Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Salzburg, Austria -- The Sound of Music!

We headed out by train to Salzburg day after Thanksgiving and had a great time seeing the sights in this beautiful old alpine city, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and setting for much of the movie/musical The Sound of Music.

Again, we enjoyed the company of our friends, the Akers family and stayed in a fantastic apartment right in the heart of the city. One of the most exciting things was that the city opened their Christmas Market on the evening we arrived and Christmas lights and decorations were everywhere! We walked around and it was just gorgeous!

The following morning, we went on the popular Sound of Music tour and enjoyed seeing many locations used and learning fun facts about the musical. For instance, did you know that the front and the back of the house in the movie are actually two homes in two totally different locations? Or that the real Trapp family actually left the area via train as opposed to being chased out by Nazis and running into the mountains for escape? Or (I think the best surprise of all!), remember that scene where Maria is in the mountains singing “The Hills are Alive” and she hears the bells ring and runs down to attend to her duties at the abbey? Well, in the movie/musical, she arrives at said abbey within 5 minutes. An amazing feat, considering the Untersberg mountain from which she ran was 16 miles away from the abbey!

Highlight of the tour were the two houses used in the movies (although we couldn’t go in either one as they are both private homes), seeing the row of trees where the Von Trapp kids literally hung out, dancing by the gazebo (that has changed locations many times and is no longer anywhere near either of the houses used in the movie), and touring the beautiful church where Maria and the Captain were wed (in a pretty little town nearby called Mondsee). We then went through the Mirabell Gardens where we found two fountains and many statues depicted in movie scenes, as well as the archway of vines and the steps that Maria and the Von Trapp children skipped through and up to conclude the Do-Re-Mi song. Of course, the girls and their friends acted it out and had a great time! We also toured the Nonnberg Abbey -- the abbey used in many scenes, as well as the skyline and paths seen throughout the musical. 
After that, we all attended our first Christmas Market (these are in many cities throughout Germany and surrounding areas) and tasted our first Gluwein (a warm tradition to carry and drink as you walk through the market). It was so much fun!

Check out the pictures and see if you recognize anything from the movie...

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