The hills are alive with the sound of music

Trip Start Dec 20, 2010
Trip End Jan 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Arena City Hotel

Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Sunday, December 26, 2010

Most people my age can probably remember the famous opening montage from the famous musical "The sound of Music" Starring the wonderful Julie Andrews.  She does an amazing twirl across a mountain meadow as the music crescendos into "The hills are alive....."

Well, here I am in Salzburg. Not only the location of the filming of this infamous movie but also the site of the real Von Trapp story.  Yes, it is based on reality.  For a moderate price, you get picked up at your hotel door and driven out to the Austrian countryside to many of the sites used in the movie as well as sites from the real Von trapp lives.  The tour includes sing along.

So the driver picked me up at 9:00 right on schedule. We drove to the meeting place where I was met by a charming British woman with a very comical personality and dressed a bit like Mary poppins.  She was an excellent narrator and injected very interesting facts along with some interesting humor.  She also led the sing alongs.

The first stop on the tour was the site of the Von Trapp mansion used for the movie followed by a trip to the real Von Trapp family home.  the Von trapps moved to vermont in 1938 when hitler and His nazi army came back into Austria.  The Von Trapp home was then used by Heinrich Himmler for his offices.

So the bus stopped in a parking lot near the lake which faces the back of the mansion.  The guide explained that this lake was used in the filming of the movie and there was some interesting behind the scenes information given.  The guide had a great way of recanting the information and always ended by leading us in song.  At this stop we had "My favorite things"

Before we left the flat lands near Salzburg itself, we went to the site of the famous Gazeebo where the song "I am 16 going on 17" was shot and also the love scenes between Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews were shot too.  And what did we sing???  That's right ... "16 going on 17"  it was fun.

We next drove out to the mountains where the famous opening montage was shot.  As we drove up the hill, we sang "Climb every mountain."  When we arrived at a view point near a large lake with a beautiful mountain backdrop, we were informed of the scenes in the film which were shot here and some other historical information regarding the cottages and the village itself.

The tour continued up up into the Austrian alps and "Lake district".  Arriving in a small village we saw the trees where the children were hiding as Christopher Plummer drove up with the Barroness to the estate. and also the church where Maria and georg were married.  The tour was chock full of information about the filming of the movie and aslo many facts about the real Von Trapp family. 

We had a stop for lunch in a tiny village where the "wedding" church was located.  I stopped in a little shop to buy some "sound of music souveniers"  the shop owner offered me a drop of schnapps while i did my shopping and he offered me some insight as well.  He was a charming man and reminded me of a typical stereotype that you might imagine from a fairy tale.  And the schnapps was tasty!!

This region is very well known for a treat called the Sachre Totre, or apple strudel.  I treated myself to my first taste at both.  there is nothing like eating a food from the traditional place where it originates.  we had about an hour long break at this village and then we continued on back down to the city.  

Our tour guide was quite enthusiastic and encouraged us to keep singing.  we DID in fact finish the soundtrack before coming back into Salzburg where we finished the tour in the "Do re mi gardens" These are actually the gardens at the Mirabell Palace.  It is a royal palace that sits along the River across from the main center of Salzburg.

After the tour itself, we were given a walking guide with additional sites and information.  I chose to visit the Abbey where Maria had gone to become a nun before she met Mr. Von Trapp and became the governess of his children. Then I slowly made my way back to my hotel where I enjoyed a nice spa for the afternoon.

Interesting tidbit.  The austrains as well as the Germans as a rule don't know this movie as there was a more biographic movie made 20 years before the musical which was very very popular in this region.

some of the sites included:  the Von Trapp home both movie version and real home.  The location from the Salzburg musical festival where the family first performed.  The abby where Maria went to become a nun.  The graveyard where they hid from the nazis. The wedding church, the mozart bridge where there was a montage of Maria and the children.  The lake, the mountain meadow form the famous opening montage.  the "Do re mi" garden. and so many more.

well worth it if just for the singing!!!

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