We’re just back from a week in Salzburg, Austria. One of the most beautiful cities we’ve ever visited. Also one of the cleanest.
We were also taken by how many people, young & old, were wearing their national dress on the weekend. There was a palpable sense of pride in being from Salzburg. In being Austrian.
Today I was in town early thanks to light traffic on a local holiday. So I parked up and went to Cafe Nero on Union Street. Walking down Chapel Street, I was disgusted to see rubbish strewn all over the street. Bins had been tipped over, but no-one was on hand to clean up. Moving onto Union Street and up towards Cafe Nero, I noticed how dirty the buildings and pavements were. The city seems resigned to it; no-one seems to care.
When we first moved to Aberdeen over 7 years ago, it was a regular winner of Britain in Bloom. It looked lovely & welcoming. Now we can’t even cut the grass. Weeds replace once beautiful flowers. Rubbish lines the main roads. Budgets have been cut they tell us. No money to spare.
And yet this is the oil capital of Europe. Sure, Salzburg is in the Alps, and is the home of Mozart, but I’d wager that Aberdeen generates more tax revenue. Salzburg manages to maintain several palaces and gardens and looks wonderful. We’re closing swimming pools and vital social enterprises.
Where did it all go wrong & what does this tell us about the City’s priorities & values?