The trip could be summed up pretty simply:
Salzburg is very gorgeous.
Salzburg is very small.
My last trip as a tourist was to Paris, and there I found that there was WAY too much stuff to do and see. In Salzburg there were far fewer things to do and see, but more importantly, there were many more that were not free. Things that probably should be free. The castle overlooking the city, for example, is not free to walk up to. Isn't the trouble of walking up more than enough?? There was also another palace that was not free, and yet another that was closed off in general to the public. Paris allowed you to walk all around all of its major museums, famous buildings, and other attractions without cost - of course it cost something to go inside, but still.
Other than that, though, Salzburg was very gorgeous. There were a bunch of churches and lots of beautiful little streets with shops and boutiques that were filled with quality materials (ignoring the touristy shops filled with cheap trinkets). The best for me was the traditional Austrian clothing - made out of the finest materials and patterned with these amazing looking deer and flower motifs.
It was pretty crammed with people during the day - hundreds of tourists visiting all sorts of things - but there were also lots of times where it was not so full. The shops mostly sold extremely expensive items but the restaurants were decently priced for such a touristy area. That was a huge contrast to Paris, where everything was definitely overpriced, and to Berlin where food tends to be extremely cheap.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any of the performances. However, I did get to see Placido Domingo being driven out of the backstage area, smiling and waving at a crowd of fans of all ages!
Other memorable moments - the Olympics began while I was in Salzburg, and since I was staying in a hostel I decided to watch the opening ceremony there on the lounge TV. It was a blast to watch it with people from different countries, all cheering for different parts of the ceremony. And in the theme of close encounters with famous musicians, there was a violist from the Vienna philharmonic sitting there with us, having a couple of beers. He wasn't interested in talking, unfortunately, and left in the middle, but we did see him later on in a free screening of a past performance of Le Nozze de Figaro - he was in the opera pit, sitting on the inside second stand!
In other news, now that I'm back in Berlin, this week I have the 2nd movement of the Shostakovich sonata uploaded. It is the fast, scherzo-like movement that is the most lighthearted of the four. This movement always brings to mind fairies for me, even though I doubt Shostakovich ever had any thoughts of fairies while writing it. However, the light and energetic movement of the piece was definitely showing a side of Shostakovich that we don't always see in his music, especially as he grew older.