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A Walk with Mozart

Salzburg, Austria

Yesterday, December 5, was the 220th anniversary of the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg Austria, the prolific composer began playing at age three and was writing and performing complete works of music by his fifth year. Influenced by his father, young Mozart spent a good deal of his youth Touring Europe, astonishing audiences with his prodigious talents. Though he spent the latter years of his life in Vienna, it was Salzburg, Austria, that gave one of the greatest composers of classical music his first post as a commissioned musician.

As a court musician in Salzburg, Mozart had the opportunity to explore various musical forms, composing symphonies, serenades and operas. It was also in Salzburg that he developed his only violin concertos, and his first substantial piano concerto, Piano Concerto Number 9 in E flat major. Despite a good deal of success, Mozart eventually left his role in the court to pursue larger and more lucrative positions.

Music in Vienna

Mozart was, in his early career, an avid traveler. Driven by his pursuit of music, he held brief residences in Milan, Munich, and Paris. Yet, he settled in Vienna in 1781. It was here that he found his greatest patrons, as well as a forum to compose freely. An unprecedented achievement, Mozart eventually composed in every genre of his day and he would ultimately complete over 600 pieces of music. His last great work, The Magic Flute, premiered in Vienna on September 30, 1791, and saw instant success. Though Mozart was quite ill at the time, he lived to see the fruition of his last masterpiece, before finally succumbing to what is believed to have been rheumatic fever on December 5, 1791.

Mozart’s illustrious career began quite early, and he ultimately managed to continue his success throughout his short life, passing at 35 years of age. Celebrate the music and travels of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and walk the very streets that he did on a post-trip extension in Salzburg on our Slovenia, Austria & Italy Bike Tour. Or perhaps enjoy a pre-trip visit to Vienna on VBT’s Czech Republic, Germany & Austria Biking vacation and complement your travels with the rich history of one of the world’s most celebrated composers.

Travel to Ireland

Quite often the mention of Ireland prompts images of pints, pubs, and a few clever yarns. Yet there is so much more to the small nation, making it one of Europe’s most interesting travel destinations. Rest assured, any visit to the Emerald Isle will warrant taking in a bit of the exuberant nightlife of Cork, Dublin’s renowned museums, and even the infectious live music of Lisdoonvarna, but balancing out the vibrancy of the cities, Ireland also boasts some of the most diverse, scenic locations in the world.

The Burren Tour, Ireland Tours

Resting in West Ireland, inland from the Connemara coast, the Burren or “Great Rock” is a craggy, karst landscape that ranges roughly 150 square miles. Its stark geography and unique climate consistently draws and amazes travelers year-round. Operating almost independently from the rest of the country, the Burren’s temperatures remain relatively static, ranging from 42°-60° Fahrenheit. The result of the mild weather is an abundance of unusual flora and fauna, and the region houses many species that exist only in this small portion of Ireland.

Irish Sea, Cliffs of Moher, Ireland Tours

The Aran Islands, in Galway Bay have a similar landscape to that of the Burren. Consisting of three islands, Inishmore, Inishman, and Inisheer, the islands are home to many of Ireland’s famed coastal cliffs. A great place to explore by bike, the Aran Islands are known for their scenery, as well as their sense of community. Locals here, as with most parts of Ireland, are famous for their good humor, and generally welcome a chat with a visitor.

Moving South, in the westernmost bit of Ireland, is the Dingle Peninsula. Truly a location that needs to be seen to be fully appreciated, the coasts of Dingle are some of Ireland’s most dramatic. Along this peaceful peninsula, gentle green hills will drop off to rocky cliffs, and azure waters of the Atlantic crash along rock and sandy inlets. The landscape invites active exploration, and a walk along the coast of Glenbeigh offers a perfect vantage to take in Dingle’s vistas.

Aran Islands, Ireland Tours

Just east of the Dingle Peninsula, lay the falls, lakes, forests and mountains of Killarney National Park. Home to Ireland’s largest mountains and most densely wooded forests, the Killarney National Park offers travelers a multitude of outdoor activities from walking to bicycling and boating, just outside the town of Killarney. Ireland’s first national park, now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is also the natural habitat for the native, Red Deer. Though spotting a deer isn’t guaranteed, any visitor is sure to enjoy exploring the natural beauty of Killarney National Park.

At VBT, our Ireland Bike Tours and our Walking Tours of Ireland are a great way to experience the jubilance of Irish culture and the breath-taking scenery of one of Europe’s top destinations all in one vacation. Join us, and enjoy all that Ireland has to offer.

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