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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A stiff climb

Thursday, July 16th., Oesterreichischerhof, Salzburg.

Salzburg from the Kapuzinerberg
Walked up to the top of the Kapuzinerberg yesterday afternoon. The entrance begins only about three minutes from this hotel, and the distance of climbing is only about a mile I should think. But it is very stiff work indeed. The path is stepped and tended and signposted with great Teutonic care and thoroughness. Some English say it is too well done. How absurd! (In the war we copied everything but German thoroughness - I mean in the press) These signposts indicating distance in time are most useful. At the top (it took me an hour with frequent rests) a cafe, tout arrange, for tourists, with 'fine' views of the Alps. These aussichts of Alpine stuff leave me definitely rather cold. Visited the Kurhaus on the way back to the hotel. Vast and gloomy - especially the restaurant where an 'Alpine evening' was to take place last night. Feared it and avoided it, and dined at the Mirabell Garden Restaurant where I had also lunched. At lunch, Jerskny, director of the Blue Bird troupe had a table with several of his artistes; they were extremely jolly and giggled like anything.

At night: music. Waltzes and operatic selections. Electric light; hence theatrical trees; dogs playing with each other; outsiders staring; girls carrying beer all the time; a girl wheeling round and round a thing like a perambulator containing all sorts of confectionery; she did this for two hours and was still doing it when I left.

I finished Hamsun's "Segelfloss Town" last night. It does not hold together very well, and is inferior to his best work; the interest is allowed to shift too much from character to character. The characters are apt to appear and then fade. But it contains four really splendid things, and some fine humour and ditto wit. There is a tirade against actors and actresses which is devastating funny and true. The translation is very good indeed.

Additionally for July 16th., see 'Home from the front'

I returned home from the Front yesterday, after two nights in London at the Savoy. By the evening I had dealt with all the arrears.

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