Austria

Our Own Sound of Music Tour


Thursday, July 29th, 2004: Salzburg, Austria

A quiet morning but full of productivity. We reconfirm our B&B in Vienna. After our earlier than anticipated arrival in Salzburg and one other surprise arrival in Amsterdam, we are going to make it a habit of reconfirming our reservations. We also book a quick and cheap flight to London mid-August to see the city and more importantly to see our friend Neil, who we met in Mykonos. We finalize our mini-vacation to the beaches in Croatia, catch up on some email and head out to the city.

Our Own Sound of Music Tour

It is a gloriously sunny and clear day. We are in shorts and t-shirts but it is just a little too cool out of the sun so we bring jackets as well. Our first stop is the tourist information booth where Martin has directed us to find out about – yes –the Sound of Music tour. It is prohibitively expensive and again, even I can’t bring myself to suffer the kitschiness of it all. We wander across the street to the Schloss Mirabell and gardens and decide to do our own tour of Saint Julie of the Andrews movie. You will remember this garden as one of the gardens her saintliness sang “Doe, a deer” with those adorable children. Today it is full of tourists and workers, who are setting up an event for the Festival later this evening. The garden is actually quite lovely and has a sweeping view up to the Festung Hohensalzburg. We cannot pick out Hellbrunn but we do see the red domed bell tower of Stift Nonnberg and wander down to the Abbey. It is a beautiful chapel, quiet and completely uninhabited by tourists. I discover later that Maria and the Baron were actually married in this Chapel, not the grand cathedral that, in the movie the Our Saints Andrews and Plummer were so theatrically wedded in.

Lunch, Dark Chocolates and Marzipan

We stop for a patio lunch beside – you guessed it: The house where Mozart lived for seven years – and then continue our exploration of the city. We cross the river, stop into one of the many shops selling Mozart chocolates and John buys some marzipan and I buy some dark chocolate. We take the funicular up to the Festung Hohensalzburg and spend an hour enjoying the almost 360 degree view from high above the town. We look for Hellbrunn, the Von Trapp family schloss (in the movie) and Stift Nonnberg, the famous convent where Maria sought refuge from her life at the beginning of the movie and from those terrible Nazis at the end. No need to remind you of all those dear, memorable songs sung at the Abbey.

We continue walking down into the town proper in the late afternoon sun and have a rest stop over a quick beer in a small patio on a little square. We walk back over the Mozart pedestrian bridge, head for home, very quick naps and back out for dinner and another glimpse of the (almost) full moon, rising above the castle.

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