This was my first trip to Salzburg and what struck me most was how different it was from the UK. It seemed to me that I had stepped back in time when the Austro Hungarian empire was at its peak. People in our hotel came down formally dressed for breakfast. It was the time of the Festspiele and the hills were indeed alive with the sound of music. One of my favourite time spender is people watching – from a sociological perspective, I must hastily add. I saw immaulately dressed men in black ties – actually of all colours – and perfumed women in glorious silk gowns and chignons after an evening at the Festival Halls.

One evening, I heard Simon Callow read out pieces from Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and the Tempest. These were followed by heart-rendingly beautiful music from the Venezuelan Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra. It was clear from the standing ovation they got that I was not alone in being moved by the music.