Kaiser 'Reception' in Ebensee, Upper Austria (Kaiserzug 2016)

A Return to Austria. By the Kaiserzug

Traditions often seem quaint; the past, a bygone.

All that is all the worse when they are traditions where one grew up, but not traditions one grew up with. After all, often enough, we give up on traditions even – or all the more – when we grew up with them.

In a foreign country and culture, there is a chance that we will find them exotic enough to be interested in them, at least. (See “Chinese Family Affairs“)

When they are just a remnant of “our own” history, however, it takes something more to make us want to experience and feel that we can enjoy them.

Kaiserzug Steam Train, Salzkammergut

Last year, I’d already noticed that there would be a steam train into the Salzkammergut, playing on the motif of the Kaiser’s summer visits there, one day in summer.

Old-fashioned, but at least in an interestingly quaint way.

This year, it was running again.

It was also for a special occasion, as 2016 marks the centennial of Kaiser Franz Joseph’s death – and he was just that Kaiser who used to visit Bad Ischl in the Salzkammergut for the summers, on just such a train.

Kaiser 'Reception' in Ebensee, Upper Austria (Kaiserzug 2016)
Kaiser ‘Reception’ in Ebensee, Upper Austria (Kaiserzug 2016)

It was also a bit of a gamble, as this year’s journey would take place just the day after our return flight from China, when chances were we might be afflicted by jet lag… but it also seemed just the right time for something like this, to mark our return to Austria with something playing on a return to Austria’s past.

Given we’d come back to Austria on an A380 (and in business class), it all even made for a great contrast of how things had changed in terms of technology, just (just, huh?) within the last 100 years…

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