Let's face it, there's only so much countryside dwelling a city girl can take. So this weekend I have exchanged the fields of swaying wheat of Skåne in Sweden for the international music festival in Salzburg.
As a first-time visitor to both the town and the festival, it has been a revelation. Beautiful music set against a backdrop of stunning alp scenery: no wonder people come back year after year. It's also extremely hot, some +35C, another surprise.
I've had a fair bit of time to explore the historic town in between concerts. Aside from the obligatory sights (Mozart's birthplace and the castle) a riverside walk this morning took me to a street market where I saw the tabe of colourful belts, above. Not my cup of tea style-wise, but a fabulous display nonetheless.
One of Salzburg's bridges offered a different display of colours in the shape of thousands of padlocks (see the pic below). They are chained to the railings by couples who write their names and the date when they visited - a ritual that's meant to cement their relationships forever. (The cynic in me wonders how many of the lovers that have left padlocks there over the years are still together...)
But seen as a whole, hanging from the bridge above the river, they had an almost jewel-like feel about them.