. It would have been a spectacular flight were we not asleep from our all-nighter, but this was made up for when we stepped off the plane onto Austrian soil in Salzburg and were surrounded by snow peaked mountains. This was the first realisation that we’d actually made it here.

We stumbled onto a bus to take us to the centre of Salzburg. We had about five hours to kill until our train to Innsbruck, but we were in Salzburg – the city made famous as the birthplace of Motzart but mostly as the setting for the Sound of Music. Apparently it’s a really pretty place. We weren’t in that part of town. Where we were seemed only to have large concrete buildings and sex shops (we must have passed about 8). I’m not sure that’s what Maria sang about.

Read through in the pubWe whiled away the hours eating slowly and napping in coffee and cake shops. Some of the braver cast members drank Stidl, the local Salzburg lager, whilst we confused locals by doing a read through of the play in the pub.

Right now I’m on the train from Salzburg to Innsbruck. The landscape going past is certainly foreign. The hills roll out in all directions bordered by jagged mountains in the distance that bother the cloud line. Small communities are everywhere built around a church with onion shaped steeples. We’ve got 250km of this to go before meeting our trip coordinators, Andrew and Hazel, in the city of Innsbruck. Might be wise to get some more of that sleep I’ve been missing out on.

Arrival in Innsbruck

We arrived in Innsbruck finally. Rain was pouring down and standing on the platform was a man holding a program for Poets’ Corner. He led us to Hazel and an extremely jubilant Andrew. Greetings were made, bags loaded into boots and the cast were taken to accommodation whilst the crew were whisked away to get a quick look at the venue before it shut for the night.

Innsbruck is a very different city from Salzburg. It is far more youthful and vibrant, yet still having amazing architecture springing out of nowhere.

We were taken into the theatre in the centre. It is amazing. Marble entrance hall and stairs lead to a bar. The space itself is huge with 220 seats and chandeliers. We met all of the team involved in the project on this side of the channel from props to technical managers. They have made and sourced a great array of set for us from busts to bookcases to full statues. Andrew even drove us out to the outskirts of Innsbruck to show us a gothic flat we could use.

Our time in the venue today was very short, but very useful for planning for tomorrow. We were taken to our accommodation after, which is quite simply stunning. We’re basically staying in little flats within a large house in the hills of Axams (20 mins outside of Innsbruck). The corridors are complete with stuffed animals like ravens and beavers. Andrew and Hazel (most notably Hazel) cooked us traditional Tyrol dumplings, which were so good nobody could finish them. There was also mulled wine, which was a perfect way to end a day of travelling. They left us early so we can now collapse. It’s time for me to get into bed with Geoffrey Chaucer.Crashing out

Traditional Austrian mealOur House