Youth Hostel, Salzburg, 26-5-73
Dear Father and Mother,

I have just had a night's sleep after 3 nights on an uncomfortable bus. This youth hostel is enormous (400 beds) and full of teeny-bopper types. They don't know how fortunate they are to be able to get around to places like this at their age.

The bus was rather uncomfortable and became especially so after 2 days and 3 nights. Most of one day (12 hours) we spent wandering around Skopje (Yugoslavia) waiting for two punctures to be fixed. As I indicated in a card sent from Zagreb, the people are rather morose, almost sullen, and generally unhelpful. The north of the country was better because we could at least talk to some of them in German. There were many picturesque villages in Yugoslavia with mediaeval buildings on the edge of rivers, mountains and gorges etc. but of course any attempt at a photo was impracticable. I'll have to come back through these places with my own car or motor-cycle one day.

We passed through a lot of country at night. I was actually asleep when we went through Beograd (Belgrade) but they say I didn't miss much. However I did regret missing the south of Austria. It was interesting to note the transition in northern Yugoslavia to Western European-style houses and scenery.

I am scribbling this out in an enormous hurry because I hope to try hitch-hiking to München this morning - not particularly hopeful in Austria but the train costs over $6. M. frightens me a bit - it's such a big city and I don't like cities at the best of times. I wanted to go to Innsbruck and thence to Füssen to see my favourite fairy-tale castles but they could be difficult to get to without transport and anyway my days are running short.

Austria is beautiful but I don't have to attempt to describe it because you've seen it all before. Salzburg I have found thoroughly charming - if it's representative of all of Europe, then I am quite delighted - met all my expectations.

Yesterday I wandered through the narrow cobbled streets and grooved over the old buildings and squares etc. I got quite a kick out of being able to communicate freely with everyone I met. First time since I left home, though in Malaysia, India and Pakistan most people have a smattering of English.

Amongst other things, yesterday a few friends and I visited Mozart's birthplace and saw his original piano etc. and first musical compositions at age 6.

Money is running through my fingers at an alarming rate - I had steeled myself for the worst but Austria is even more expensive than I had expected. The YH costs S. 35 (S. 20 = $1 US) and I was stupid enough to drink a cup of coffee without first enquiring the cost (S. 12!) I splashed out yesterday on a beautiful 3-course Wiener Schnitzel meal (a must, I figured in Österreich) and paid almost S. 40 for it.