Friday, November 05, 2010

Salzburg and the Sound of Music

Our next stop was Salzburg. We got up in Fuessen, had breakfast, and then headed back into Austria. I think our time in Salzburg was my favorite part of the trip. When we arrived in the city, we found a spot to part the car and walked into the main part of town.It was beautiful. We were there on a day with perfect weather to enjoy of lovely city and its surroundings. Our first destination was the tourist information center. It was right off this lovely square with a statue of Mozart.
At the tourist information center, we bought our tickets to the Sound of Music tour and then found some lunch before heading out to see all the Sound of Music sights. We hopped on a big coach bus that had songs from the movie playing while the tour guide wasn't talking. The tour guide reminded me of John Lovitz. He didn't look like John Lovitz, but his voice reminded me of him for some reason.

Anyway, we headed out first to the lovely building where a few scenes from the movie were filmed. The lake in front of this house is the lake that the von Trapp kids and maria were in on a boat that tipped over. Apparently the actress playing Gretel couldn't swim, so it was a bit of a traumatic experience for her.
Then we headed to where the gazebo is placed. It used to be next to the building pictured above, but apparently the tourists were a bit too rambunctious and it bothered folks in the building. The building is used for conferences now and the tourists proved to be a bit disruptive. It's also locked up now, supposedly the result of some 80-year old woman pretending to be 16 going on 17 and falling down and breaking her hip in the gazebo. Now we just get to look in. No dancing inside.
From there, we headed up into the mountains. The area around Salzburg really is a sight and we were lucky to have such a clear day for it. Untersberg is the mountain in the background here. It's actually several miles from Salzburg, so it would have been impossible for Maria to hear the abby bells and run back in time for dinner. It's nice to imagine anyway, though.

As we continued the drive, we went to a small town called Mondsee. The Collegiate Church of Mondsee was the church used as the venue for the wedding of Maria and Captain von Trapp in the movie. This wasn't the actual church they were married in though. They were actually married in the abby church in Salzburg, but it's not grand at all, so not as impressive for a movie set.

After leaving the town of Mondsee, we headed back to Salzburg to enjoy the city a bit more. They dropped us right by the Mirabel Palace. The gardens behind the palace are where the filming of the Do, Re, Me song took place.

With that, we headed out to our apartment for the stay in Salzburg. The place was a little out of the way, but right on a bus line, so it was super easy to get back into town. We found a small grocery store and bought food for dinner and spent the evening playing cards and relaxing after a long day.

The next day, we went back into Salzburg. We spent a good part of the morning exploring the churches. There were a bunch of them!

We also walked past Mozart's birth home several times. It's right in the middle of town, so it's hard to miss.
Bop and Beep decided to try out the roasted chestnuts. They're all over the cities in Europe, so it seemed like the right thing to do. I had to laugh tough when neither of them liked chestnuts much. I think they're yucky, but I didn't want to dissuade them from finding out for themselves.
After lunch, we got on another tour bus that took us into a small town with a large salt mine. To go on the tour, we had to put on coveralls that they supplied for us. We had quite a time laughing about our attire. No pictures were allowed on the tour (and it was sort of dark for the whole thing, so pictures wouldn't have turned out well anyway) so we don't have pictures inside the mine. I loved the tour though. We got to ride little train cars into the mine, slide down wooden slides inside the mine, and float in a barge over a brine lake. It was very cool!
Once we got back from the salt mine tour, it was dinner time and then we were done for the day. We had one more day to enjoy Salzburg. We started our third day in Salzburg at the Mozart home. This is the house that Mozart lived in from the time he was 18 until he died. There were a lot of interactive exhibits and it was fun to read more about Mozart.
From there, we headed to the Mozart bridge. It's a foot bridge that just happened to be in the Sound of Music as well. It's also really old, like a lot of things in Europe.
It was foggy and overcast all morning and we thought the clouds might burn off, so we hung out in town for quite some time. We found street food and the DH enjoyed some time with Wolfi.
We had hoped that the clouds would burn off because we planned to go to the castle, but it wasn't getting any brighter as the afternoon wore on and we couldn't just hang around. We finally just decided to head up to the castle. It's a good thing we didn't waste any more time, because it ended up staying cloudy all day. The castle was really cool even with the clouds, so in the end it didn't matter.
We rode a funicular train up the mountain to the castle. It dropped us just outside the wall. The views from here were amazing.
I enjoyed the detail in the castle. It seemed like there was something interesting every time we turned a corner.
After checking out the museum in the castle, looking at a marionette exhibit, and walking around the grounds, we headed back down the mountain. Our last destination was the Nonnburg abbey church. This is the abbey where Maria von Trapp was a postulate. When we were on the Sound of Music tour, the guide told us that they sang vespers each night here. It was a bit of a hike to the church and we were early for vespers (they started half an hour later than we thought). We looked around for quite some time, then just waited and then finally listened to vespers for about 15 minutes. It was really lovely.
From there, we headed back into town and wrapped up our Salzburg fun.

1 comment:

jason said...

I laughed at the chestnuts. Chris and I had to try them. I mean it was Christmastime in Italy and there were chestnuts roasting over an open fire. How could we not try them!
They were disgusting!