At the risk of sounding like an over-enthusiastic little girl, I was more than excited about the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg. For the first time since we have been away, I didn’t sleep at all well! And of course I had to take Abbie! Despite her only having watched the first half an hour of the movie, I wanted her to share the experience and the photos, so that when we do watch it together, we can say “We’ve seen that!” She will hopefully always appreciate the movie.
The weather, sorry to sound repetitive, was perfect. Even to the point of cracking out the summer shoes!
We arrived at the campsite, about 3kms from the centre, with again very efficient Austrian public transport, finding us at Mirabellplatz within half an hour of having arrived in Salzburg. As luck would have it, it was market day, which of all the markets we have been fortunate enough to see, was up there with the best. Delicious baked goods, fresh fruit and veg (we bought some white asparagus and hollandaise sauce for dinner), sausage and meat stalls, brightly coloured flower markets with tulips (my favourite), clothing and handicrafts. People were standing around at high tables, enjoying their first bevvie for the day (11.30am!). Needless to say, we didn’t join them on this one – just a little too early for us!
Walked through to the Alterstadt, which was beautiful. Instantly busy, and a very quick reminder from the outset that this wasn’t 1965, when the movie was made. Had a quick lunch, and then Abbie and I headed to our tour. As soon as we arrived, we found ourselves standing with boys in lederhosen and girls in dirndl!
We boarded the bus, at a pinch, because there were too many of us to fit onto one very long coach (it was packed!) The tour was lead by an English girl, of about 22 years of age, also dressed in a dirndl. It turned out that there was a large group of students and teachers from the school at which she had been an assistant. They had been planning for over 12 months to come along and all 20 odd of them had dressed up. (Fortunately there were enough other passengers in their “civvies” to not make us feel like we should have also dressed in dirndl!)
And off we went, with commentary right from the start. The tour included points of interest; from the film and from the city and outskirts themselves. This was interspersed with information about the film story and the real Von Trapp family and lots of songs!
I have to admit that I loved the singing and yes, I was one of those passengers who gave it their all, not minding who was listening! (and of course I know all of the words and nuances- cringe!!)
This is the point where you should stop reading if you don’t want to find out more juicy info:
One of the first things that we were told was that the actress Kim Karate (5years old), who played Gretel, was a real little diva in person. She would cry a lot and could only be placated with hot chocolate and Sachertorte (chocolate cake). As a result, she had gained 3.5kilos by the final scene, where Christopher Plummer was required to carry her over the Austrian hills, on their way to Switzerland. He flatly refused to carry her and requested a double!
Our first stop was at the Leopoldskrom Palace, which was the filmed as the back of the von Trapp’s house, even though it was the front of the palace in reality. This is where you see the scene of Rolf throwing stones up to Liesl’s window.
Next view was of the Unterberg mountains, the ones they climbed to Switzerland at the end (although in reality these mountains lead to Hitler’s Eagles nest in Germany- probably the most unsafe place to be when you are on the run from the Nazis).
And then a trip to Hellbruns palace, the scene of the front of the Von Trapp’s house in the movie (including the porch scene with the pink lemonade). And then we were shown the famous rotunda! And it was there where we bumped into Dave and James obviously not to share in the Sound of Music excitement, but who were at Hellbrun palace to see the Trick fountains (see Dave’s post)!
Back in the coach (was a 4 hour tour) and off to the Nonnberg Abbey, where the real Maria Von Trapp had been a nun and set the scene in the movie. Didn’t see much of it from the outside but you can do a separate tour there and visit the outside grounds. This was also the venue for the real Von Trapp wedding. The most amazing thing about the Abbey was that it was built in the year 714 AND and it still operates today.
We then moved out of Salzburg City and into the hills. Exquisite scenery, which is a must see! We stopped at Lake Wolfgang, birthplace of Mozart’s mother (and questionably why she named her son Wolfgang). This scenery can be seen on the movie in the final scenes.
Mondsee was the final stop, site of Saint Michaels Church, where the Von Trapps in the movie got married. It was at this point that my camera ran out of charge and so for some reason didn’t see inside it (Big regret).
A 40 minute stop here for some photo taking, coffee and cake. (Mondtortchen is a must try!) before heading back to the bus, via a view of the allee, down which the kids in the movie were climbing the trees as Georg, the Baroness and Max were driving past.
Back to Salzburg, and feeling a little emotional ( as ridiculous at that sounds) as I kind of felt like all my childhood dreams about the movie had been spoiled by the fact that it really wasn’t at all like it seemed or like I had imagined. This doesn’t at all mean that I didn’t enjoy myself and I really recommend it, if you are ever in Salzburg. It was also a very special thing for me to do with my beautiful little daughter!
I have confidence
*There was no baroness in real life! Just part of the Hollywood love triangle!
*George and Maria actually had 9 children in the end.